The Democratic Primary season has begun with the first two states (Iowa and New Hampshire) in the book and “Super Tuesday” states tallying votes. The Primary process will finish in Milwaukee on July 13-16, where Democrats will nominate their opponent to battle incumbent President Donald Trump in the general election. (As of right now, the Republican Primary is almost a lock for Donald Trump. The President has high numbers within his own party, and it should be an easy primary season for the incumbent.)
To win the nomination a candidate must amass 1,991 delegates by the end of the process. While early, if there continues to be no clear consensus candidate, this opens the possibility to a contested convention. In this case, if no candidate is elected in the first round of ballots, delegates will be free to choose whoever they please as the nominee. With many contests to go, only time will tell.
Age: 77 Education: University of Delaware, Syracuse University Law School Former Offices Held: New Castle County Councilman (1970 – 1972), Senator from Delaware (1973 – 2009), 47th Vice President of the United States (2009 – 2016)
Strengths: • high name recognition • reputation from working with Obama, who is extremely popular in the Democratic Party • black voters will help him in the south Weaknesses: • poor debate performances • prone to political gaffes and blunders
Age: 78 Education: Brooklyn College, University of Chicago Former Offices Held: Mayor of Burlington, Vermont (1981 -1989), Vermont Representative (1990 – 2006), Senator of Vermont (2006 – current)
Strengths: • solid base of support from the 2016 campaign • huge amounts of grassroots fundraising • extremely well with young voters
Weaknesses: • recently suffered from a heart attack • little support from within the Democratic party
Age: 70 Education: University of Houston, Rutgers University, George Washington University Former Offices Held: Chief Advisor of the National Bankruptcy Review Commission (1995 – 2005), Chairman of the Congressional Oversight Panel (2008 – 2010), Special Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (2010 – 2011), Senator from Massachusetts (2012 – current)
Strengths: • regarded as one of the smartest candidates in the Democratic race • experience and policy statements have gained her the catch-phrase “I have a plan for that” • hopes to be a more palatable progressive choice to party moderates.
Weaknesses: • multiple controversies over her over exaggeration of her Native American roots • potential to be everyone’s second choice
Age: 38 Education: Harvard University, University of Oxford Former Offices Held: Mayor of South Bend (2012 – 2020)
Strengths: • seen as fresh and new in the political world.
Weaknesses: • little experience and low name recognition • poor numbers within the black community
Age: 59 Education: Yale, University of Chicago Former Offices Held: Hennepin County Attorney (1999-2006), U.S. Senator from Minnesota (2006 – present)
Strengths: • from the Midwest, a key battleground area in presidential elections • well-spoken and has a prosecutor’s quick wit
Weaknesses: • lower name recognition than other top-tier candidates • rumors of poor treatment of staffers early in the campaign, which Klobuchar has denied
Others Three other major candidates are running on the Democratic side. Michael Bloomberg (10.0%), Tom Steyer (1.6%) and Tulsi Gabbard (1.4%) are all still in the race. While these candidates have yet to earn any delegates, the primary season is long and prone to upsets and meteoric rises to the top. *Polling Averages According to Real Clear politics