In the beginning of the political bid during mid-2019, there were more than 12 folks who were in the running for the democratic candidate position. There were fierce allegations, ruthless debates, and more money spent on the campaign trail than an entire season of Hollywood starlets walking the red carpet. As the new decade is unfolding, and we eagerly are awaiting the month of November, there are only a few candidates who are holding onto the hope of taking the seat of U.S. president from Trump.
On January 2, the former mayor of San Antonio, Julián Castro, decided to throw in his hat and step out of the running. As the only Latino candidate, many folks, including Castro himself, are sad to hear the news.
“I’ve determined that it simply isn’t our time,” Castro said in a video message released Thursday. “Today it’s with a heavy heart and profound gratitude that I will suspend my campaign for president.”
It’s with profound gratitude to all of our supporters that I suspend my campaign for president today.
I’m so proud of everything we’ve accomplished together. I’m going to keep fighting for an America where everyone counts—I hope you’ll join me in that fight. pic.twitter.com/jXQLJa3AdC
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) January 2, 2020
In late 2019, five candidates left the running, leaving a total of 15 remaining. Now, Castro’s departure leaves the pool plentiful with 14 candidates who can potentially take the presidential reign from the current administration. Here is a list of who’s left and a brief overview of their current platforms:
Top Five, ranked according to CNN
Joe Biden: The former vice president is in the lead according to many national polls, and it appears Biden is the one to beat as figures currently stand. According to CNN, he also continues to poll best against Trump, which is a quality that is at the top of most voters’ minds. While many folks are on the fence about Biden due to the accusations of misconduct, it still looks like he could be one of the better choices.
Bernie Sanders: The veteran politician from Vermont and at-large Congressman who is the longest serving independent in U.S. congressional history is currently in a three-way tie with Biden and Mayor Pete for the chance at winning the Iowa caucus according to polls. On a platform of major political reform, medicare for all, and demanding transparency from national leadership, Sanders’ demographic embodies socialist ideals and wealth redistribution.
Pete Buttigieg: The South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete got a lot of attention early on for being the first openly gay candidate who has made it this far in a presidential race. At this stage in the game, he is known for his conservative approach to political reform as much as he is his queerness. Having been criticized for being perceived as “not gay enough” by liberal media, he has a large following that is as ambitious as the young politician himself.
Elizabeth Warren: Still a contender, the senior senator from Massachusetts is known for her lack of fear in speaking up about large sociological issues and addressing the misogynistic practices that are withheld in Washington. Having earned the endorsement of Julián Castro, among many others, Warren’s main focal points are dismantling big pharma, reforming worker’s rights, and reversing some of the Trump Administration’s anti-immigration policies.
Amy Klobuchar: This senator from Minnesota is the one to watch as we approach the Iowa preliminaries. She has done marginally well in the debates yet isn’t ranking high enough to make many moves if she does in fact win the Iowa vote. Her moderate views on major issues could be a sway for those republicans who aren’t loving what Trump is doing but aren’t left enough to feel comfortable with a Sanders or Warren.
“If you feel stuck in the middle of the extremes in our politics, and you’re tired of the noise and the nonsense,” Klobuchar said in a campaign ad, “you’ve got a home with me.”
While these are highlights of the top five candidates who are likely to move through the maze of politics and popular opinion, there are still a few outliers who continue to thrive and surprise.
Senator Cory Booker started strong in the first round of debates, yet has been slowly watching the gap between himself and the top five candidates increase.
Colorado is still seeing representation in the democratic candidacy pool with the moderate and agreeable senator Michael Bennet.
Hawaii congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has claimed that failed algorithms and a lack of understanding of her platform have been a hinderance to her popularity. Backtracking on former anti-gay statements, as well as having to explain her reasons for meeting with the president of Syria, are more likely reasons why the military expert Gabbard is not polling to a favorable degree.
Author Marianne Williamson is still pursuing a platform of spiritual reform, and environmental activist and hedge fund executive Tom Steyer is still hanging in there.
Andrew Yang, entrepreneur and businessman who is focused more on economy than public policy, has embarked on a write-in campaign, as he recently did not qualify for the Ohio election due to a mistake in paperwork.
Former Governor Deval Patrick and former Congressman John Delaney have not seen much support despite their campaign efforts.
While the pool is still large, and the daily debacle of the Trump Administration continues to put the country in compromising positions, it is too soon to tell which way the pendulum will swing. Whether it’s republican, democrat, independent or Sanders, Buttigieg, Biden, the political circus will continue to play out until election day in November determines our future for the next four years.