The Political Rundown

Who’s running for president and why there are so many

Tiana Kuchta

More stories from Tiana Kuchta


As the semester begins for Blugolds, there’s another event that’s been lurking around the corner for a while now. That’s right, we’re getting closer to the 2020 presidential election. 

The most important thing to remember when going into any election is to get informed. If my high school civics class taught me anything, it is that it’s my civic duty to vote — but it’s also my civic duty to know who (and what) I’m voting for. 

To make things easier on everyone, here’s a little rundown on what has happened in the presidential campaign so far. 

There are currently 20 Democratic candidates and three Republican candidates running for president, according to the New York Times, and that’s after six Democrats have dropped out. 

With so many candidates in the running, it’s even more important to pay attention to each of their stances so we can all be prepared to vote next fall. It also begs the question of why there are so many Democratic candidates. According to one reporter from CNN, the answer is simple. It all rests on the fact that President Trump will be running and Hillary Clinton will not. 

The logic here is that, with Trump’s approval rating so low, Democrats are jumping on the chance that the country may sway blue in the coming election. Plus, with Clinton out of the running, many lesser-known Democrats feel they have a better shot without Clinton’s experience and eminence in the way.  

Though there are still 20 candidates, only 10 qualified for the third Democratic debate coming up on Sept. 12, according to The Atlantic. The 10 qualifying candidates are Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang. 

By qualifying for the third round of debates, the 10 candidates have also qualified for the fourth primary debate held on Oct. 15, according to the New York Times. If any other candidates are able to qualify by Oct. 1, there will be a second night of debates on Oct. 16. 

While we’re waiting for the Democratic candidates to get weeded out, the Republican party has only had 3 candidates put their name in the ring: Trump, Joe Walsh and William Weld. 

Similarly to why there are so many Democrats, there are so few Republicans because many don’t want to compete with Trump. As Tina Nguyen put it, “The problem … is that there are no white knights the Republican electorate prefers to Trump.”

Though many don’t want to run against Trump, the few who do have made it clear that they do not support the current president. 

While Walsh was originally an outspoken Trump supporter, he has changed his tune and called Trump a “racial arsonist” — according to the New York Times — and believes Trump has too many ties to Russia.  

Weld has also voiced his opinion on Trump, deeming him “unstable” — according to The Atlantic — and has said: “I think our country is in grave peril and I cannot sit any longer quietly on the sidelines.”

Disapproving what the president has done so far in his term seems to be a common theme across both parties, which is just another reason why we need to pay attention this coming election and get out and vote. 

As the primary debates continue this fall and candidates gear up for primaries and caucuses, I’m going to do my best to keep you up to date on what’s happening across the board so that we can all make well-thought-out and educated decisions come next fall. 

Kuchta can be reached at [email protected]