Politics

VOTE: Who Will Be The 2020 Democratic Nominee?

Jacob Orgel Contributor

We are just about one year away from the official commencement of the Democratic primaries.

With the Iowa caucus projected to be the first major event of the contest and currently slated to take place on Feb. 3, Democratic hopefuls have 12 months to declare their intent to pursue the presidency.

While there can be countless developments during that period of time, early polls are well underway, and candidates have already begun utilizing national network exposure to push their platforms.

Amidst an already crowded field and swirling speculation as to the entry of more candidates into the race, we examine the array of potential challengers to President Trump’s reelection bid in 2020.

Vote for who you believe will win the nomination below and read on for our assessment of the prospective candidates.

Joe Biden

The former vice president has a long history of public service, and after taking some time away from the spotlight to mourn the loss of his son, many industry experts believe he is poised to give the presidency a run in 2020.

Though he has not yet publicly declared whether or not he will pursue the nomination, recent polls indicate that he is currently leading the field of potential candidates.

Some pundits question Biden’s ability to capture the liberal base in the upcoming election cycle. The Democratic party has shifted farther to the political left since he exited office in the wake of the 2016 general election defeat, and Biden is generally associated with a more moderate agenda.

He has, however, managed to maintain a grip on progressive social values by advocating for the Obama administration’s “It’s On Us” sexual assault prevention movement at his recent speaking engagements. It remains to be seen if this could be the foundation of a platform that brings the party together.

Bernie Sanders

The self-described Democratic-Socialist gave former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a run for her money in the 2016 Democratic primary. With major revisions to the DNC candidate selection process including rollbacks on the number and significance of superdelegates, the independent senator from Vermont may believe he now has the means to secure the party’s nomination.

Sanders rode a wave of progressivism to popularity in his 2016 primary bid, but would face a challenge from fellow devout liberals Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard should he decide to enter the 2020 field.

Sanders indicated to New York Magazine that he will “probably run” for president if he believes himself to be the best candidate for the job.

John Kerry

The former secretary of state, senator from Massachusetts and Democratic presidential nominee has perhaps the most impressive resume of the potential candidates after graduating from Yale University with a degree in political science, serving in the Navy during Vietnam and being awarded a number of combat medals, graduating from Boston Law School, then working a number of law-related and political jobs.

Yet after facing defeat to George W. Bush in 2004, Democrats have cause to be skeptical of his ability to unseat another incumbent in Donald Trump.

The Vietnam War veteran originally rose to political prominence during the Fulbright Hearings regarding potential war crimes committed in Southeast Asia and continued to utilize his military background through several bills coauthored with John McCain.

Kerry might represent the Democrats’ best chance at finding an establishment politician to attract moderate support for the party’s ticket in 2020.

Kamala Harris

The senator from California has already declared her bid for the presidency and headlined a CNN Town Hall in which she fielded questions about her platform on Jan. 28.

Harris gained popularity amongst Democrats for her tough lines of questioning as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Russia probe and cabinet confirmation proceedings and has climbed in recent polls due to her “Medicare for all” health care plan.

While many regard the former California attorney general and San Francisco district attorney as a progressive hero, she has a controversial history of advocating on behalf of measures that increased incarceration rates and kept those proven innocent behind bars.

The third-year senator is currently the most popular candidate that has already declared her nomination, but could face an uphill battle should some of her longer-tenured colleagues, such as Biden and Kerry, enter the field.

Elizabeth Warren

After capturing the national spotlight by repeatedly asserting her Native American heritage, the Massachusetts senator announced an exploratory committee to assess a potential presidential bid on Dec. 31, 2018.

Warren has a long history of supporting populist economic values such as harsher regulations on the stock market and big businesses.

After being overlooked by President Barack Obama for the position of Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and by Hillary Clinton to serve as her 2016 running mate, both on account of her lack of popularity amongst moderates and conservatives, her viability as a Democratic candidate is highly questionable.

Tulsi Gabbard

At age 37, the representative from Hawaii is attempting to become the youngest president in United States history.

However, just two-and-a-half weeks after her surprising announcement, Gabbard is running into complications with her campaign. The early setbacks include an in-party challenge for her house seat and the resignations of her campaign manager and consulting firm, as reported by Politico.

The Iraq War veteran stepped down from her post as the Vice Chair of the DNC in 2016 to support Bernie Sanders’ bid for the Democratic nomination.

Gabbard became the second Democrat to meet with President Trump and his transition team on Nov. 21, 2016, to discuss the Syrian crisis, but later attracted controversy by referring to the President as “Saudi Arabia’s b***h” in a tweet regarding the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Kirsten Gillibrand

The junior senator from New York is facing early questions on the campaign trail as to her seemingly contradictory policies on major topics, such as immigration.

“I did not think about suffering in other people’s lives,” she told CNN in regards to some of her previous conservative stances, such as catching “illegal immigrants, human traffickers and drug smugglers,” and opposing a push to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses in New York.

Her campaign announcement, which came in spite of promises that she would serve her full six-year-term should she win reelection to her Senate seat, focused on her experiences as a working mother.

The 52-year-old has apologized for previous stances in nearly every major interview she has done in an attempt to keep up with the rapid leftward shift of her party over the past few years.

Michael Bloomberg

Former Mayor of New York City and billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg has publicly contemplated pursuing a bid for the presidency in 2020.

Through a string of television interviews, he has come out as against Medicare for All, tuition-free college and legalization of marijuana. The media mogul represents a restoration of more moderate values to the Democratic platform, and could potentially harness support from Republicans as well as Democrats, as he did during his tenure as mayor.

Institutional democrats have largely remained quiet on his prospects as a candidate, likely due to the divisive effect that his rhetoric will have on the liberal base.

Cory Booker

The junior senator from New Jersey has all but declared his presidential pursuit. As of two days ago, Booker was in the process of finalizing a leadership team of high-profile Iowa staffers, according to the Des Moines Register.

As the mayor of Newark, Booker introduced measures that reflected his stance as a “new Democrat,” with financially moderate yet socially liberal approaches.

The fifth-year-senator spent his time in office pushing for policies such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, tougher sanctions against Iran and the Bipartisan Budget Act.

John Delaney

Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney represents the declared candidate with perhaps the least political star power.

The businessman’s campaign holds remnants of former Gov. Martin O’Malley’s unsuccessful 2016 bid for the Democratic nomination, as they are both left-leaning candidates from Maryland without much household name recognition.

Delaney was ranked as number 53 on The Lugar Center’s list of most bipartisan members of the House of Representatives and became the first Democrat to announce a bid for the nomination on July 28, 2017.