Students excited for Democratic Party’s 2020 candidates


IMAGE / Wikimedia Commons

Students are excited for Democratic Party candidates in the 2020 election.

Many juniors and some sophomores will find themselves voting in the 2020 presidential election.

Many are also excited to finally influence the policy making system, including junior Jolie Timm.

“It feels like it’s more of an opportunity to get involved instead of sitting and watching things happen,” Timm said.

Republican incumbent Donald Trump will face off against a Democratic candidate, though at this point who that may be is undecided.

The candidate whom Trump runs against certainly has plenty to oppose him on, including his stances on immigration, taxation, and trade deals.

The Democrats have many choices for the face of their franchise.

2016 candidate Hillary Clinton has a chance to get the nod. She did well at the polls in the last election, beating Trump in the popular vote by about 3 million ballots.

However, the Electoral College is the real decider of presidential elections. The electorate heavily favored her Republican foe, who won by a margin of 304-227.

Despite her campaign to be the first female president, she garnered a smaller percentage of female voters than either of former President Barack Obama’s victories.

Former Vice President Joe Biden may also throw his hat in the ring.

A veteran of the Obama administration and Senate, he has policy making experience and a respectable presence in the Democratic Party.

Cole Zemore, junior, feels Biden appeals to the youth in a way similar to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

“He knows how to talk to the youth,” Zemore said.

U.S. Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, D-Texas, a firebrand receiving support from many younger Democrats, had a good chance to beat U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in the state’s November U.S. Senate race.

O’Rourke earned 48.3 percent of the popular vote, which is great for a Democrat in Texas, a predominantly conservative state.

If he is opened up to the entire country, which is generally more progressive than Texas, he has a chance to be a front runner in the Democratic primaries, maybe even in the presidential election.

He brings a unique energy that is surprisingly youthful despite his age of 46, and he delivers the kind of cocky, educated swagger that Obama and former President Bill Clinton mastered.

Even as he lost the Texas senate race to Cruz, the tweet “#Beto2020” trended, with celebrities and citizens voicing ardent support for the potential candidate.

There is some speculation as to whether or not he will make a run at the office. Before losing his election, he said he wouldn’t go for the presidency, though later he said he hasn’t made up his mind.

Junior Jonny Conway is an avid O’Rourke supporter and thinks he relates to voters well.

Groups of youth on both the left and the right are growing to support their beliefs and agendas. I have more students tell me they will register and will vote than in the past.”

— Mr. Andy Nester, political science teacher

“I think the way he talks to voters is real authentic,” Conway said. “When Beto says something, he means it. When he grabs your hand and tells you he’ll do something, he’ll do it. He’s a lot like Robert Kennedy (in that sense).”

Carrying minority votes, such as those of blacks and Latinos, typically gives Democrats an edge in political races when more people show up for an election.

The past elections have featured high voter turnout. According to PBS, 58 percent of voters went to the polls in 2016.

Another divisive election may equate even higher turnouts, especially with a candidate who interests young voters.

Mr. Andy Nester, political science teacher, said his juniors, and young people across the country, are excited for the 2020 election.

“I think in class we’ve had a lot of topics they see as a voter they could influence,” Nester said. “Groups of youth on both the left and the right are growing to support their beliefs and agendas. I have more students tell me they will register and will vote than in the past.”

He believes the voter turnout will increase in the 2020 election.

“All statistics right now lead me to believe it will be as high or higher than the off year in 2018,” Nester said.

If the Democratic candidate can work to increase the number of voters who make it their civic duty to vote, Democrats may have a chance at regaining the Oval Office.

The battle against incumbent Trump will be tough and messy, especially with his reputation for abrasive remarks toward those he opposes, but if a Democratic candidate with enough energy and appeal to voters can get the nomination, the White House may turn blue in 2020.