An inside look at the 2020 primary elections

Nick Meyle, Staff Writer

Turning 18 is a big mile marker in life for anyone, at any time. However, for high school seniors hitting that age in the 2019/2020 school year, one of the biggest new aspects of their life will be voting in the 2020 Presidential Election. With just over 255 days until Nov. 3rd, primaries and caucuses across the nation are taking place to determine who will represent who in what many are calling one of the most significant elections in their lifetimes.

President Donald Trump is running for reelection on the Republican ticket, hoping to win a second term and another four years in the White House. Touting the economy as his biggest achievement, the Trump 2020 Team is hoping that Americans will stick with the President and his policies, which have been extremely controversial in Washington D.C. Two other Republicans, Bill Weld and Joe Walsh have challenged President Trump for the nomination, however, have so far not been able to garner the support needed to win. Both the 2020 Republican Iowa Caucus and the 2020 New Hampshire Republican Primary were won with large margins by Trump.

Swarms of controversy have surrounded President Trump and his administration since assuming office three years ago. A border wall with Mexico, denial of human-caused climate change, pulling back some U.S. involvement around the world, and extremely controversial statements and tweets, including a phone call with the Ukrainian President, are just some of what has dominated the headlines about the Trump Administration. This has led many political analysts and scholars to describe it as one of the most polarized atmospheres in American history. In December of 2019, the House of Representatives formally impeached President Trump for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress over that phone call, making him only the third President to gain that label. He was later acquitted by the Senate in a tense 52-48 vote on the first charge, and a 53-47 vote on the second.

On the Democratic ticket, over 20 candidates initially entered to try and get the nomination, spanning from Representatives to Governors, to Senators. However, with Iowa and New Hampshire done, that number has gone down to just six people. In no particular order, they are Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont), former Vice President Joe Biden, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), and former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg. Most polls, as of February 21st, show Senator Sanders in the lead. He has won both Iowa and New Hampshire in the popular vote, however, he only carried New Hampshire with delegates. Pete Buttigieg won the most delegates in Iowa.

While all of the Democrats are running on policies of dealing with climate change, promoting civil rights, healing political divisions, and much more, there are also a number of differences between the candidates as well. Two of the candidates, Sanders and Warren, represent the more progressive side of the Democratic Party, sitting farther to the left politically. They advocate for things such as universal healthcare, tuition-free college, and a restructuring of the American tax system. Biden, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg represent the more moderate wing. Rather than massive structural changes, for the most part, these candidates support a more centrist agenda. While being still on the left and advocating for government assistance, these three are still capitalists.

With Iowa and New Hampshire done, Nevada and South Carolina are the next big elections in this process. Michigan will hold its primary on March 10th. To register to vote, you have to be 18 by the general election day on Nov. 3rd. This can be done at city hall, the secretary of state or online.