Why 2020 Presidential candidates are dropping like flies

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Carly Lundry

Seniors and former Presidential nominee Pete Buttigeg supporters Maddy Licea and Carly Lundry participate in the Iowa caucus on Feb. 3, 2020.

Brooke Goy, Copy Editor

In the span of a few days, three major political candidates dropped out of the Presidential race. This trend is abnormal from previous elections, and it’s leaving US citizens wondering: why so sudden? 

Super Tuesday happens before each Presidential election and consists of 14 states voting in the primaries all in one day. In other words, it is the biggest day in the entire race for political party candidates. This year, Super Tuesday occurred on Tuesday, March 3, and was a vote between only five candidates.

Currently, the five candidates left in the election are Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, as well as former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former Vice President Joe Biden and National Guard Representative Tulsi Gabbard. It is becoming blatantly clear that Senator Sanders and Joe Biden will pull ahead as the democratic nominees.

In 2016, there were seven candidates running on Super Tuesday. An article on fortune.com by Mike Hoffman discussed the phenomenon in the rapid dropping of candidates. “But it also reflected another phenomenon somewhat unique to the 2020 Democratic presidential primary: The fact that so many candidates, including top-tier political talent, have dropped out of the race before a single ballot has been cast in Iowa or elsewhere,” Hoffman said.

The article continues to explain the reasoning behind 17 candidates leaving the race, and doing so relatively early. One of the main purposes of dropping out is money. The contenders currently left in the race are swimming in funds for their campaigns. Even with enough support, candidates without necessary cash flow are forced to drop out.

PV Government teacher Joe Youngbauer speaks to the influence of money on the presidential running. “You look at Michael Bloomberg as an example of personal finances; Tom Steyer as well. The money allows them to be in the race,” he said. “Ultimately, to get to nomination, you’ll need more than your personal bank account,” Youngbauer continued.

Another factor in the sudden decrease in candidates is the impeachment of President Trump. Several candidates including Amy Klobuchar and Senator Sanders are participating in the efforts to get Trump out of office. Because of the trials and constant debates, the impeachment has disrupted their personal campaigns.

Youngbauer is aware of the influence that impeachment trials have on the primaries. “Candidates are going to go against an incumbent because they want to attack,” he stated. “There’s a heightened sense of that in this election because of the trial.”

Something anyone can observe about the election is the change in intentions. Forty years ago, the goal of the President was to please the people of the country through their groundbreaking policies and positive actions. In the present day, being President is more of an act, where the politician must appear appealing to the public, regardless of the situation. Debates are performances to test the sharpness of candidates, and every appearance the President makes is planned and rehearsed.

Instead of being an intimate relationship with the citizens of the US, the American Presidency has become a publicity stunt. This is clearly seen through President Trump’s Twitter account, where he posts controversial statements and updates of his policies.

For these reasons, the profile of candidates for elections has changed, turning into wealthy and successful politicians. With stakes high, viable 2020 candidates have been forced to exit the race.

The 2020 election has become a disappointment for many. Senior Bell Luebken, supporter of former democrat nominee Pete Buttigeg, feels discouraged by the vicious nature of the election. 

“I think the election is very unique due to the large amount of candidates originally, and with them constantly dropping out throughout the race, it has led to a lot of uncertainty of who will be our candidate,” Luebken said. “I think the variety has put democrats against each other, and the party has begun to lose unity.”

With changing requirements for the Presidency and chaotic primaries with varying results, the 2020 election is keeping Americans on their feet. On top of that, heavy drops in participation in the race shows a shaky future for this fall.