Over the past few decades, election cycles have been drawn out longer and longer. This 2020 election season is no exception, with a Democratic pool consisting of 18 candidates who have already launched their campaigns over nine months before the first primary (the Iowa Caucus held on February 3rd, 2020). As President Trump will be looking to run for his re-election, Democrats will be looking to choose a candidate who both portrays their values and has a good chance of beating the President in the general election. Here are the top four candidates to watch during this hectic campaign season:
1. Beto O’Rourke
Beto, 46, is a former Congressman from Texas who announced his run for the presidency on March 14th. O’Rourke drew a lot of nationwide attention and enthusiasm during his midterm election run against Ted Cruz for the position of Senator of Texas. In a historically red state, Beto gave Cruz quite a scare on election night when he only lost by 2.6%. He has been hovering around 8% in the latest polls, but when the candidates hit the campaign trail these numbers can swing dramatically. Also, his campaign raised $6.1 million on the first day of his candidacy, showing him as a serious contender for the Democratic nomination.
2. Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris, 54, is a Senator from California and the former California attorney general. Although she is not a new face in the political scene, Harris has been met with a lot of enthusiasm from Democratic voters; as seen by the crowd of “20,000 people” who attended her announcement speech. If the number is accurate, she had a bigger crowd than Obama had when he first announced his presidency in 2007. Harris’ campaign raised $12 million in the first quarter, and has been polling around 9%, according to the most recent polls.
3. Joe Biden
Joe Biden, 76, is the former Vice President of the United States under President Obama. While, he has not officially announced his run for the presidency, he has been sitting at the top of the Democratic pool in recent polls. Five out of the last six polls have had him leading the field with about 30%. However, recent allegations and pictures emerging of Biden’s misconduct around women may end his candidacy before it even starts. Right now, these allegations have not seemed to affect his polling numbers, but they could very well hurt him down the line. For the time being, Biden has a good chance of running and will definitely see himself amongst the frontrunners during the campaign, but the question still remains: will Biden run?
4. Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders, 77, is a Senator from Vermont and was one of the first self-proclaimed “Democratic-Socialist” in Washington. Coming off of a disappointing defeat to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic Primaries, Sanders seems to have remained the same enthusiasm from voters looking for a farther left-wing candidate. He has recently been polling around 22%, which lands him in second place behind Biden. This 2020 campaign will certainly be a challenge for him; however, because he is entering into a very crowded pool of Democrats, unlike is head-to-head battle versus Clinton in 2016. While Sanders’ popularity amongst the party base is high, he is probably the least likely candidate to win the general election versus President Trump due to his extreme views.