State of the Democratic Primary


By Quinton D. Howard

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The Republican Primary has been capturing all of the attention with multiple high-profile candidates. However, there is another primary progressing on the other side of the political spectrum. The first debate between the Democratic presidential candidates is set to take place on October 13 and will feature Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee.

Universally, Hillary Clinton is the favorite to win the Democratic Primary and is currently polling the strongest but there has been an increasingly positive surge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders is a long-time advocate for social reform.

Thus far he has campaigned on subjects of income inequality, tax reform, student loan reform, equality for women, and the abuses of the government. The Senator from Vermont is closing the margin between him and Clinton and the debate will be revealing of where the two candidates stand on certain issues.

Clinton is widely recognized as a moderate Democrat while Sanders has described himself as a Democratic Socialist. The other three candidates, Webb, Chafee, and O’Malley are polling poorly. At this time, the race is clearly between the former First Lady and Secretary of State, and Sanders.

It has been suggested that the margin between Clinton and Sanders is closing due to the email scandal that placed an asterisk on Clinton’s campaign.

It is believed that her own party would like a strong alternative if she is unable to complete her campaign for whatever reason. In a recent interview with “60 Minutes,” President Barack Obama called Hillary’s use of a private email server a “mistake.”

However, President Obama also stated that “[Hillary Clinton] did not endanger national security.”

Vice-President Joe Biden is supposedly being pressured to run for office and is actually polling relatively well without even announcing a bid for the candidacy. Biden is not expected to participate in the first Democratic debate and there is only speculation to determine if he will campaign to be America’s 45th President.

If the polling is dissected, Hillary Clinton’s numbers on trustworthiness have declined and young people are giving their support to Bernie Sanders. Trustworthiness and honesty are two aspects that are traditionally crucial in any election. In both of Obama’s campaigns, he polled higher on trustworthiness and honesty than John McCain and Mitt Romney. The importance of obtaining support from young people is crucial.

However, history concludes that young people are far less likely to participate in the primaries than in the general election. Bernie Sanders has been drawing great crowds at his rallies, which have been capturing headlines, and Hillary has been somewhat less expressive here lately.

As the primary progresses expect a theme of an increasing distance from President Obama. As always candidates have to show their individualism as a presidential candidate and that includes expressing disagreement with the president (same party or not) on particular matters. This notion is harder for the candidates that share the same political party as the standing president.

It may not be as “entertaining” as the Republican Primary, but the Democratic Primary has been interesting in its own right.

Does the “Email Scandal” have enough legitimacy to tarnish Hillary Clinton? Can a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist (Bernie Sanders) win an American presidential nomination? Will Joe Biden join the campaign?

Will any of the other three candidates gain more support from the masses?

Many questions with many answers are sure to come.

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