By Prarthana Mitra
Some 20 Democrats are said to be in the race to take on US President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential elections, according to a poll conducted in the immediate aftermath of last week’s midterms.
Although a former Clinton adviser boldly announced that Hillary Clinton will be running for president again in 2020, the midterm elections have proven that America’s blue-leaning demographic is ready for a radical change in the party’s leadership. The recently concluded elections where Democrats won back the House of Representatives have given the country new faces at both Congress and gubernatorial levels.
Political analyst Cenk Uygur said very recently, “The only way that Donald Trump can be a two-term president is if they run another Hillary Clinton, including Hillary Clinton. You think she’s gone? She’s not gone.”
— Assange Defence (@AssangeDefence) December 7, 2017
#BETOfor2020 drowns out Hillary 4.0 already
So what if Beto O’Rourke lost to Ted Cruz (many still believe he could have won if he hadn’t conceded early) in Texas? The fact that he lost by a narrow 8 percent margin in a historically red state gives many a hope that O’Rourke may be the future of the Democratic party. His audacious grass roots campaign has spread beyond Texas to Iowa and other Republican-majority states, suggesting a Democratic rebirth and drawing rumours of a presidential run.
Clinton’s defeat in 2016 should by no means be the end of her presidential ambition, but the last four years have seen a sea change in voter mentality in the US. As a result,highly polarised political beliefs which cannot be reconciled by bipartisanship that senior Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi (who will endorse Clinton in all likelihood) have advocated immediately after taking back the House.
Politicians of colour test positive for the running ticket
The victory of openly socialist Congresswomen such as Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez from New York and former Green Party activists such as Krysten Sinema in the Arizona Senate race suggests that voters are willing to vote in a change, instead of a politician besmirched by a still-to-be investigated election tampering claim.
The fact that people chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016 should make the Democrats reconsider who they put on the ticket because if it’s a female candidate they want, California’s Senator Kamala Harris would be a smarter choice. According to political pundits, her appearance in the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings has bolstered her public image further, and her political career began with campaigning door-to-door for Barack Obama.
Higher profile candidates like former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have also entered the 2020 election discourse as the leaders (and possible running mates) for the Democratic presidential nomination to take on Trump, according to a recent poll by POLITICO in association with Morning Consult.
Bernie Sanders, notwithstanding his seniority, is popular with the youth, and recently helmed a crucial movement against Jeff Bezos’s Amazon to improve labour rights. If Democrats are worried about “crooked” Hillary, Sanders sure offers a cleaner alternative.
Other candidates who tested positive for prospective presidents besides Kamala Harris, who is CNN‘s favourite choice for president, were Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabard, Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), and Cory Booker (D-New Jersey).
The diversity is refreshing indeed, especially at a time when the ruling administration has repeatedly taken a soft stance against racism, is openly against refugees, and has either shut down or stopped federal funding for several Democrat-founded programmes meant for women and minorities (including Planned Parenthood and the DACA-Dreamers initiative).
That said, as long as Democratic candidates keep batting for what’s electorally important — employment, education and economy — without making concessions to keep in line with Republican policies such fiduciary protectionism, anti-immigration, evangelism, and white nationalistic sentiment, there is a good chance for these front runners to avoid the 2016 debacle. However, the tussle for power among Democrats to find the right nominee will be something to watch out for.
Prarthana Mitra is a staff writer at Qrius.
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