Democratic Candidates: Timeline

At one point, there were over a dozen Democratic candidates running for President, now there are three. Some virtual unknowns like Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard, others with strong name recognition like Michael Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren were all once in the running for President, but after gaining little to no traction most have dropped out of the race. 

Senators Kristen Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Corey Booker, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, are just a few names of what would be many candidates who entered and then exited the race for the Democratic nomination.

 Many of the initial candidates dropped out long before the first caucus in Iowa. Candidates drop out because they have difficulty raising money which is needed for advertising and staff support in order to increase their name recognition in the states with early primaries and caucuses. They need to increase their name recognition in order to do well in polls which in turn results in an increased ability to raise money, and the cycle continues. 

Many of the debates required candidates to reach a certain threshold of fundraising support and polling numbers in order to be eligible to participate in the debate. Candidates that persevered into the beginning of 2020 ended up not doing well enough with specific voter categories such as persons of color, young people and women, in the first few caucuses and primaries, which lead them to be seen as “unelectable” in the general election which in turn results in difficulty raising money, which makes it harder to increase their name recognition and subsequent “electability”. 

Since last May candidates have been dropping in and out of the race. Many joined the race because they felt someone needed to stop Donald Trump and they believe that person was themself. Others who entered the race, later on, joined because they felt the person who they agreed with most was not doing a good job getting their message out and connecting with voters, particularly people of color and young people. 

Bloomberg is one example of a candidate who entered the race because he felt the candidate he was supporting was not having a strong showing. Initially, Bloomberg was an avid supporter of Joe Biden, but once Biden started losing ground Bloomberg decided he needed to enter the race himself, as he believed someone with moderate views would have the best chance of beating Donald Trump in the general election.

Some candidates like Amy Kloubacher and Pete Butteigeg left the race right before Super Tuesday. They already knew from polling results that they would not do well on Super Tuesday and instead decided to endorse a candidate whom they felt would do the best against President Donald Trump, hoping their endorsement would lead their supporters to vote for Biden. After Super Tuesday the majority of the remaining candidates such as Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren dropped out. Once Bloomberg dropped out after Super Tuesday he endorsed Joe Biden. Many former rivals, such as Harris and Booker have also recently endorsed Biden, as they all feel Bernie Sanders is too progressive to draw voters away from Trump and that Biden could lead the country into a better direction. 

After Super Tuesday, with so many candidates having dropped out, there are only two main Democratic candidates left, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Sanders, who is much more progressive, promotes ideas like universal health care and universal higher education.

 Joe Biden is more of a moderate candidate who emphasizes wanting to continue the platform of the Obama administration, such as maintaining and strengthening the Affordable Care Act. Both candidates do agree on a multitude of other things and they both definitely have one common goal, beating Donald Trump in November. 

Throughout the last two years, there have been over a dozen candidates for the Democratic Nominee for President. Some were candidates for 3 months and some for more than a year and a half! Even though all the candidates ran with a different platform they all had one unifying reason for running for President, they thought they had the best chance of beating Donald Trump and restoring Democratic values in the White House.

 The goal of all of these candidates was to share their vision of how they would help Americans. Since all but three have now dropped out, we have to wait to see who will be nominated at the Democratic National convention in Milwaukee in July, and then possibly elected President in November, to see if their ideas and vision will become implemented into American society.