The US presidential election will be held on November 3, but February 3, the US begins determining who will get on the ballots from the two main political parties. Then these two (the remaining candidates are more likely to extras) will play the victory. Caucus in Iowa and primaries in New Hampshire in a week is an indicator of the capabilities of presidential candidates. And the delegates are not so much important here, but rather the attention of American media, support for sponsors, and the status of a race leader that could affect voters in other states. That is why the candidates are swelling money in advertising, conduct dozens of meetings in these states. Although, American experts advise not to take the Iowa results too seriously this year, as several candidates from the Democratic Party go in close groups at once, and this “white” staff is unlikely to show the true alignment of forces in the race.
What are the Republicans up to?
Let’s start with the Republicans, for everything is much simpler there. They have Donald Trump, who is supported by the top of the party, and there are two opponents who do not have the strength to push Trump away during the primaries. Probably both of them will not reach the end of the distance.
Trump's nationwide ratings are still low, but this does not mean that he has no chance to win in 2020. Playing on a split in society, Trump is well aware that half of the Americans will be on his side only because of an aversion to the Democrats. Criticism of Trump only strengthens the supporters’ loyalty. Some experts believe that even impeachment would play in the hands of the president in his struggle for a second term.
Joe Walsh, 58, Member of the House of Representatives 2011-2013
The nomination of Walsh, who has repeatedly changed his ideology, is a reflection... of the unity of the Republican Party, which it so lacked in the previous elections. Even the hawks from the tea party movement did not find a person with a more significant name to oppose Trump. The fact is that the party almost unanimously supports the incumbent president, and therefore none of the eminent politicians decided to go against the majority.
Walsh is a special politician. Once an ardent supporter of Trump, Walsh has undergone strange political metamorphoses over the past three years and now regularly attacks Trump, considering him insufficiently conservative and too reverent towards Russia. But the fact is that Walsh himself is far from an example of a conservative politician.
Walsh is one of eight children in a Catholic family of Irish descent; it's only fitting that he becomes Conservative. But Joe went the other way, he has spent several years on an acting career in New York and Los Angeles, and then, after changing several professions – a social worker, a teacher, a fundraiser, a financial adviser, in 1996 he took up politics, declaring himself a liberal Republican, advocating for abortion and strengthening arms control. A strange choice, the ending of which was two devastating defeats from the Democrats in the congressional elections in Illinois.
Apparently, having understood the whole decay of being, in 2010 Walsh declared himself a candidate for the tea party movement and won the elections to the US House of Representatives in Illinois. But Joe has not been in the office for long, losing the re-election after two years. Then he went to the radio host.
August 14, 2019, Walsh suddenly published an article in the newspaper The New York Times, in which he justified the need to resist Trump at the preliminary stage, and according to the press, he began to assemble a team of opponents of the president among the Republicans, addressing among the first to the conservatives. On August 25, 2019, Walsh announced he was joining the Republican Party nomination campaign. At that time, the rating of incumbent President Donald Trump among Republicans reached 88%, but Walsh explained this figure by the lack of an alternative and called Trump inappropriate for his position because he "lies every time he opens his mouth."
It is clear that there is no serious support for Joe Walsh, and his donation fees are measured in several million dollars. Opinion polls, conducted in late January, give Walsh about 2.5% of the vote in the primaries. Most likely, he will withdraw from the race in February.
William Weld, 74, Governor of Massachusetts 1991-1997
Another candidate who is unlikely to reach the end. Weld's ratings are about 4%. But the main thing is that in the Republican Party he is essentially a stranger. Weld is a libertarian politician, in the 2016 elections he even went as a candidate for vice president of the Libertarian Party. Weld, together with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, he was able to gain nearly 4.5 million votes in the election - this is the best result in the history of the US Libertarian Party.
William Weld is a Harvard and Oxford graduate, lawyer, businessman, and even writer. From 1981 to 1986 he worked at the Ministry of Justice. In 1996, he tried to get from the Republican Party to the US Senate but was defeated by incumbent Democratic Senator John Kerry.
On April 15, 2018, Weld announced that he would go to the presidency. Calling President Trump "unstable," Weld says: "I think our country is in serious danger, and I can no longer sit quietly on the sidelines."
But Weld’s views are not entirely consistent with those of a Republican voter. In 2013, William publicly supported legal recognition of same-sex marriage. The politician supports the protection of LGBT rights and the right to abortion.
But in matters of finance, Weld calls himself a conservative – he calls for reducing budget expenditures, withdrawing American troops from other countries, reducing military spending and focusing American politics primarily on internal problems.
