The Challenge of the Democratic Primary
tags: 2020 Election
Ronald L. Feinman is the author of “Assassinations, Threats, and the American Presidency: From Andrew Jackson to Barack Obama” (Rowman Littlefield Publishers, 2015). A paperback edition is now available.
The Democratic Party has a major challenge ahead of the 2020 general election. They need to find a Presidential nominee who can defeat Donald Trump by overcoming his strong base and the likelihood of Russian interference, which he has explicitly stated he would welcome. Their objective is further complicated by the efforts of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to constrain accessible voting for all Americans.
Many Democrats wonder which candidate would be the most electable. Would a white man in his late 70s, such as Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont or former Vice President Joe Biden, be electable? Would a younger candidate--such as Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Senator Kamala Harris of California, Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, or South Bend Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg—appeal more to the average American voter?
The latter five would each make history if they were elected president. They would be, respectively, the first white woman, the first mixed race woman, the second African American man, the first Latino man, and the first gay man elected to the presidency. Some Democrats worry that such a “first” would face great prejudice and discrimination, especially against Donald Trump and his solid political base. Trump’s faithful followers are comprised of folks who are seemingly opposed to the concepts of a woman, a person of color, or a gay person being the next occupant of the Oval Office.
What about Elizabeth Warren, the Senator from Massachusetts, who would be the third oldest potential nominee within the Democratic Party? If elected, Warren would be older than Donald Trump was in 2017 upon her inauguration. A woman who has sparked some controversy with her political platform and cultural heritage, Warren poses a unique challenge in gaining the Democratic nomination and election victory in the present American political climate.
Many would think that fresh and younger nominees such as Klobuchar, Harris, Booker, Castro or Buttigieg could be the better alternatives. But would they be able to overcome the barriers to election, or would one of the older white men (Sanders or Biden) have a better chance of besting Donald Trump in the 2020 election? This is not a minor matter, as for many Americans, the idea of Donald Trump having a second term would be insufferable and a threat to the stability and integrity of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
To be clear, there is no room for error in this matter. Trying to determine a tenable strategy for 2020 is a crucial project that requires creativity and decisiveness. This weighs heavy on the minds of many who see Trump as a threat to the survival of the nation and in what is considered as the greatest Constitutional crisis since the Civil War.
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