The race to secure the position of Trump’s challenger in the 2020 US Presidential election is well underway. Presently, there are over half a dozen candidates still campaigning to become the Democratic Party’s nominee. This Sunday, the editors will debate which candidate they feel should be the presidential nominee.
One key contender is Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders. Sanders lost the Democratic ticket to Clinton in 2016. His flagship slogan “Not me. Us” highlights his prioritisation of the economy and equality. If he secures the nomination, Sanders’ age could become an issue in the presidential campaign as he would be 79 at the time of inauguration. Sanders’ leftist stance has earned him the nickname ‘America’s Jeremy Corbyn’. His key election issues include introducing a healthcare system resembling the NHS and free college tuition which has worried some moderate democrats.
The previous favourite to become the Democratic nominee was Joe Biden. The former vice president to President Obama and a senator of 36 years. Biden has the governmental experience and authority within Congress President Trump lacks.
At 76 years old, he has spent almost his entire professional life in politics and is universally popular among Democratic voters. His key policy proposals as President would include a new climate action plan resembling the Green New Deal and tripling federal funding for low-income schools. However, poor results in Iowa and New Hampshire has meant he will have to rely on Nevada and South Carolina to bring him back on track.
Another frontrunner is Elizabeth Warren, a 70-year-old senator representing Massachusetts who currently serving her second term. Warren, who announced her intention to run in February 2019, represents the “progressive left” portion of Democratic supporters. Some of her key election proposals include bringing in ‘ultramillionaire’ tax for the wealthiest in society, universal child care and student debt relief policies.
Finally we have Pete Buttigieg. Buttigieg served as mayor of South Bend in Indiana for eight years, and has surprised everyone. He scraped a win in Iowa against Sanders, and now appears as the favourite for moderate Democrats. If he wins, he will also be the first ever openly gay presidential nominee.
Written by POI Correspondent, Emer Kelly
The Democrat Leadership Race that got off to a false start – Liberal Article
After the results from the troublesome Iowa caucus, there are two frontrunners: Sanders and Buttigieg. Since 1996 every winner of the Iowa Democrat caucus has gone on to secure the Democratic presidential nomination. We are in unchartered water, the results are nail-bitingly close, party members are fractured, and Trump is the opposition.
The ‘B-boys’ (Bernie, Biden and Buttigieg) are getting all of the media attention. Just have a google of ‘US Democratic Candidates’. Warren placed third in the Iowa caucus, beating the Democrat start boy Biden, but is seemingly being erased from the public attention.
The longer your in the game, the more time you have to make mistakes. The more mistakes you make, the more likely one is going to be found and used against you. For Biden, the biggest ‘mistake’ might have been his opposition of school bussing to end segregation in 1970. Or maybe it was his support of the 2003 Iraq war. I could mention the numerous women who have accused Biden of touching them inappropriately, but clearly that doesn’t stop someone from becoming president!
Bernie is too far left. Sure, this works for the democrats, and maybe this will be enough to get him to the end of this race. It won’t work against Trump. Trump has capitalised on some part of the American electorate, and it certainly isn’t the socialist part. Bernie running against Trump would see a colossal loss for the Democratic party, maybe akin to that of Corbyn running against Johnson.
Buttigieg is the ‘progressive’ candidate. Gay, a veteran, and a devout Christian. For some he is too progressive, for others, his motives seem misconstrued. He has a complete lack of connection with African American voters. In his time as mayor of South Bend, he demoted the city’s first black police chief for allegedly recording phone calls of officers in an attempt to catch out racism within the force. Numerous other criticisms have been levelled against him by progressives.
Warren is my pick. She doesn’t have as good name recognition as the others and has been criticised for overselling her Native American ancestry. But she also beat Biden – the apparent Democratic frontrunner – in Iowa. She also outperformed her numbers in the final Des Moines Register poll.
Warren is more centred than Bernie. Instead of being a ‘democratic socialist’ she is a ‘democratic capitalist’. Maybe it will be an academic who can take down Trump and unite the Democrat party.
Bloomberg (add him to the other ‘B-Boys’) is one to watch. He has more money behind him than is comprehensible. Money talks. Bloomberg’s campaign team has said it will spend “whatever it takes” to win and defeat trump, so spending over $2 billion is not out of the questions.
Can anti-capitalist Democrats get behind someone who has gained so much from capitalism itself? Maybe they will be able to put this slight hypocrisy to one side by explaining it away as the lesser of two evils, the other being Trump. Is money enough to be Trump? By the end of the year, we will know.
