An Uncharted Road for Democratic Primaries

An updated version of this article is available here:

With Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) having announced her candidacy for President of the United States on Monday (January 21, 2019), and less recently, Senator Kristen Gillebrand (D-New York), LA Mundi News brings you an insightful analysis into the race for the Democratic nomination for president.

At this time, the Democrats are a snake without a head, or rather, a party without a leader. Although many expected Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-California), the Speaker of the House, to take the mantle of leadership, it seems Democrats won’t have a leader until their  national convention. Her efforts to become leader of the party failed when she met stiff, albeit futile, resistance to her campaign to become Speaker. Of course, without a leader, it means the Democratic nomination is wide open, giving Democrats many options to weigh against President Trump.

Democratic strategists are aiming to have a nominee who can win over the blue-collar workers that backed President Trump in 2016, but who can still energize the base. The Democratic base, which is shifting to the left, is currently in a state of constant evolution. It managed to ouster Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) after a series of allegations regarding sexual assault. The ouster was led by his fellow colleague, Senator Kristen Gillebrand (D-New York). His ejection almost backfired on Senator Gillebrand after she faced backlash from party insiders. She is currently one of many possible Democratic nominees.

The List (day-to-day updates will be implemented):

Senator Kamala Harris (D-California), the one-term Senator and former Attorney General of California with a record of “tough on crime” might be one of the only Democratic candidates that can win over voters in the Wheat Belt, in states like Oklahoma and Nebraska. She would also undoubtedly be a good running mate in the general election. The only concern some strategists have is whether she has enough experience, especially since she hasn’t even completed her first term as Senator and only held the post of California’s Attorney General before that.

Senator Kristen Gillebrand (D-New York). She has faced some backlash over her leading of the ouster of Senator Al Franklin (D-Minnesota). Her presence in New York might help her win the Northeast, but she will have to fight. She has also signaled that healthcare will be a major issue of her campaign.

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) announced her candidacy on New Year’s Eve. She previously faced criticism over her handling of the release of her DNA test. According to polls, voters most identify her with financial accountability and her history of leading a crusade against special interests. She is popular among grassroots activists.

Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro announced his candidacy January 12, 2019. He was Mayor of San Antonio and Secretary of HUD under former President Barack Obama. He described himself as “the antidote to Donald Trump” in his opening rally in San Antonio, and says he understands the immigrant experience and knows the way to handle the southern border. His chances are good, and if he can get an endorsement from former President Obama, then he could be the front-runner by Super Tuesday.

Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg announced his candidacy on January 23, 2019 (Wednesday). He is thought to be running to boost his image on a national level to run again in 2024 or 2028. He is the youngest and the only openly gay candidate to have declared his candidacy.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) announced her candidacy January 11, 2019. She is serving her fourth term in Congress, and she won her first race in 2012 with support from Emily’s List (a group that endorses pro-choice women running for office) and veterans’ groups. Many don’t see her as a serious contender, but if an underdog wants to run for President, there is no time better than now.

Former Representative John Delaney (D-Maryland) announced his candidacy early on, some say too early, on July 28, 2017. He has visited the state of Iowa more than 20 times, and has enough money to last him until the early primaries. He prides himself for “living the American Dream” and being the son of a blue-collar worker. He also created two companies that are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He doesn’t have too many supporters and if he doesn’t get a handle on fundraising, he might not make it to Super Tuesday.

Democrats who have not yet announced their candidacy

Former Vice President Joe Biden has hinted at a possible run numerous times. He was supposed to be the front-runner in the 2016 election but didn’t pursue the nomination due to family matters. He would most likely earn the support of more moderate Democrats, and he would certainly have a fundraising advantage. He would probably win in the Midwest and Industrial Northeast. However, concerns have been raised regarding his age (he would be in his late 70s if elected).

Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) is one of two Democratic African American senators, along with Senator Kamala Harris (D-California). He is known for repeatedly criticizing the Trump administration.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) came second to Hillary Clinton in the fight for the 2016 nomination. He has motivated supporters and enjoys support from grassroots activists. He was independent for a long time before realizing that the only way to become president was to have the power of a major party behind him. He has been called a ‘radical socialist’ in the past. In addition, many worry that he may be too old for the job.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been hinting at a run. He is the former mayor of New York City and billionaire. He was Republican and later famously independent until he switched parties and went blue. His stance on privacy has pushed away some voters, as he had placed NYC under increasing video surveillance when he was mayor.

Mayor Eric Garcetti. Many California Democrats see him as a voice of reason among a crowded field of candidates. He is the current Mayor of Los Angeles, and he would certainly have a headstart in the California Democratic Primary. He would probably win in the West but might find it hard to resonate with voters in Southern states. If Garcetti was to win the nomination, he might be able to move Arizona from the ‘leans Republican’ to the ‘swing state’ column, especially after Arizona recently elected Democrat Krysten Sinema (D-Arizona) to represent them in the Senate.

Congressman Beto O’Rourke. He was a congressman from Texas until he ran against Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for a Senate seat in the 2018 midterm election. He was able to seriously contend as a Democrat in a state with a long history of going red. If he wins the nomination, he could challenge President Trump in the South. He is also popular among young voters.

Democrats will try to pick a nominee who can beat Trump in the fall and make sure he becomes a one-term president. With the field so crowded, Democrats will want to limit negative ad campaigns so the nominee will not emerge as the lesser of two evils, but rather the stronger candidate. However, some Democratic strategists worry that the fight for the nomination will tear the party apart ideologically.


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