Home Election 2020 OPINION: Some Democratic candidates should drop out of the race

OPINION: Some Democratic candidates should drop out of the race

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Opinion writer Zach Richards, a sophomore studying education, argues that low name recognition Democratic candidates should not have started running in the first place.

With Tom Steyer recently becoming the 11th person to qualify for the October Democratic debates, a new question should be asked about which candidates deserve to see the light of day.

Even with the recent spate of dropouts, by most accounts, the Democratic field is still one of the most crowded ones in history. Despite only 11 candidates qualifying for the fall debates so far, there are still 19 major candidates in the race.

Only one of these candidates can win, so it leads some to question what the point is of many of these candidates running. The answer is that some of these candidates just shouldn’t be running or shouldn’t have started a campaign at all.

There are two good reasons for people to run for president: either because they think they have a good chance of winning or to promote and give a national spotlight to an issue. The most recent Real Clear Politics polling averages only have five Democratic candidates polling above 5%, so the other candidates should at least be trying to bring a specific issue to the national forefront.

Already we’ve seen Kirsten Gillibrand and Jay Inslee drop out. These were candidates who, even if they never had that much of a chance at winning, still had good issues to focus on.

Gillibrand, who made a name for leading the charge of Democrats calling for Al Franken’s resignation, ran a campaign somewhat uniquely focused on women’s issues. Gillibrand campaigned on the idea that she was a mother of two kids and uniquely able to focus on issues that are important to working mothers.

Jay Inslee’s campaign had a focus on climate change. With 73% of Democratic voters saying that it’s very important for candidates to talk about climate change, bringing it to the forefront would have been a good electoral strategy.

Unfortunately for both Gillibrand and Inslee, they were never able to poll over 1-2%, and they both dropped out after failing to qualify for the September debates.

If the only people running for president were people who actually had a good reason for running, the Democratic field would already be crowded. The problem is that a lot of other people are running too and making the problem worse.

To be fair, many of these people have already dropped out. People like Eric Swalwell, Seth Moulton, John Hickenlooper and Bill de Blasio really had no good reason to run. There are still some people running, such as Michael Bennet, Ohio’s own Tim Ryan and Joe Sestak, who really have no reason to still be in the race.

All these candidates have low name recognition and don’t seem to be running on the promotion of any particular issues. These people are running what are essentially vanity campaigns. They are either running on the delusion that they had a non-negligible chance of winning or are running to promote their own brand.

Steyer, with his low name recognition, should have been relegated to the same irrelevant category as all the other random white men who ran. Instead, he’s used his massive personal fortune to fund his campaign and essentially buy his way into the October debates, despite polling lower than Tulsi Gabbard, who didn’t make it.

Overall, the Democratic National Committee’s debate qualifications are necessary in order to winnow down a crowded field, even if some good campaigns are left out. However, it’s worth considering that these qualifications might not be necessary if some of these low name recognition candidates simply decided not to run.


Please note that these views and opinions do not reflect those of The New Political.

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