For a while, Bill Weld wrote thrillers and historical fiction. The same fantasy will be if he can at least get to the end of the primaries.
Donald Trump, 73, President of the United States since 2016
Various January polls give Trump 87 to 91% support among the Republican electorate. And this is against the background of the impeachment scandal. Only extraordinary events, such as impeachment, can prevent Trump from winning the nomination, but their probability is very small. Trump was able to unite the Republican Party, and after the confusion that reigned in the elephant camp in 2016, now there is silence and unity, and yesterday’s critics of the president from the same party – Senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz – stood up to defend him as soon as above him the threat of removal from power is looming.
Trump brags about creating an “economic miracle” in America. And makes the economy the trump card of his campaign. "He has done so much for the country: salaries are rising, jobs are being created, Americans are buying houses again," insurer Robert Adamson, who will vote in the election for the current president, lists Trump's achievements.
The president’s international politics, although not a key factor in the election campaign, is also perceived by the Americans as a minus. In the key states for victory, Trump is still inferior to the main Democratic contenders. The policy of separation of society and hostility, which the president sowed these four years, makes itself felt. Minorities and educated city dwellers will vote for Democrats, and reckoning on the white backwoods may not work. How Trump is going to win in the fluctuating states is not yet clear, because now the opponents of the president are ready to vote for anyone from the Democratic Party, if only Trump would not remain. Among African Americans, 9 out of 10 do not support the president’s policies. Three quarters say that under Trump, the gap between white and black has grown significantly.
But not everything is as scary for the president as it might seem. In 2019, he raised $ 143 million in his fund, and in general, his headquarters set a goal to raise at least 1 billion. The party works to win the president, and the weakness of the candidates from the Democratic Party plays into Trump’s hands. Surveys show that if the elections were held today, Trump would lose to Biden in the total number of votes, but he could have won most of the seats in the electoral college, as in 2016, and ultimately would have won again.
What are the Democrats up to?
Now there are 11 people in the race. Three are considered favorites – former vice president of Barack Obama Joe Biden, Senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. If one of them wins, at the time of the inauguration he will be 78, 79, and 71 years old, respectively. According to former Senate Democrat leader Harry Reid, this is some kind of "nursing home."
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has no trust, but young Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of the town of South Bend in Indiana, can become a "dark horse" of the primaries.
The Democratic Party has serious problems that have dragged on since the last election. The party has no bright and charismatic leaders. The current first faces are people of a deep age. The party does not promote new and young people. The Democratic Party is split into centrists, behind which there is a capital establishment and big money, and a more progressive wing that relies on Sanders (who is already 77). There is a real war going on between these groups. The party is leaning more and more to the left. The popularity of Sanders, an extremely left-winged politician by American standards, is growing, with young people mostly speaking out for him. It is expected that Sanders will impose a serious struggle this year, with which he will win mainly in the "white" north. So, he already leads the polls before the election in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Although Biden is still a favorite, his views on the development of the country disappoint many Democrat supporters. Biden considers Trump to be the cause of all the current troubles, which will be enough to eliminate, and everything will fall into place, and Sanders and Warren see in him a consequence of the unhealthy state of American society, a symptom of a serious social ailment. Biden promises the Americans "a return to normal politics," that is, the restoration of the status quo that existed before Trump, and Sanders and Warren are calling for serious "structural changes" and government reform.
Not all Democratic politicians are ready to accept Biden as a compromise figure. So, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said that Biden does not meet the demands of young voters, as well as Latin and African Americans who vote for Democrats. And she undertook to agitate for Sanders. “I understand why people are encouraged by the idea of returning to the good old days Obama and his vice president. It brings back pleasant memories, but I don’t want to go back to the past. I want to go forward,” Ocasio-Cortez says.
Other candidates from the democratic camp also criticize Biden, who they associate with the past. However, everything is new, this is a well-forgotten past. It is possible that this can play.
Tulsi Gabbard, 38, Member of the House of Representatives for Hawaii since 2013
The congresswoman from Hawaii has a very interesting biography, but this is where her virtues in this race end. Tulsi, a native of American Samoa, consciously accepted Hinduism, received a home education. In the early 2000s, following the example of her father, Tulsi began a political career. In 2002, at the age of 21, she won the election to the Hawaiian State House of Representatives, becoming the youngest woman in US history to be elected to the state legislature.
In 2006, after two years of military service in Iraq, Gabbard returned to the United States, where she again engaged in political activities. In 2013, she swung at the House of Representatives, and she was personally supported by Barack Obama. With the election to the House of Representatives, Tulsi became the first congressman of Hindu religion in US history, and she took the oath of office at the Bhagavad Gita.
