According to Ballotpedia, there are currently 24 Democratic candidates for president. And we thought the 2016 Republican field was a circus. I can’t be the only one who thinks this overcrowded field is a waste of time and resources, yet it seems like every day a new hat is tossed in the ring.
Identity politics and far left versus moderate policies have dominated discussions about this ever-expanding field. But surprisingly, there has been little discussion about the glut of candidates.
Sixteen of the candidates currently hold public office. How well are they are serving their constituencies when they’re out on the road busily campaigning for a presidency that will likely remain a fantasy? New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in particular has been criticized in this regard.
Of course, after Donald Trump’s election in 2016, one could say that nothing is impossible. Yet, I think we can safely say that the likes of John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, Julián Castro, Mike Gravel or Eric Swalwell — just to name a few — have the proverbial snowball’s chance.
Name recognition and policy influence are two reasons why some pursue the highest office in the land all the while knowing they won’t land there. But 24 of those?
And the money! According to Politico, as of April the candidates had amassed at least $120 million — and that was when there were only 15 candidates and Joe Biden hadn’t announced. Who knows how many more millions have been spent (wasted?) by now.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better. The first primary election isn’t until February, 2020. Oy!
Shana Goldberg may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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