The 2020 election is underway and the earlier we analyze our options, the easier it will be to make an informed decision when selecting the next leader of our country. The 2016 election provided us with many surprises. First, we were surprised when Donald Trump announced his candidacy, and then we were shocked by his victory. So we are sure this upcoming election will have many surprises in store.
Let’s start with Pete Buttigieg, who became mayor of South Bend, Indiana in 2012, and has become a frontrunner in the 2020 election. The Democrat contender could become the youngest and the first openly gay president as he is currently surging in the polls. Buttigieg, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, a Harvard graduate, and a Rhodes Scholar, has already raised $7 million in the first fundraising quarter, according to a video he posted recently. He has also exceeded the 65,000 donors needed to participate in the Democratic National Committee’s primary debate.
The 37-year-old politician gained national recognition and support, after his appearance at the CNN town hall event that left voters and donors impressed. He entered the town hall, as a candidate who was barely recognized, sitting at 1%, according to polls, and he exited, the hour-long town hall, with an increase in support, massive media coverage, and a social media following growth. Stories on Buttigieg’s ability to speak seven languages, his stance on religion, and his husband, Chasten Glezman, have generated the most interest among the American people. According to Quinnipiac University, the mayor scored his highest Democratic primary national poll number at 4%, landing him tied to Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
As for his platform, he has made it clear he wants to have Medicare for all as a public option. He does not want to eliminate private insurance but believes that eventually, it would evolve into a single-payer environment as people would prefer Medicare. Buttigieg has also discussed his support for the Green New Deal saying, in a recent interview with Stephen Colbert, “If nothing changes economically, we’ll be the first generation to make less than our parents.” He believes climate change is a national security threat and supports subsidizing solar panels.
In response to President Trump, the Indiana mayor has been open about supporting the DACA program and has discussed a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. During an interview with CBS in January, Buttigieg said he thinks that sending troops to the southern border is a “waste of time.”
Although his politics appeal to several groups in the Democratic base, the rising democratic contender faces many challenges. A 2015 Gallup poll that tested for Americans’ willingness to vote for a “generally well-qualified” gay or lesbian candidate for president found that 14 percent of Democrats and 24 percent of Americans overall said they would not vote for such a candidate. He also has the challenge of standing out among Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke and possibly Joe Biden during the upcoming primary debates. While Buttigieg’s support is growing, he faces candidates who have a strong base and national recognition.
It is still early in the campaign trail for there to be any prediction on how far “Major Pete” will go, but what we do know for sure, is that he is not your typical 2020 presidential candidate; therefore, the 2020 United States presidential election will be, yet again, a very controversial one. Are you ready for it?
By Laura Romero