Media by Tanner Rojewski

Electoral variant of the reoccurring political series, Michael’s Manifesto

A 2020 Campaign Trail

March 11, 2019

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump has served in the Oval Office for two years, and in less than that amount of time the American public will know who its future president is. With an approval rating of 42 percent (according to a FiveThirtyEight weekly poll) and a campaign trail filling with opposition candidates, things aren’t looking great for Donald Trump. But that didn’t stop him last election cycle.

Since first stepping into office, Trump has made it clear that he intends to serve a second term. One month after his inauguration, Trump began hosting his post-2016 rallies that have continued to this day. And in terms of his campaign finances, NBC reported that Trump so far had raised more than $100 million for his 2020 campaign by October, in comparison to President Obama who midway through his first term hadn’t even started fundraising yet.

The Trump campaign’s presence has become undeniable in everyday life. If I open an article on The Examiner’s news website or watch a video on YouTube, I’ll likely be greeted by not one, not two, but three Trump “surveys” asking me to pledge my support. I could repeat from memory the video of Trump asking me to add my name to the growing list of his contributors. It feels as if Trump has turned his electoral intensity from a 10 (as it was in 2016) to an 11.

No major Republican candidates have yet come forward to challenge the president in the 2020 primaries; however, prominent Republicans such as previous Governor of Ohio John Kasich have expressed interest.

Speculation exists that even more dissidents of the Republican Party are waiting for the findings of the Mueller-Russia probe to be published in June and to damage Trump’s prospects before these politicians announce their candidacies.

Considering all of Trump’s efforts to secure a second term, do I believe we’ll see an eight-year presidency? No.

According to a Gallup poll, after the 2016 election 75 percent of Americans claimed to be heavily surprised by the Trump victory, and 42 percent  of Americans said they are frightened by the news. Throughout his presidency, approval ratings have shown that the majority of Americans have never supported him, and it’s questionable if he’ll be as lucky in the Electoral College as he once was.

In the 2018 midterms, it was evident that once key Republican strongholds like Texas or Florida are now within a shout of turning Democratic. Beto O’Rourke came within 1.5 points of defeating Ted Cruz in their electoral heavyweight state.

Despite the Trump’s ability to spin the facts and say his accomplishments have surpassed even the best U.S. presidents, what he’s actually done remains more questionable. A Politifact report from last month claimed that Trump has broken 18 percent of his campaign promises – 11 percent more than President Obama.

Why are we still in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? Why haven’t we repealed and replaced Obamacare? Why does the federal government still give funding to sanctuary cities? Why won’t Mexican taxpayers be the ones paying for the wall like Trump promised? These will be the questions Trump supporters will ask at the poll booth in 2020, and without an answer they might just reply “You’re fired.”

Kamala Harris

Just one month into her campaign and the Democratic senator from California, Kamala Harris, is making waves. On Jan. 22, she tied the record previously held by Bernie Sanders for the amount of campaign funds raised in the day following the announcement of a presidential campaign, receiving $1.5 million.

The former Attorney General of California has been considered a rising star within the Democratic Party. Harris gained widespread national attention in 2017 when on live television, she persistently questioned Jeff Sessions during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings.

Harris isn’t the first Democrat to announce her candidacy for the 2020 election. She follows along the path set by Democratic frontrunner Elizabeth Warren; however, as a politician and a potential president, she stands out.

When questioned on the daytime talk show “The View” by co host, Sunny Hostin, “Is this country, after what Trump has unleashed and what we have seen, ready for the first woman of color president?” Harris replied with a thought-provoking answer: “Absolutely. When people are waking up in the middle of the night with … that thought that has been weighing on them …  they are not waking up thinking that thought through the lens of the party with which they’re registered to vote.”

So volatile have race relations been in America, that Harris’ comments present a meaningful deviation from the norm. Her stance has been that her race and gender should mean nothing to the Americans she’s serving for – what matters is her ability to serve. Some people would support the idea of a Harris presidency partially because she would be the first female and African American-Indian president in American history. According to the Pew Research Center the voter turnout for African-Americans dropped 6 percent once Hillary Clinton replaced Barack Obama as the Democratic candidate. Despite this general sentiment, Harris’ statements suggest looking past these social cleavages altogether and recognising all Americans, regardless of race, as people simply trying to live their lives.

While appearing moderate on this social issue, Harris also has supported policy initiatives that reflect the more progressive factions within the Democratic Party. She has backed Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill, supported the idea for tuition-free four year public college, and believes in the abolishment of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Though these stances might seem largely endemic of the entire Democratic Party at this point in time, Kalma Harris has strong potential to be the 46th president of the United States. As a progressive with visible centrist talking points and as a racially mixed woman, she heavily appeals to what Americans will want come 2020.

Who knows what controversies and political upheavals may come to change the field of presidential candidates in the months until the primaries, but if nothing else changes, expect me to mark the name “Harris” at the next election.

Elizabeth Warren

The 2020 presidential campaign is starting to heat up more than 20 months before Election Day. Individuals such as comedian and political commentator John Oliver have previously commented that the 597-day long 2016 election campaign was excessive; however, the 2020 election process is projected to supercede this number.

If the 2016 election, which Bloomberg called “The Most Important Election of Our Lifetime,” was said to have been too drawn out, it should then be an interesting note that the 2020 election will be longer still. The Democratic senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren, has announced her campaign more than three months earlier than the first candidate of the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton.

Since Warren announced her candidacy, 13 more democrats have joined her in a bid for the presidency. The Democratic Party is quickly filling up with contenders for the White House, and there exists a heavy suspicion that the current president will be vigorously campaigning for reelection the 2020. With all these factors considered, the 2020 campaign trail may be more volatile and important than any other.

Of the important Democratic candidates, perhaps I should start with Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. This Harvard economics professor turned senator quickly made headlines when President Donald Trump marked her with the racist nickname: “Pocahontas.” Warren has since tried to support the Native American Community, apologizing to them for the confusion her indigenous heritage and an indigenous identity.

Warren has been considered by many to come from the same radical wing of the Democratic as democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. She has promised to support the working and middle classes, which in her perspective as a bankruptcy economist have unfairly suffered. While her expertise on economics cannot be understated (during her time as a Harvard professor she was one of the top cited sources in her field), I personally don’t believe she’s what America wants moving towards the future. Though undoubtedly with more appeal than Hillary Clinton, as the 2020 Democratic candidate, Warren would be too plain and has already been too controversial considering the Native American incident.

It’s heartening to see such a dedicated and qualified candidate as one of the current front runners for the Democratic Party – it’s undeniable that Warren’s progressively liberalism will profoundly influence the party’s platform this election cycle. However, being influential and being elected are two different things.


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