In January 2019, Gabbard announced that she intends to run in the next presidential election. Due to her unusual anti-war agenda for the Democratic Party, which became known to a wide audience as a result of democratic primaries and relevant television debates, in October 2019, Gabbard was targeted by Hillary Clinton, who accused her of being the “favorite of the Kremlin” and suggested that the Russian side would support her. According to observers, this accusation attracted media attention to Gabbard and raised her fame, as well as her reputation as an "enemy of the establishment." Gabbard herself reacted sharply to Clinton’s attack, calling her “the queen of the war-rappers,” “the embodiment of corruption,” and “the personification of rot that corrodes the Democratic Party.”
Gabbard supports the legality of abortion, opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, calls for the restoration of the Glass-Steagall Law (a ban on investment activities for banks) and is a supporter of the legalization of same-sex marriage. At the beginning of her political career, she opposed gay marriage and abortion but later changed her mind. Gabbard opposed the policy of US military intervention in the affairs of sovereign states; she wanted to ban the financing and arming of terrorist organizations at the legislative level. In 2017, she secretly visited Syria and met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which attracted harsh criticism.
Despite the fact that Gabbard was one of the first to enter the race, her rating now is about 1%. But Gabbard in court is trying to sue Hillary Clinton for $ 50 million. Good luck.
Deval Patrick, 63, Massachusetts Governor 2007-2015
Civil lawyer, writer, and businessman Deval Patrick, although he is known in wide circles, he cannot see the nomination. During the presidency of Bill Clinton, Patrick was the Assistant Attorney General of the United States. Then he continued the work of Republican Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, having proved himself well as governor. By the way, later Patrick also worked for Bain Capital, founded by Mitt Romney.
U.S. media write that Barack Obama's entourage prompted Patrick to run in 2020. On November 14, 2019, he announced that he would go to the presidency.
Deval Patrick is a supporter of gay marriage, an opponent of the death penalty, a supporter of restrictions on the sale of firearms, claims that it "does not work", is a supporter of the transition to the use of alternative energy sources, supports reform of the health system, is a supporter of stem cell research.
Michael Bennet, 55, Senator from Colorado since 2009
Michael Bennett is an experienced politician. The son of Douglas Bennett, a former State Department official and president of Wesleyan University. At the beginning of his career, Bennett worked for Ohio Governor Richard Celeste. He then received a doctorate in law from Yale Law School, after which he worked as a legal adviser and then as an adviser to the US Attorney General Bill Clinton’s administration.
Bennett became director of the Denver public school system in July 2005. Under Bennett’s leadership, the Denver public school system has increased student enrollment, reduced dropout rates, and improved graduation and college enrollment rates. At the end of 2008, he was seen as a candidate for US Secretary of Education under Barack Obama. But in the end, he was appointed Senator from Colorado in 2009.
After the 2016 election, Barack Obama said that Bennett is one of the “most gifted democratic politicians” who could lead the party in the future.
Tom Steyer, 62, billionaire, philanthropist, and politician
Billionaire Steyer has already spent $ 50 million on elections, but his rating before the start of the primaries is 2%. And it is unlikely to grow. And after the entry into the race of Michael Bloomberg, Steyer simply did not have any sense to continue to sow money.
After the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential election, he launched a campaign for his impeachment, collecting 8 million signatures and lobbying lawmakers. Since October 2017, Steyer has spent around $ 10 million on a television ad campaign promoting Trump's impeachment. In an ad, Steyer calls himself a US citizen and claims that Trump "brought us to the brink of a nuclear war, obstructed justice at the FBI and, in direct violation of the Constitution, accepted money from foreign governments, threatened to shut down the media that were telling the truth." In response, Trump even called him on his Twitter "crazed and stumbling lunatic."
Steyer co-authored a climate change initiative with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. In 2015, Steyer joined the Bill Gates Energy Coalition. In addition to alternative energy, Steyer advocates expanding health insurance for Americans and raising taxes for the wealthy.
Soon he must withdraw and support, for example, Joe Biden.
Amy Klobuchar, 59, Senator from Minnesota since 2007
Amy Klobuchar is respected in the Democratic Party. While working in the Senate, Klobuchar proved to be a liberal politician who usually supported her party and participated in bipartisan negotiations. Klobuchar is the chairman of the Democratic Governance and Social Programs Committee and is a member of the Joint Economic Committee, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food and Forestry, the Senate Committee on Trade, Science and Transport, the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
After the start of Trump's presidential term, the senator raised the question of his ties with Russia and insisted on the creation of a commission to investigate these ties. At the end of December 2016, together with senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, she visited the Baltic countries and Ukraine, in which, according to her statement, she learned about the Russian influence on the elections in Lithuania and Estonia.
