Meet the Candidates: An Analysis of Every Remaining Major Presidential Candidate

Jack Meyer, News Editor

With only four months remaining until the Democrats officially announce their nominee for president in the 2020 election, it remains unclear who that nominee will be. It has been a large race for the Democrats, who have had five candidates receive delegates so far and multiple other candidates who have played a significant role in the election. Some candidates had minor impacts but made their presence known, such as businessmen Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer. Others made new names for themselves and may be names to watch in future elections, including Minnesotan senator Amy Klobuchar and mayor of South Bend Pete Buttigieg. Certain candidates even made it as far as Super Tuesday, most notably Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg. Now, the Democratic race has narrowed down to two major candidates, both of whom have their own strengths and weaknesses as they enter the home stretch of primary season. Here are the remaining candidates for the 2020 presidential election. 


President Donald J. Trump

Despite some early challengers in the Republican primaries, President Trump will likely secure the Republican nomination for president with ease. Despite harsh criticism from several Democratic legislators, such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Trump still has a loyal base of supporters and the Republican-controlled Senate backing him. Entering this election season, Trump has several accomplishments he can use to support his reelection campaign, including the growing strength of the economy, millions of new jobs created and improved border security. 

However, some have questioned a few controversial decisions made by Trump’s administration, including the separation of migrant children from their families at the border and his request for Ukraine to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, which led to an impeachment inquiry against Trump; later, the House of Representatives would impeach him, but the Senate acquitted him. While the Republican party has seemingly divided over Trump’s presidency, he will likely still have a strong base of supporters voting for him this November. 

“I can’t support either Democrat because Bernie is a Socialist and it feels like Biden is losing his mind,” Palmetto junior and self-identified Republican Tomas Durei said. 


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

Sanders has been a familiar face in American politics since the 2016 election, when he came in second place against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Clinton went on to lose against Trump. Sanders has made a notable mark on American politics between the two elections, with his extremely progressive views creating a new far-left faction within the Democratic Party. Sanders has stated he intends to eliminate all student debt and introduce a “Medicare for All” health care system. While Sanders is technically not even a Democrat  he is listed as an independent as a senator he has stated he will serve as a Democrat if elected President. 

However, some of Sanders’s policies, such as his proposed health care system and raising taxes on the wealthy and middle class, have drawn serious scrutiny, and some of Sanders’s opponents have called him a socialist; even Sanders has referred to himself as a Socialist. Additionally, Sanders recently stirred up controversy by refusing to condemn Fidel Castro’s takeover of Cuba, citing the literacy program Castro implemented when he took office. Sanders has proven to be a polarizing candidate, which has some Democrats worried he would be unable to beat Trump in the 2020 general election. 


Former Vice President Joe Biden

Joe Biden has played a crucial role in this year’s Democratic primary even before the race technically began. As the race started to heat up in early 2019, Biden was widely seen as the frontrunner, even before announcing the launch of his campaign. By May 2019, Biden looked like a lock to secure the nomination, polling as high as 40 percent in a crowded field of candidates at the time. Throughout his campaign, Biden has constantly referenced his time as Barack Obama’s vice president, as well as his moderate stance on most political issues and his rich political experience. However, following several lackluster debate showings in late 2019 and a lack of firepower on the campaign trail, Biden quickly began slipping in the polls, eventually losing his frontrunner status in February 2020. 

However, after he fell behind, Biden became more aggressive and assertive in debates and town halls in an attempt to win back voters. As a result, he won an enormous victory in South Carolina that led to Buttigieg and Klobuchar, two of his moderate rivals, dropping out and endorsing him. A few days later, Biden won 10 of the 14 states up for grabs on Super Tuesday, which gave him a lead in the delegate count and re-established him as the frontrunner. Despite not being the most popular candidate, moderate Democrats hope they can all rally around Biden to overcome Sanders in the primaries and elect a more moderate candidate rather than a radical one. 

“I plan to back Biden because he is the least radical compared to Trump and Sanders,” Palmetto freshman and self-identified Democrat Matthew Lewis said. “However, all of the candidates have flaws.” 


Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard

Despite only having one delegate as of Mar. 10, Gabbard has refused to back down so far. Some of Gabbard’s policies align with the ideas of her Democratic counterparts, such as her support for a single-payer health care system, but some of her views go against the general Democratic consensus, especially her foreign affair policies and views on U.S. involvement in wars. Despite her persistence, Gabbard appears to be unlikely to secure the nomination, as she currently comes in at less than two percent in polls across the country. 

From constantly changing front runners to several upsets, this election season has been full of surprises. However, the race has finally narrowed down to two candidates, both of whom have extremely different views but one common goal: to beat President Trump in 2020. However, this will not be an easy task, and Trump will not go down without a fight. We will not know the winner of this election until the morning after Nov. 3, but until then, anything can happen.