As the nation heads into the new year, the Democratic primaries are on the minds of many, young and old alike. With more than 10 individuals vying for the Democratic candidacy for president of the United States and about 4 months to go before the primary elections in Wisconsin, it is clear that there are just too many people in the running for this precious candidacy. Although it is important to include diverse perspectives and opinions, the overload provides difficulty in attempting to unify the Democratic party through compromise and discuss issues in productive ways and forums.
First and foremost, the excess of potential Democratic nominees takes away any sort of unification within the Democratic party. According to Politico, polling amongst American voters indicates that no Democrat in the running consistently polls above 30% support. Those with low polling in the single digit percentages are unlikely to win the nomination and are in essence taking support from the front runners in this race. The wide range of the field means that more voters support lesser known/unlikely candidates, instead of supporting more likely candidates that they may not agree with as much, but who are more likely to end up representing their voices/values. Meanwhile, as the primary election approaches, so does the general election. Without the unity of the Democratic party, defeating current President Donald Trump in the next election becomes more and more difficult. The Republican party already has their main man to rally around, while Democratic voters are left jeering at each others’ preferred candidates and groaning in frustration everytime another unlikely candidate decides to join the race late.
Additionally, the high number of Democratic hopefuls undermines the productive discussion of issues and possible solutions. During democratic debates that last a little more than three hours, it is impossible to include everyone’s opinion in a valid and inclusive way. Even those with comprehensive plans are unable to fully explain their plans and intentions within the time constraints. This results in many issues not being debated enough and not everyone is given the opportunity to express their beliefs and opinions. With four, five, maybe even six candidates, this could be controlled, but not with 10+. As mentioned before, the candidates criticize each other and pull each other down instead of finding where they might agree on increasingly critical issues, such as healthcare or immigration policy. The high quantity of hopefuls increases competition, which causes the candidates to clamor for the spotlight in the media, a strategy that does not foster fruitful and dynamic debate, which this election cycle sorely needs.
By Emmelyn Cullen