The 2020 election seems distant, but with the midterms right behind us, the time has come to think about the next national election. Both parties would like to have a better presidential candidate this time around, but with Donald Trump as the Republican incumbent, the Democrats are the only ones with a choice here. So who should the party put forward?
The first names we have to put forward are clear: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. As the only two real competitors of the 2016 election, you may assume the Democrats would go back to one of these two. However, Clinton has not stated for certain whether she will be running again. The fact that she lost to Trump by electoral college votes, and that she was often publicly considered the most hated presidential candidates of all time, will likely deter the party from putting her up again in what seems like a very uphill battle.
Sanders, on the other hand, presents other issues. Bernie Sanders is a unique case in American government, as he is technically an independent, not a Democrat or Republican. However, his views largely align with the Democratic Party, and he caucuses with them. His liberal views tend to be perceived as extreme, considering his stance as a democratic socialist, which can cause him to alienate himself from his Democratic peers. Sanders was still a popular candidate in 2016, especially among millennials, so a successful 2020 campaign is not too far out of the question.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are far from the only Democratic options though. The list of people running is a long one and will certainly be narrowed down once 2020 nears. Notable candidates include former Vice President Joe Biden, business man Michael Bloomberg and founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerburg. While the legitimacy of these campaigns remains to be seen, a candidate I certainly believes to have a real chance is Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas.
O’Rourke gained national recognition after he nearly defeated Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate race. A Democrat coming this close in a state that has been deep red for decades is truly remarkable. He ran a very positive race, too. He didn’t criticize Trump or Cruz, but instead he ran based on his policies and using down-to-earth and inexpensive methods of campaigning. He acts civilly in debates, refuses to run a negative campaign and doesn’t accept large sums of corporate money; instead he uses small donations to fund his campaign. He has certainly gained my respect for being a breath of fresh air in the political world.
While there are many possibilities for the 2020 election, I think Beto O’Rourke offers the most hope for the Democratic Party and for this nation.