The Democratic field was once packed with candidates vying to face off against Donald Trump as he fights to get elected to serve another four years as the president of the United States. The general election, which will happen in November 2020, has Americans glued to their television screens and smartphones. But, the weight of the outcome interests Canadians, and indeed, people in the rest of the world.
Now, former U.S Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders are the lone two serious contenders to go head to head with Trump as the potential Democratic nominee. The candidates will debate against each other before one of them eventually asserts themselves on the debate stages against Trump as the Democratic nominee. But, people won’t know for sure who gets the nomination for a while yet.
The Uncertainty of the State Primaries
Primary season is well underway in the United States. Although some states canceled their Republican primaries, numerous Democratic ones have already occurred or will soon. In a primary, voters go to the polls to select the candidate they prefer as the nominee. Donald Trump has won Republican primaries by substantial margins this year, and he does not need to worry about a Republican challenger.
As a candidate wins a state, he or she also gets a certain amount of delegates associated with that destination. The exact number depends on specific factors, including the total number of fellow candidates eligible to earn delegates. A candidate wins the nomination once they receive a simple majority of 1,991 out of 3,979 of the total pledged delegates.
At the time of this writing, Joe Biden had 887 delegates to Bernie Sanders’ 731. Not so long ago, Sanders emerged as the clear frontrunner, particularly since Biden had some blunders in the early parts of his campaign and failed to have a strong showing at some of the first primaries. That soon changed on Super Tuesday, a day where states across the country hosted primaries to award one-third of the available delegates.
Biden triumphed on Super Tuesday, even in states where he spent little time campaigning on the ground, or where political pundits expected Sanders to win easily. Now, the phenomenon that some analysts have called a “Biden surge” shows no signs of slowing down, and some people go as far as to say he will almost certainly be the nominee. But, the primaries can always hold surprises, and they aren’t over yet, so Sanders is not out of the running.
Voters Seem to Have Different Priorities
Sanders’ message resonates with many of the young voters. They embrace his promise of doing things differently and getting to the heart of what many people see as deep-seated problems in the United States. However, the youth demographic failed to turn out in the kinds of numbers that Sanders expected in many of the Democratic primaries so far. If people are truly ready for massive change, they’ll have to show it through their votes.
A recent New York Times article asserts that Biden could do about 12 percentage points worse than he has in primaries so far to maintain his delegate majority. So, based on that alone, it seems like Biden has the nomination in the bag. Many people who see Biden as the best choice for the Democratic nomination view him as the person most likely to beat Trump. So, a major discussion around Biden centers on his electability.
The odds on becoming the next president of the United States will certainly fluctuate as time passes. After all, November is still a long way off. Whether people have votes to cast, many cannot help but stay fixated on what happens in the country’s political arena.
What to Watch in the Weeks and Months Ahead
It’s arguably now a lot easier for people within and outside of the United States to keep tabs on how the presidential race plays out. That’s mainly because they only need to focus on two Democratic candidates, as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders are now the only realistic hopes left concerning people who may face Donald Trump in the quest for the presidency. Despite the smaller field, nothing is a sure bet at this point.
People with an interest in U.S. politics should strongly consider watching upcoming debates to get a better idea of the candidates’ main points and decide which one of them has the best chance against Trump. The amount of money raised through donations before the nominee gets chosen could also provide a sort of mood barometer regarding how confident American voters feel about either Biden or Sanders.
It’s also crucial to wait and see if COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, could discourage people from going to the polls. Many who have already voted reported waiting in long lines. That’s frustrating at any time, and especially with a virus spreading so quickly.
There are a lot of still-changing factors that could ultimately determine who will go against Donald Trump. Making a conscious effort to stay informed is an excellent approach to take.