This race is different. Normally there are a handful of hopefuls left in the race at this stage. Confident predictions are given in vain. Super Tuesday (a third of all delegates are announced on a single day) should give us a good indication of who will win this race. Being in the public eye is going to be as important as keeping certain information and ‘skeletons’ out of it, more so for some candidates than others.
Point of Information
a Conservative response
This article clearly outlines the advantages and shortcomings of the most important candidates in the democratic race. However, I would completely disagree that Warren would be the best candidate. In fact, if she were to be elected, I believe it would give Trump his second term.
Many of Warren’s proposals are radical and are likely to receive a mixed reception from the democrats. Not to mention a complete disregard from the right. Warren’s campaign has mobilised many far-left Democratic primary voters. However, any wavering republicans hoping to get Trump out of office will not vote for someone with such an extreme agenda.
Overall, I agree with Ms Margaroli. This race is different and no accurate predictions can be made, especially after the Iowa caucus. However, I do still believe that some candidates are far too left to stand a chance.
Written by Conservative writer, Eleanor Roberts
Why pick a watered-down version of Sanders?- a Labour response
Whilst I like Elizabeth Warren and would support her in a different race, I do not believe she is the best choice in the ‘progressive lane’ of this cycle. When you have the choice between someone who has fought for left-wing policies for their entire life and some who was a registered Republican until 1996, only switching parties because she felt they ‘no longer best supported the markets’, it is an easy choice to make.
On the big issue of this election cycle, Healthcare, Warren has promised to gradually bring in legislation. This culminating with Medicare for All sometime in her third year in office. This would be after the midterms. No President since the 1970s has ever held onto the House after the midterms.
Bernie, on the other hand, has promised to introduce the Medicare for All Bill on his first day in office. These differences will matter to voters. People do not want a technocrat with thousands of plans, they do want someone who will fight for them from day one.
Regardless of how the next few states go, the options for Elizabeth Warren seem narrow. It doesn’t look like she has a path to the nomination, squeezed on both sides as she is. My preferred option would be for her to drop out and endorse Bernie. Therefore uniting the progressive wing of the party, but I doubt that will happen.
More likely she will hang on as long as she can, leading to a contestable convention. Then our fate will be in the hands of the superdelegates. I’m sure they won’t drop us.
Written by Labour writer, Daniel Orchard
Biden is the best of an average bunch – Conservative article
With the 2020 US Presidential election fast approaching, the democratic candidate race is tightening up. There are currently 11 potential candidates. Frontrunners include former Vice President Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg. So far Buttigieg has dominated in the Iowa Caucus Race. However, I predict that Biden will be the popular choice across the US.
There are a number of factors which play into a successful candidate’s campaign. One of which is name recognition. Biden was Vice President to Obama and has held the highest office of all candidates which inevitably gives him a huge advantage in the race. Despite controversies and numerous attacks from Trump, Biden has managed to maintain 28% in the polls. This in addition to a four-point lead on his second-place rival Bernie Sanders.
Furthermore, Biden is “getting northward of 60% of the vote among black votes, aged 45 years and older”. Having a high level of support among older and African American voters is vital. These are two very crucial demographics in the Democratic primaries. I believe Biden’s recent chaos in Iowa was due to poor turnout, not because of a decrease in his popularity.
Biden’s proposed political policies are also much more agreeable, and therefore votable than his democratic competition. Unlike Warren and Sanders, Biden isn’t proposing to strip Americans of their health insurance policies for the sake of promoting progressive liberal policies. By preserving some elements of the status quo, and not simply making change for the sake of change, Biden is likely to secure more of the votes from “middle America”.
Clearly Biden is the front runner, and will most likely be the Democratic candidate for the Presidential election. However, he still has strong competition.
It is still possible that Michael Bloomberg could secure a nomination despite his absence from the Democratic debates. The former New York City Major has a net worth of $52 billion, making him the richest candidate.
Trump has demonstrated the effectiveness of a self-funded campaign. Bloomberg has already spent $270 million on TV ads – clearly having the ability to spend this much on your campaign is an advantage and his strategy is paying off. He is already considered one of the front runners.
Despite the financial edge possessed by Bloomberg, it doesn’t seem to be giving him an advantage in the polls. He certainly isn’t a real threat to Biden as of yet. Bloomberg has failed at achieving votes in Iowa and is polled at 1.4% in New Hampshire.
Bloomberg’s expensive ads have promoted almost every democratic issue from gun control to climate change. However, this strategy is also the source of the problems within his campaign. None of these positions is making him stand out from any other democratic candidate. He isn’t as left as Warren or Sanders who will satisfy the party’s progressive activists. Furthermore, why would the centralist voters back Bloomberg over Biden, who clearly has a greater level of White House experience?
