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Presidential race heating up as candidates are announced

by Courtney Deeren - copy editor
Thu, Mar 14th 2019 03:55 pm
Democratic stronghold With President Trump set to run for a second term in the 2020 presidential elections, his road to victory is going to be much more difficult. With over 20 democratic candidates running, the upcoming elections will not be as easy as the 2016 elections. The presidential candidates include democrats Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Julian Castro and Elizabeth Warren. Hillary Clinton, who ran in the last two presidential elections, has decided to not run this term.
Democratic stronghold With President Trump set to run for a second term in the 2020 presidential elections, his road to victory is going to be much more difficult. With over 20 democratic candidates running, the upcoming elections will not be as easy as the 2016 elections. The presidential candidates include democrats Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Julian Castro and Elizabeth Warren. Hillary Clinton, who ran in the last two presidential elections, has decided to not run this term.

As we move further into 2019, many people are looking forward to the 2020 elections coming up within the next year. A recent report in The New York Times has highlighted all the candidates, ranging from who will and won’t be running to the several who are likely and unlikely to run in the 2020 race.

Those running for the Democratic Party include Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.

Some of those names may be familiar. New York Senator Gillibrand started her campaign by saying “I’m going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom I am going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own.”

Repeat runner and Vermont Senator Sanders said “The only way we will win this election and create a government and economy that work for all is with a grassroots movement — the likes of which has never been seen in American history.” Being the runner-up in the 2016 primary, there are questions about the amount of support Sanders will garner this time around.

One name many were surprised to see missing from the democratic candidate list was that of former first lady and 2016 primary democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. “I’m not running. But I'm going to keep on working and speaking and standing up for what I believe,” Clinton said.

Those running under the Republican Party are current President Donald Trump, who will be running for his second term in office in 2020, and William F. Weld. Trump is running this campaign with the amount of confidence he has displayed over his current four year term.

“Considering that we have done more than any administration in the first two years, this should be easy. More great things now in the works,” Trump said. While Trump believes he will breeze through the competition, his party opponent is taking a very different stance.

“I hope to see the Republican Party assume once again the mantle of being the party of Lincoln,” Weld said. Weld, who ran for vice president as part of the Libertarian Party in 2016, has been very critical of Trump. Weld has even gone so far as to compare Trump’s views on deportation and immigration to Kristallnacht, also known as the “Night of Broken Glass,” when Nazi German forces burned and demolished synagogues.

While most people will be watching the Democratic and Republican Parties coming into the primaries, there are more than just the two major parties to consider in the race for president.

Many people who are frustrated with the current two party system are also watching out for announcements from the Libertarian and Green Parties detailing who will be representing each of them.

According to Ballotpedia, 581 candidates had filed to run as of March 4, 2019. Of the 581, 195 were democratic candidates, 76 were republican candidates, 20 were libertarian candidates and 12 were green candidates.

These numbers are higher than they’ve ever been in any other presidential race, and are climbing steadily. In December of 2018, Time reported that over 430 candidates had filed a form confirming their intent to run for president. Only roughly two months after that statement the number had increased by around 151.

These numbers might leave people questioning — what happens to all those candidates? When we go to the ballots there aren’t over 500 names listed. Time reported that only a very few are actually considered to be serious candidates.

Any candidate who spends or raises more than $5,000 on contributions and expenditures has to register with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). In the 2016 election, 1,777 people filed with the FEC, but of those less than 130 actually reported spending money on campaign disbursements like staff salaries, travel and campaign advertising. Of those, only 51 spent more than $20,000.

Columbia Professor of Economics and Finance Eli Noam told Time that the internet has simplified how to file with the FEC. “The internet makes it easier to file because you don’t have to write for the forms, and fill them out and mail them," Noam said. "You can just do this at 2 a.m. in the morning in your basement.”

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Trump’s unexpected success has been highly publicized, giving many people the hope that they can be the next “unsung hero,” so to speak. Throughout the course of Trump’s time in office, many celebrities have also given subtle hints that they may be interested in running for president. This includes Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Alec Baldwin and the not so subtle Kanye West.

Whatever party you identify with there are bound to be several choices going into the 2020 primaries. Unfortunately, at this time, the big party binary is the only thing attracting any media attention, leaving independent parties as well as libertarians and members of the green party to dig for their potential candidates. Perhaps if more parties were represented early in the races we could break out of the current cycle we seem to be stuck in as a nation. Be sure to begin researching potential presidential candidates and vote on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020.