The Iowa Caucus, a five-month process comprised of primary elections and caucuses, kicked off the Democratic Primaries on February 3rd. Through the accumulation of delegates from each state and several United States territories, this process will result in the selection of a Democratic candidate who will oppose Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
The original pool of democratic presidential candidates was of considerable size; twenty-eight total candidates launched a campaign. At this point in time, however, only eight remain: Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren. While many Concord Academy students tend to lean left with their politics, there is still a range of engagement and opinions within the CA community.
Hugo Marquis ’23 has felt some distance from the primaries, as he’ll only be fifteen at the time of the election. When asked about his general thoughts and opinions on the primaries, he shared that he’s seen the ads, specifically Bloomberg’s, but has not seen much else on the other candidates. He doesn’t have strong opinions on one candidate over another but did raise the concern of name recognition among the candidates.
While Hugo does believe that a democratic candidate could win against Trump, he thinks that “if I don’t know about them, then they’re probably not going to win.”
Some students, even those who cannot vote, have a more defined stance on the matter. “I think Warren’s really well prepared for the presidency. She’s well-spoken, and she cares about voters as demonstrated by her efforts to fund her entire campaign with grassroots fundraising,” a junior shared when asked about their thoughts about the upcoming election. They also shared that they actively dislike Bloomberg.
“His [Bloomberg’s] attitudes I disagree with, and I think he’s not in this race for defeating Trump. I think he’s in it because he can, and I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to want to be president,” they shared.
In addition, the student spoke to what they have seen online about him, saying, “I have seen some truly awful things that he has said about women, and he’s been really racist in the past.” Overall, however, this member of the class of 2021 believes that “In the end, we should support whoever wins the nomination regardless of their policies as long as they aren’t heinous.”
Alex B. Lee ’21 will be voting in the 2020 election and has strong opinions on the current Democratic candidates that stray from the thoughts of other CA students. However, before even stating his favorite candidate, he led by saying that he “expect[s] Trump to win.”
While he doesn’t expect Tulsi Gabbard to get much further in the primaries, he believes it’s “more mature to advocate for a candidate who I think will actually do the best job should they win rather than supporting an incompetent candidate who has a better chance at beating Trump.”
One of the reasons Alex supports Gabbard is because of “her experience as a veteran, which among other things is a pretty good indication that she cares about the country. That’s one of the things that makes me disrespect Trump: he avoided the draft.”
He also values that she “doesn’t antagonize the people she disagrees with as much as other candidates, and that’s pretty important given how aggressively divided the right and left are today.”
Overall, Gabbard stands out to him because “most of the [other] democratic candidates have pretty similar policies.” He acknowledged that he was oversimplifying, but in general, “she seems like the least untrustworthy.”
The only candidate Alex would not vote for is Bloomberg. He says that if it came down to Bloomberg and Trump, he would choose not to vote, “which would really be a shame because then I’d be sitting out for the first election that I can vote in.” He also shared that Bloomberg has “been my least favorite political figure long before he joined the race.”
As the general election grows closer, it’s likely that CA students will become even more aware and engaged in the politics of the presidency.