Warren is another one of Biden’s “strong” competitors. However, due to the progressive and polarising nature of her campaign, she is unlikely to win a majority vote. Warren has listed a ridiculously long, broad and unrealistic list of proposals; the cancellation of student debt, Medicare for all and achieving 100% clean energy. These idealistic dreams are unlikely to draw in the mass of democratic support. This is because polarising candidates often diminish turnout in their own party while boosting turnout among opposition parties.
Overall, although Biden may not be the dream democratic candidate, he stands the best chance when going up against Trump. He has run for the presidency twice before and has spent eight years as vice-president, giving him the advantage of experience. His familiarity, centralist politics and far-reaching appeal would make it hard for any other democratic candidate to overtake him in the polls at the moment.
Written by Conservative writer, Eleanor Roberts
Point of Information
Biden would hand Trump the victory – a Labour response
Whilst Biden may have been able to claim front runner status a month ago, this is clearly not the case anymore. He was unable to secure a single delegate in the Iowa caucus and is polling at around 11% in New Hampshire, the next state in line.
Nationally, he has taken a real dip. The latest poll from Quinnipiac University shows that he has plummeted down into second place behind Sanders. He has even lost a good chunk of his coveted African American support, most of it to the Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
If Biden was to secure the Democrat nomination, which looks less and less likely every day, he would all but hand Trump the victory. The President would attack him viciously on the topic of corruption. Citing Hunter Biden’s $80 000 a month role on the board of a Ukranian energy company – a role he has no experience in. Republicans have already promised to impeach Joe Biden for Ukraine should he win the election.
The country needs a President that presents a vision of change. Offers something voters want to turn out for and doesn’t parrot Republican speaking points on healthcare, climate and war.
Written by Labour writer, Daniel Orchard
Not how I would define domination – a Liberal response
The first point I must raise with this article is the apparent domination that took place in Iowa from Buttigieg. Far from domination, there was only a 0.1% difference in votes. A mere 1 delegate difference; Buttigieg winning 13 and Sanders winning 12. I am by no means an expert in American experts, but surely this is not a landslide victory.
Ms Roberts analysis of Biden’s position in this race is clear, and not with much fault. The only thing I would like to raise is Biden’s chequered past. Although maybe I am mistaken in doing so, as we can see from the current president, the most chequered of pasts don’t seem to make much difference in the eyes of Americans.
Bloomberg should be watched with a cautionary eye, and Warren not dismissed. Biden too, as Ms Roberts rightly says, will be leading this race from the front pack.
Written by Chief Liberal writer, Olivia Margaroli
Not me, us – Labour Article
Obviously the vast majority of people reading this are not actually going to be able to vote in the U.S Democratic Party primaries over the coming months. Or indeed, the presidential election at the end of the year.
So this is not so much a rally to get out and vote, but an encouragement to talk to any American friends you have about this candidate. To study their broad range of policies and advocate for them here in Britain. And that candidate is Senator Bernard Sanders. Bernie.
For a bit of background, Bernie Sanders was born to a Jewish family that emigrated to New York ahead of the Holocaust, which went on to wipe out most of their Polish family. His political life began in earnest when he attended the University of Chicago. There, he protested against the Vietnam War and segregation. The latter led to him being arrested.
In 1980, he ran for Mayor of Burlington, Vermont’s most populous city. His opponent was the five-term Democratic incumbent who was so appeasing the Republicans did not bother to run against him. Bernie won the election by 10 votes. Let that be a lesson to anyone who tells you their vote doesn’t matter. If Bernie had not won here, it is unlikely he would ever have gone on to become a four-term congressman, a two-term senator and now a Presidential hopeful.
Over his career, Bernie has self-identified as a Democratic Socialist and considers Eugene V. Debs as one of his inspirations. He supports popular left ideas including but not limited to: a Green New Deal, Free Healthcare and College, the increased construction of housing and infrastructure, a raised minimum wage and the abolition of both the death penalty and private prisons.
You can see an extended list here. There are a lot. And in half a century of activism, he has scarcely wavered in fighting for any of them. This commitment and determination has made him America’s most popular politician more than a handful of times.
The combination of his conviction, long career and critical class consciousness has propelled Bernie Sanders to the top end of the Democrat race. Normally polling first or second. In matchups against Trump’s most Democrats, including Bernie, come out on top.
Whilst I would be wary of any polling, especially against someone like Trump, the President is clearly cautious about Sanders. He was recorded saying that if Sanders had even been picked for Hillary’s VP, the 2016 race would have been much tougher, let alone Sanders being on the top of the ticket.