On February 10, 2019, she announced that she was running for the Democratic Party. Her program has something in common with what he did as President Obama. Klobuchar does not accept donations from corporations and advocates limiting their influence on politics.
Amy Klobuchar is expected to get off to a good start in Iowa and New Hampshire. In Iowa, polls give her 10% of the vote. However, in general, the prospects of Klobuchar are not so rosy - 3-4%.
Andrew Yang, 45, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and politician
Andrew was born into a family of immigrants from Taiwan in New York. Andrew Yang's father worked for IBM, having received 60 patents for inventions during his career, his mother was a system administrator at the university. He graduated from Brown University, where he studied economics and political science, as well as the law school of Columbia University. He served as Managing Director of Manhattan Prep, a resource development company for preparing students for testing.
He was a co-founder of an Internet company and was part of the leadership of a startup engaged in the development of software in the field of healthcare. Best known as the founder and president of Venture for America, a non-profit organization established in 2011. At the heart of her activities is the implementation of a training program for college graduates in order to acquire the necessary skills for working in startups and creating new jobs in economically depressed cities in the United States. For this activity, he was awarded the 2011 Presidential Award Champions of Change.
Interestingly, Ian cautiously criticizes Trump, without turning to the individual. And what do you think - in an environment of the fluctuating electorate, Jan has the best support rates, and 18% of students supporting Republicans are ready to support Andrew in their battle with Trump.
Despite the fact that Yang is still an outsider in the race, his support at the grassroots level should not be taken for granted: in the fourth quarter of 2019, Yang received a staggering 16.5 million donations. And the amount is growing. Not every seasoned candidate can boast of this. In Iowa, Jan is expected to gain about 7% of the vote.
Pete Buttigieg, 38, mayor of South Bend in Indiana since 2012
Young Pete Buttigieg leads the city in which he was born.
Pete was first elected mayor of South Bend in 2011 and was re-elected in 2015. During Buttigieg’s tenure as mayor, his policy was widely supported. His reforms stimulated economic growth and investment. In 2013, he received an award from GovFresh as mayor of the year.
He officially announced his campaign on April 14, 2019. Its political platform includes supporting public health with a choice between public and private insurance, protecting the environment, dialogue and cooperation between the Democratic Party and trade unions, tightening laws on the purchase of firearms, and enacting federal legislation prohibiting discrimination at work against LGBT people, combating inequality and poverty. Buttigieg is considered the first-ever candidate for president of the United States from the Millennials generation.
And since Pete is the "dark horse" of these elections and just a very sensible person, we can say a couple more lines about him. Buttigieg – a devout Christian, was baptized as a Catholic in infancy, in deference to his strict religious Maltese relatives, and studied at a Catholic school. He knows several languages. He has learned to speak Norwegian, and also speaks Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic, Farsi, and French. He plays the guitar and piano.
If Buttigieg wins the election, he will become the youngest president and the first openly gay man in office. But this is unlikely to happen. Yes, in Iowa, polls give him third place with 16% of the vote, but in the whole country now his figure is 7%. American publications do not exclude a further increase in the popularity of politics after success in the first states.
Michael Bloomberg, 77 years old, billionaire, mayor of New York in 2002-2013
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg appeared in the race only in November 2019, causing delight in a democratic environment. But Bloomberg’s nomination is just the party’s fears that Joe Biden will not take the nomination. But the insurance did not work. According to preliminary data, over a month or so he spent more than $ 270 million on political advertising. In just one week, his headquarters transferred 30 million to television channels and network video services, setting a kind of record.
But his activities as mayor of New York are highly regarded in the United States, although it was very mixed. Bloomberg carried out a number of different reforms - increased taxes, reduced administration expenses, banned smoking in restaurants, clubs, and bars, achieved a 20% reduction in crime in the city, economic growth, the creation of new jobs by supporting small businesses, increased the volume of affordable housing construction, and also carried out school reform.
But if the business side of the main city of the United States flourished under it, the poor and unprotected residents were more likely to suffer. Under Bloomberg, inequality and the number of homeless people sharply increased in the city. Under him, the gentrification of areas adjacent to the center began.
Since Bloomberg advanced late, he did not manage to register for the primaries in the first 4 states. In the lists, we will see him only in the “Super Tuesday” March 3. It is unlikely that a billionaire will be able to win a nomination, but this is not required of him. This is a kind of insurance in case of failure of Biden. And the enormous funds available to Bloomberg (he already stated that he was ready to spend a billion) do not allow experts to discount it.
