The new year is upon us, and with it came the shrapnel of a bitter and heated election cycle. Following the last presidential election in 2016, which resulted in Hillary Clinton’s stunning loss, the Democrats have made it a point to take the Oval Office in 2020. The upcoming presidential election is expected to be nothing short of a massive field of candidates, with at least 10 Democratic hopefuls showing signs of a bid for the presidency.
However, along with the crowded field comes the question: What type of candidate would it take to restore Democrats’ control of the White House?
Say what you want about Donald Trump, but his campaign and subsequent election was brilliant, taking him from a businessman to a major party nominee, and now president in the span of two years. Along with him came many new and quite radical ideologies. He embodies an outsider, and his attitude toward the establishment is, in part, why he was elected.
If the midterms were any indication, Democrats stand a good chance of taking back the White House. Despite his shocking win, Trump’s approval rating still sits at a steady 41.4 percent. This, coupled with the ongoing government shutdown over his border wall, leaves the door wide open for many candidates to challenge him.
With two types of candidates, Democrats are stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the one side, they could have a candidate that is fiercely opposed to Trump. That could energize the base, leaving swing voters to choose between two well-defined candidates. Many people already view the Democrats as the anti-Trump party, and if they want to win, they need to bring strong initiatives and policies to the table. The Democrats already have a candidate who embodies that fiery spirit in Elizabeth Warren, who recently started an exploratory committee to test the waters of running for president.
On the other side, Democrats could have a mild-tempered moderate candidate, who could promise to bring unity to the fiery political landscape. However, the moderate candidate could leave the base feeling unenthusiastic and could lower voter turnout for the candidate.
During the 2016 election, Bernie Sanders ignited a fire within a faction of the Democratic party. Since then, more officials have been elected to represent the more liberal ideologies. Along with that, there are other factions that believe that those ideologies are to extreme. This rift is one that any future candidate would have to bridge, making the choice for a candidate that much harder.
In 2020, the Democrats need to find their identity to come up with the right answers. A second term for Trump is not out of the question, but, given the circumstances, the White House is ripe for the taking. However, the problem is: are the Democrats in the mood for calm and composed, or are they determined to go hand-to-hand with Trump?
By: Johnathan Austin, Feature Writer