2020 Democratic Race Remains Unpredictable

Josey MacDonald, reporter

Now that it’s 2020, the year of another presidential election, states will soon begin selecting their top presidential candidates. Iowa will hold the first caucuses on February 3rd. There are currently 12 Democrats running for office. Although they have all managed to stay in the race this long, some of them are much more likely to win the nomination than others.

Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders both have a very good chance of winning the nomination, as they are leading the majority of national polls. Biden has strong African American support, which will help him. Sanders is about 3% below Biden in polls right now, but he has maintained a loyal base of followers ever since his 2016 campaign. He has also demonstrated his resiliency in the race. A CNN poll from December 2019 found that Sanders has the highest net favorability rating of any candidate. Right now, Biden and Sanders are the most recognizable candidates and the most likely to win important swing states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.

Elizabeth Warren is also doing well in polls, sitting just below Sanders. She has high name recognition and press coverage. She might have an advantage over Sanders because she was not a part of the 2016 election, making her a newer face. The fact that she is a woman might appeal to voters seeking a more diverse candidate, but it could also be hurtful, as there are people who are hesitant to elect a female candidate because they don’t believe a woman can win. Warren also has similar views as Sanders, which could split votes between them and end up helping Biden. 

Pete Buttigeig still has a chance. He has done surprisingly well so far, consistently ranking well in polls. However, his lack of political experience beyond being mayor is an issue for some voters. Andrew Yang is similar to Buttegieg in that he is generally likeable but lacks political experience. However, the uniqueness of Yang’s campaign has kept him as a contender in the race. 

After a late entry to the race, billionaire Michael Bloomberg has jumped up to 5th place in a New York Times poll. Amy Klobuchar is sitting just behind him at sixth, but she has been a surprise so far and might continue to be. The success of Buttigeig, Bloomberg, and Klobuchar will likely come down to whether or not voters want a more moderate candidate. 

Although it’s not impossible, it’s unlikely that any of the other candidates have a shot at the nomination. Gabbard, Steyer, Delaney, Bennet, and Patrick are all ranking below 1% in most polls right now. They would need a drastic change or a huge increase in popularity, which is unlikely to happen. 

The primaries will reveal what type of candidate American voters are looking for. If they decide on familiarity, Biden and Sanders will probably come out ahead. If they want someone new, it might be Warren. And if voters decide they want a wildcard or a more moderate candidate, Klobuchar and Buttegeig have a good chance. It’s hard to say for sure who has the best chance of winning right now, as the race has been very competitive and unpredictable up to this point.