Elizabeth Warren, 70, Massachusetts Senator since 2013
Elizabeth Warren is an influential politician in the United States. In addition, she is still appreciated as a highly qualified specialist in law, she is a specialist in bankruptcy. In the Massachusetts senatorial election in 2011, Warren won a record 95.8% of the state party’s congressional delegates and became the first woman to be elected to the US Senate from Massachusetts.
Warren is considered a leading figure in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. In 2014, she published The Eleven Commandments of Progressivism. She included tight corporate regulation, affordable education, investment in science and environmental protection, network neutrality, higher wages, equal pay, the right to collective bargaining, social protection, marriage equality, immigration reform and universal access to reproductive health.
Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are in the top three favorites of the race from the Democrats - this is evidence of how the party "donkeys" in recent years went into the "left" direction.
Regarding the interests of Ukraine, in her article for Foreign Affairs magazine, she expressed confidence that Washington should impose harsh targeted sanctions on Russia, called Putin a dictator who remains in power only because he keeps the powerless population under tight control.
Bernie Sanders, 78, Senator from Vermont since 2007
78-year-old Sanders stubbornly does not want to join both parties, but at the same time has long been in big politics. He calls himself a democratic socialist and criticizes not only Trump but also candidates from the Democratic Party. In the 2016 election, he made a splash by imposing a fight on Hillary Clinton. But in this race, his chances are even higher.
Bernie is a supporter of the Scandinavian model of social democracy. Positions itself as a defender of the interests of the working and middle class. Opposes the influence of corporations and Wall Street, social injustice, property inequality and the gap between rich and poor, police violence. An opponent of sexism, homophobia, racial discrimination.
Throughout his political career, he defended civil, labor and social rights. He advocated for universal health insurance, guaranteed paid leave, maternity leave; the rights of women, African Americans and LGBT people. He advocated raising the minimum wage, a fair tax system, strengthening the social insurance system, free higher education (due to taxation of bank transactions) and reducing the burden of student debts for education, more stringent state regulation of the financial sector, and reform of the penitentiary system (reducing the world's largest the number of prisoners and the elimination of private prisons), the decriminalization of marijuana and the fight against climate change.
Sanders actively criticized the Patriotic Act, mass surveillance programs, and many aspects of US foreign policy, including the Iraq war. He indicates that agreements like the NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership result in job losses in the United States and lower wages for workers. He welcomed steps towards normalizing US relations with Cuba and Iran, while supporting sanctions against Russia over the annexation of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, demanding that the accounts of high-ranking Russian officials and oligarchs be frozen. But Ukrainians should not be too happy – Sanders is a supporter of non-interference in the affairs of third states and is unlikely to seriously engage in Ukraine.
Bernie Sanders is backed by the working class and youth, who are often unemployed. Bernie demands to raise the minimum wage in the United States to $ 15 per hour, introduce state health insurance for everyone, tax property from $ 3.5 million and super-rich US citizens, and introduce free higher education for students from poor families. An ideal program for the poor electorate. Bernie's ratings say this is enough in the US. Right now, Sanders has an average of 21% Democratic support, and in Iowa and New Hampshire, he is expected to take over opponents. One of the key problems of his program is how to attract African Americans and Latinos, who primarily support Biden. And yet, Sanders won the party debate, and even some Republicans support his program.
Joseph Biden, 77, US Vice President 2009-2017
Joe Biden is a race favorite, a true mastodon in politics, but his nomination is by no means guaranteed. Yes, behind Biden 8 years in the White House and 36 years in the Senate. Yes, Obama’s legacy is still popular with the democratic electorate, and experience will allow Joe to plan the campaign with maximum benefit. Yes, on Biden’s side are party support and “superdelegates” at the convention. But Biden knows that he has a lot of problems, and he is going to the polls for one purpose – he was delegated to overthrow Trump.
Biden's problem is that he is far from his electorate. Biden is sure that if Trump is removed from the White House, life in the United States will return to normal slats. There is Trump - there are problems, there is no Trump - there are no problems. This is not just a simplistic worldview, it prevents Biden from seeing the real problems of the United States. Other party candidates say that the country needs serious reforms because Trump is only a manifestation of problems, their consequence, and not the cause.
Yes, his program is typical of a centrist democrat. But Biden is not associated with increased spending on infrastructure, public transportation, schools, and medical insurance, but with large corporations on Wall Street. His work in the Senate says that in economics he shares the views of Republicans. Against the background of Sanders, who focuses on upholding the interests of the working class, Biden defends the interests of the party elite and their sponsors. In fact, the party's supporters understand this, but they are ready to support Biden, since he is the most recognizable candidate and, according to opinion polls, defeats Trump in the federal elections.