The 2016 primary saw an unprecedented amount of Republicans jump into what was a wide open race. It was long, grueling and interesting and the results shook the United States and the world. This year’s primary looks similar but this time it’s the Democrats who are jumping in in crazy numbers. At the time of this post there are twelve who have already announced their bids for the nomination and another fourteen who have said they are thinking about running. That’s a lot.
Recently, Democrat primaries have been small curated affairs with a few or simply just a couple of hand chosen candidates vying for a spot in the general. This time around, everyone wants a piece of President Trump and the field is filling up fast. The GOP fielded thirteen substantial candidates last cycle and if the current trend holds then the Democrats are going to field far more than that.
This will be interesting for a few key reasons. First, if we divide the total electorate into all the candidates roughly evenly then each candidate is only going to get about 7% of the vote share. This means that those running in the middle of the pack are going to be scrapping for one or two points to try and stay in it come primary time. In some states that’s going to mean a few hundred people. That level of competition is going to breed some TV worthy moments guaranteed.
Secondly, the internal debate that has been raging in the party between left and center is going to be put on display for the world to see. The Sanders vs the Bidens vs the Hickenloopers vs the Bookers. They’re all going to stand up and say their version of Democrat ideals is the best, all while Pelosi and Schumer watch from the wings. The split between hard left and left of center is going to grow and it’s going to get nasty in the process.
Finally, we have the unpredictability feature. In 2016 many said it was the strongest field of GOP candidates in a generation and somehow against all odds Donald Trump emerged last man standing. With the margin of error so small, we could see something similar happen in the Democrat primary. While the media are focused on people like Harris and Sanders, keep an eye on some of the lesser known names. Right now the field is wide open and no one is sure whose going to come out on top.
Yes, for the first time in decades this will be a highly entertaining and wild primary for liberals and conservatives alike. Election season will be in full swing in a few weeks time and I highly encourage everyone to watch.