And Then There Were Two- A Look Ahead To The General Election
The race for the 2020 presidency has proven fierce, and has recently become more focused than ever. Since recognizable names such as Peter Buttigieg, Michael Bloomberg, and Amy Klobuchar dropped out, the Democratic primaries have shifted from a matter of policy to a question of electability against Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Trump has continued to hold a secure path to the Republican nomination, overshadowing smaller candidates like Bill Weld who have suspended their campaigns, as is typical of a president running for reelection.
Much of former vice president Biden’s success can be attributed to the Super Tuesday primaries on March 3. After trailing Sanders in the preceding weeks, Biden pulled ahead of the Democratic pack through his appeal to voters of color, setting an example through his victory in states such as South Carolina. In a televised debate, Biden promised to select a female as his vice presidential running mate, adding that he will nominate a black woman to the Supreme Court if he wins the presidency. Despite Biden’s commitments to increase female representation, he has faced sexual allegations, as has his opponent. During the 2016 election, sexual allegations against Trump raised concerns over his presidency and sparked national protests. Hence, this will become a major point of controversy for the two candidates in the general election, particularly among female voters.
Vermont senator and two-time presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April of 2020, leaving Biden as the only Democratic candidate still campaigning. After trailing Biden in the race for pledged delegates, Sanders acknowledged the importance of voting out incumbent Donald Trump over a personal victory. However, some Sanders supporters have promised to never vote for Biden, raising questions about general election turnout. Biden’s team and others in the Democratic party hope that his growing list of endorsements, including Elizabeth Warren, Barack Obama, and Sanders himself will be enough to secure the presidency.
Much of this year’s election cycle has been disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created issues for in-person primary voting. As the virus continues to spread across the country, the Democratic National Convention will be moved to August 17. Though it is nearly certain that Biden will win the nomination, the Democratic party awards superdelegates during the convention. Since the GOP, or Republican party, does not award superdelegates, a convention is less critical. This has sparked controversy over the need to hold a Democratic convention in the face of an international health crisis. Meanwhile, in an effort to continue amassing supporters, both Trump and Biden have switched to online campaigns, including live streamed events.
The pandemic will also be an important factor in deciding the winner of the general election. If the Trump administration successfully handles the medical and economic fallout caused by the virus, this will likely be reflected by an increased approval rating and increased chance of reelection. However, an inadequate response and subsequent stock market fluctuations could prompt voters who elected Trump in 2016 for his economic policies to vote for Biden come November.
Sejal Goud, Jay Keodonexay