I know it’s way early, but at the moment, Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders are the front runners to win the Democratic nomination. They are the two that did the best in Iowa and so far, they’re pulling the best in New Hampshire ahead of Tuesday’s primary. To me and many others, both have serious hurdles to overcome if they are to face Donald Trump in the general election.
For Buttigieg, he has the obstacle of being gay, which could turn off a sizeable portion of the electorate as well as being the mayor of a small city. As for Sanders, him being labeled a socialist is bound to scare off a lot of voters. Especially with the perception that the economy is doing well.
Both have their strengths. I feel Buttigieg has a very likable personality and connects well with voters while Sanders says a lot of things that resonate with voters like free health care, doing more for the middle class, etc. So it’s not like they’re doomed to lose if the face Trump. It’s just that they have their hurdles to overcome.
Joe Biden has plenty of hurdles to overcome starting with the fact that his name was connected to the impeachment inquiry. Even though I don’t believe he deserved to be brought into it, the fact of the matter is he’ll have to sell a certain portion of voters that he didn’t do anything illegal or wrong in Ukraine. On top of that, Biden was Obama’s vice president and you have some who don’t want to relieve the Obama era. Lastly, Biden is known to gaff and say stupid things. There’s a lot of soundbites out there of him that make him look like batty.
On the flip side, Biden is the most experienced of all the candidates have been a vice president for eight years, has the ability to be a really good debater, and on top of that, there are a lot of Americans who loved Obama. So it’s not like being connected to Obama is all bad. For some voters, that’s a good thing.
Then there’s everybody else. Of the rest of the field, the candidate who I feel has the best shot to beat Trump (better than the names I mentioned above) is Amy Klobuchar. There are four reasons why I think she has the best shot to beat Trump:
#1. Klobuchar is perceived as moderate. I think more progressive Democrats like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will scare off voters who are afraid of socialism. Even though I know Sanders is a “Democratic Socialist”, he still identifies as a kind of socialist. I think more voters are likely to vote for someone who they feel is moderate, not radical, and more safe. Klobuchar fits that bill.
#2. Klobuchar has ties to the Midwest. The Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania) will likely be the states that decide this next election. I think Klobuchar will be able to win swing voters in those states and connect with them because she is one of them. She’s a native of Plymouth, Minnesota and knows what that demographic cares most about because after all, she is one of them.
#3. Trump doesn’t really have a beef with her. Trump had an easy time beating Hillary Clinton (I say easy though he got crushed in the popular vote) because there was all this Clinton fatigue and anti-Hillary sentiment across the country. From the e-mails to Benghazi to the fact that her husband is Bill Clinton, there was plenty of ammunition for Trump to use against Hillary. Even if it wasn’t well-founded on reason or truth. Trump can go after Biden for his alleged corruption in Ukraine (bogus, but Trump’s voters don’t know that), Bernie for his socialism, and don’t think Trump is afraid to use the gay card if needed to beat Buttigieg. There’s no limit to how low he’ll go. With Klobuchar, I don’t really see what he could go after her other than her being boring. But that’s pretty much it.
#4. Klobuchar has a lot of experience. She’s been a U.S. Senator in Minnesota since 2006, so she can play the experience card. After having an inexperienced person in the White House for the last four years, being experienced in government should be a plus for her. She’ll be able to tell voters that she knows what she’s doing and has a long record that they can trust.
The bottom line is I feel of all the candidates out there, Amy Klobuchar has the best chance to beat Donald Trump IF she wins the nomination. She’s surging in the polls and appears to be gaining traction. I’m curious to get your thoughts. Do you feel one of the other candidates I mentioned has better odds at beating Trump? Or is there someone I left out (e.g. Tom Steyer) that you feel has the best shot?
(Photo credit: Allegra Boverman/New Hampshire Public Radio)