When Bernie wins the nomination, it is highly likely he will go on to beat Trump, for a few reasons. The first, which Trump highlighted, is that Bernie is tough on trade. Constantly voting down bills that would damage the American working class. Trump voters would be far more willing to vote for a candidate seen as anti-establishment, a reputation that Bernie has due to his constant waging of class war.
Moreover, Bernie is compelling to third party voters and to the most important bloc, the non-voters. These will be crucial in 2020 to removing Trump from office.
Whilst I do find some ideological agreement with Warren, I believe she would be better placed within a Sanders cabinet or as a trusted ally in the Senate. Three months ago, when the candidates were on equal footing it was a whole different story. However, Warren lost much of the momentum she had when she walked back on Medicare for All, one of Bernie’s cornerstone policies. Now it doesn’t seem like she has any path to the nomination, beset one side by Bernie, and the other by Buttigieg.
The other Democrat candidates range from bad to worse. Biden has been a conservative Democrat his whole career, proudly professing his support for benefit cuts, the Iraq war and working with segregationists. Most of the media seems to ignore the bizarre lapses in brain function he has had in public several times, in debates and interviews.
Buttigieg embodies corporate America so perfectly. With every single thing he says and does, it looks like it was designed by an executive committee. With 0% African American and Latino support, as well as a series of scandals from his time as Mayor, Pete’s admittedly good start won’t progress beyond Super Tuesday. If he went up against Trump, it would be a bloodbath.
Lastly, Bloomberg. A Republican billionaire who in 2004, hosted George W. Bush at the RNC. Like Pete, his time as Mayor was mired by racial controversy over his stop and frisk policies. He has spent hundreds of millions of dollars of his personal fortune in this race. Some of it in the form of a bribe to the DNC, who then conveniently changed their rules to add him to the debate stage.
The flagrant wealth of the 1% attempting to buy an election is everything Bernie has unabashedly campaigned against his whole life.
Bernie Sanders is clearly the best candidate in the US Democrat race. He has built a grassroots campaign. Funded solely by people rather than corporations, and made up of a vast coalition of strategic voting blocs.
His strong political message of ‘Not Me, Us’ resonates with millions of Americans on both sides, who have been disenfranchised by corporate America the other nominees represent. In the words of Killer Mike, ”Senator Bernard Sanders will be the next President of the United States of America.”
By Labour writer, Daniel Orchard
Point of Information
Labour supports Bernie, no surprise here! – a Liberal response
I expect nothing less of our Labour editor than to rally the troops for Bernie. Mr Orchard’s admiration and support of Bernie is clear, and with the arguments put forward, it is difficult to disagree.
If we are talking about whose policy ideas (if implemented successfully) will lead America to the best position in terms of social justice, then Bernie must be a front runner. But, Bernie might be too much of a ‘democratic socialist’. His position is unlikely to pull over any of the Republican Trump voters, that a more centred Democratic candidate could.
I am glad to see Mr Orchard has some belief in Warren as a candidate, as a team, Bernie and Warren could be formidable.
The quick takedown of Bloomberg is too fast for my liking. We have seen people with more controversial pasts come up to lead parties and win elections in the US. Bloomberg cannot be counted out by the press or the other candidates. If candidates don’t directly engage and debunk Bloomberg’s ideas and policies they leave the door wide open to him and his money trampling all over their campaigns.
Written by Chief Liberal writer, Lily Margaroli
Class loathing is self-defeating – a Conservative response
Unfortunately for Sanders, the US has never been and will never be a socialist country. Even despite its current appeal among young people. Today, just “39 percent of Americans view socialism positively”. Sanders is therefore unlikely to win any kind of popular vote if he does somehow become the democratic candidate. Sanders is still very much caught up in his old ideas, and his policies are still frozen in a failed Marxist pipe dream.
Much like Warren, Sanders continues to make unrealistic economic promises. I bet Sanders wouldn’t be able to predict the cost of nationalising more than one-sixth of the economy.
This progressiveness will come at the cost of the election against Trump. Unless a middle-left democrat like Obama or Roosevelt is voted in then we will have another republican term in office.
Written by Conservative writer, Eleanor Roberts.
I’m a third year University of Manchester student, currently studying in Lyon on my Erasmus year (by sheer coincidence I’m writing this hours after parliament has voted to end British involvement in the 30 year programme, so just to be on the safe side I promise not to use the NHS/European Declaration of Human Rights/anything at all anytime soon).
My journey into politics is pretty different to what most people have. I can’t claim to have watched PMQ’s obsessively since a young age nor did I pour over the broadsheets for every political factoid I could muster.
I am second year student reading Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Exeter. Next year I hope to study abroad in Washington DC, a dream for any political student.