2020 Presidential Race Begins

The 2020 Presidential Election is in full swing and results from the first three primary contests and Super Tuesday are in.

As of March 4, Former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are the frontrunners with 453 pledged delegates, and 382 pledged delegates respectively. Other candidates still in the democratic field include Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (50 pledged delegates), and Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard (1 pledged delegate). Other delegate winning candidates that have dropped out of the race include Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (44 pledged delegates), Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg (26 pledged delegates), and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (7 pledged delegates)

In Iowa, the first state Caucus, the results did not make the headlines right away, with mismanagement by the Iowa Democratic Party being rampant. The blunders by the Iowa Democratic Party led to very delayed results, which sparked outrage among the candidates and their campaigns. 

Causes for the delayed results from the Iowa Caucus are linked with a smartphone app created to help tabulate and communicate the votes in the caucuses developed by a company called Shadow Inc. Tech experts believe that the app was used prematurely and coding issues disrupted the efficiency of the app.

Once the technological issues were determined and resolved, results rolled in. Winning the Iowa Caucus was 38 year old Pete Buttigieg, who dropped out of the race shortly after, followed closely by democratic-socialist Bernie Sanders. However, Bernie got more votes in the first and second rounds of voting, but Buttigieg won the all important “State Delegate Equivalents” winning two more than Sanders.

Third place went to Elizabeth Warren with 18% of the vote while Joe Biden secured 4th place with 15.8%. Amy Klobuchar also got 12.3% of votes, with no one else getting a significant amount.

Following the Iowa Caucus, the New Hampshire primary took place on Feb. 11. Bernie Sanders was predicted to take the lead in New Hampshire, and he won the primary with 25.7% of the votes.

Former candidate, Amy Klobuchar had a huge success for her campaign in New Hampshire, netting 19.8% of the vote, resulting in new life into her presidential bid, with a large increase in fundraising coming with her good finish on top of a slight polling increase.

Following the New Hampshire Primary, the Nevada caucuses occurred on Feb. 22.  Bernie Sanders won by far, attaining 46.8% of the votes, with Joe Biden in 2nd place earning 20.2% of the votes. After a strong 3rd place finish in New Hampshire, Amy Klobuchar placed in a disappointing 5th place attaining 4.2% of the vote. Bernie Sanders’ performance thus far makes him a stark front runner in the 2020 presidential race. 

Past Democratic Presidential debates occurred in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 19th and Charleston, South Carolina on Feb. 25. New to the debate stage in these debates was Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who critics agree executed less than stellar performances, especially in Nevada where Elizabeth Warren hammered Bloomberg for his past history of poor treatment of women in his company, and his not allowing women out of Non-Disclosure Agreements. 

The next primary on the calendar were the South Carolina primaries, the final vote before the all important Super Tuesday, where 1,357 delegates will be up for grabs. South Carolina has been largely seen as Biden’s “firewall,” as this is the first state with a majority of likely primary voters being African American, a demographic that Biden soars ahead of other candidates in support in. 

Results from the South Carolina Primary were released on Feb. 29. In the lead was Joe Biden who attained 48.4% of the votes.  In second place, with 19.9% of the votes is Senator Bernie Sanders. Following the South Carolina Primary, Businessman Tom Steyer and Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced the suspension of their campaigns for the 2020 election. 

In the overall lead is Senator Bernie Sanders, known for his ideas to implement Medicare For All and attempt to make colleges tuition free. Now that he is the frontrunner of the race, the spotlight has been placed on him and he has been the center of attacks during the Democratic debates. Many have accused his ideas as too radical, and that it will allow Trump to win due to Sanders not appealing to centrist voters.

However, sophomore Tarun Kommuri, a self-described moderate, is supporting Sanders because he believes out of Democrats he has the best chance of beating Trump.

“Bernie is looking pretty promising right now. But if Bernie drops out Trump is going to be elected again,” Kommuri said.

March 3, or “Super Tuesday,” provided a clearer insight into who the frontrunners of the race are. Joe Biden proved to be the overall winner for Tuesday’s primaries, winning Texas, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Texas, and Massachusetts (numbers are still rolling in). Bernie Sanders won the major state of California. In addition to California, Bernie Sanders won his home state Vermont, Colorado, and Utah.

The Democratic Candidacy field  thinned considerbly as Pete Buttigeg, Tom Steyer, Mike Bloomberg, and Amy Klobuchar have suspended their campaigns amid poor primary performances. Buttigieg, Bloomberg, and Klobuchar have announced endorsements for Joe Biden. Concern for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign is arising given her losses on the Super Tuesday primaries, where she did not even win her home state of Massachusetts.  

  Meanwhile, while Democrats fight for the race to the White House, politicians believe Trump’s impeachment acquittal has allowed him to gain some momentum.  Polls show Trump’s approval rating has increased since the impeachment trials. His approval rating sits at a 49% high, according to recent Gallup.

“I think the most important things would be gun control and climate change because they’re both affecting a lot of people and killing off a lot of people,” junior Pranavaa Elangovan said.

As the 2020 election comes nearer, Elangovan is a proponent of exercising the right to vote, even for unsure voters.

“I feel like that (voting) is a responsibility because you can easily be informed of all the candidates and what their standings are, so I feel like it’s good to vote either way.” 

The race to the White House is in full flight and America will have to wait until Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 to see what  changes, or lack thereof, will be made to the White House.

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