The 2020 Democratic presidential race has been a rollercoaster. Particularly, the televised debates that continuously shifted the race. Let’s take a look back at some of those moments that defined the fight to The White House. Being a political junkie, I find myself glued to every dramatic moment that continues to come out of this election. One of those early moments occurred during the second night of the first debates. The night started off seldom with many expecting it to be a repeat of the night before but that changed the moment Senator Kamala Harris interjected on the topic of race. Harris took the moment to confront former Vice President Joe Biden about his praising of segregationist senators. The moment went on to raise Harris’ political momentum and the following day she rose up to second place in national polling averages. The next contentious debate moment came in January 2020 when Senator Elizabeth Warren confronted Bernie Sanders. According to reports, Sanders told Warren in a private meeting that a woman could never beat President Donald Trump and win the election. The issue came up during the debate after Warren pressed Sanders about his comments. After the debate, footage of Warren and Sanders having an argument onstage was released without audio. We later found out that Warren said to Sanders “You called me a liar on national television?” to which Sanders replied with, “Let’s speak about it later.” This was a shining moment for Warren and the beginning of the end for the Bernie Sanders campaign. I nearly forgot about this next contentious debate moment, but it took place in November 2019. So, we are doing a little rewind. This moment came about after U.S Representative and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard went on TV and promised to confront Kamala Harris for her record as a prosecutor. Gabbard was upset that Harris confronted Biden in the previous debate and felt like Harris’ record should also come into the conversation. When the time came, Gabbard brought up Harris’ record as California Attorney General and District Attorney of San Francisco. Gabbard claimed Harris blocked evidence that could have freed a man from death row, kept people in prison beyond their sentences, and fought to keep a cash bail system in place. Kamala responded by saying she was proud of her work. These are a few debate moments that have stayed with me and I think played a big part in the election.
There have been numerous theories and claims on why most Democratic candidates failed to win the nomination for President. Some lacked political experience while others failed to raise momentum that was expected. Let’s take a look at two candidates whose run for president fizzled out and one who will face President Donald Trump in November. Let’s start with Bernie Sanders. Sanders is no stranger to Presidential elections. Many remember him as a close second to Hilary Clinton in the 2016 election and he has consistently been ranked a favorite amongst young voters. Sanders started his campaign as a frontrunner alongside former Vice President Joe Biden but in just a few months, the media and political polls pegged Sanders as the presumptive nominee. Sanders stride would continue as he began getting major endorsements from popular progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. However, his campaign would come to a screeching halt after results for Super Tuesday came in. It became clear that voters wanted Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee to face Donald Trump in the November election. Now let’s talk about Kamala Harris. Senator Harris announced her run for presidency in early 2019 to a crowd of over 20,000 supporters in her hometown of Oakland, California. With an impressive background in politics and being the second African American woman elected to the U.S. senate, Harris was seen as a top contender with new ideas. Harris’ name recognition picked up after the first round of debates when she confronted Joe Biden. After this, many began to see possibility of a woman going toe to toe with Donald Trump. However, Harris’ campaign began trailing when she was confronted about her record as a federal prosecutor and she failed to raise funds to keep her campaign going. Let’s move on to the now presumptive nominee, Joe Biden. Biden entered the race as the frontrunner and had a target on his back from the beginning. After months of countless mishaps and failure to reach new young voters, Biden’s campaign was thought to be dead. This changed on the night of Super Tuesday when Biden won 10 out of the 14 key states and continued to soar in subsequent states. Many attributed his sweeping win to endorsements from dropped out candidates like Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar. As well as Representative Jim Clyburn, who is highly influential in South Carolina politics. Now that Biden is the presumptive nominee, we can expect him to face Donald Trump in the general election.
Joe Biden’s decades of experience in politics, including serving as Vice President during the Obama administration has helped cement his place as the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee.
With major popularity amongst young voters, Bernie Sanders has been a key figure in pushing the Democratic Party in a more progessive direction. However, history seemed to repeat itself with Sanders only making a close second in the 2020 presidential race.
As the only African American woman in the 2020 presidential race, Kamala Harris made waves early on after shining in the first Democratic Debate and pushing for progressive policies. Unfortunately, Harris failed to raise enough momentum and was one of the first candidates to end her campaign for president.