In my lifetime, every incumbent president has achieved their goal of reelection. Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama were all supported by the voters in their campaigns for another four years in the most coveted office in the world.
Clearly, the incumbent president holds the advantage in modern elections.
The presidential race for the 2020 election is underway, and snapping the streak of eight-year presidencies is on the minds of the three Republican and 17 Democratic candidates who have announced their campaigns.
Out of these 20 challengers, President Donald Trump really only has to worry about two candidates, although voters might consider a third.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-VT, was a front-runner in the early days of the race. After suffering a heart attack and announcing the slowing of his campaign in October, the senator has begun to fade as a formidable opponent in my mind. If Sanders can’t handle the pace of a presidential campaign, I doubt he could withstand the stress of holding the title he seeks.
For me, the only candidates who have a chance of taking their fight all the way to the steps of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. are former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA.
Biden easily has the best established brand of any candidate. He spent eight years as vice president for the Obama administration. Up until three years ago, he was a regular presence in the Oval Office. It’s not difficult to picture him back there, this time sitting behind the resolute desk with a vice president of his own.
Name recognition is huge in elections. A rational voter is not going to vote for a name they don’t recognize. If a voter isn’t familiar with presidential candidates, they may circle the first name they recognize on the ballot. I don’t endorse this kind of irresponsible voting, but it is a sad reality for many, which might work in Biden’s favor.
Biden’s experience in the White House gives him a leg up on the other candidates. He stands and addresses crowds with authority. He doesn’t have an orange spray tan or funky comb-over. He looks the part, which is almost as important as fitting the part when it comes to convincing American voters to trust you on election day.
However, Warren will also be a powerful opponent for Biden and Trump.
Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Judge me by the enemies I have made.”
Warren has not shied away from conflict. Her enemies range from wealthy bankers to the sitting president, himself.
Throughout debates, Warren has been hit with more attacks than any other candidate. It says a lot about a candidate’s strength when they are the focus of the other side’s energy. I think the fear Warren strikes in the hearts of opposing campaign managers is an indicator of the threat she poses to the incumbent and her fellow party members.
Warren also has the potential to be the first female president of the United States. Voters are itching for change, and Warren distances herself from the other candidates with her policy proposals and gender.
I see Warren commanding the female vote across parties in the 2020 election. She’s a relatable former teacher, who is a self-proclaimed champion of the middle class. She’s a fresh feminine face in a sea of mostly white male candidates.
This presidential race has a huge pool of candidates who are desperate for four years of fame, power and responsibility. Most of them are wasting their time.
When next November rolls around, my prediction is that it’ll be only Biden or Warren who stands a chance at beating Trump.