Now that we’ve had some time to digest - where are we now?
American elections often seem to be a mix of drama and comedy with a dash of politics thrown in to spice things up. Candidates start to formally announce their campaigns roughly two years in advance with many of the 2020 Democratic candidates, for example, formally announcing their campaigns in January 2019.
The election will really heat up when the Democratic nominee is announced during the Democratic National Convention from 13-16 July and, in striking similarity to the 2016 elections, if Joe Biden wins the nomination, it’ll once again be a battle between an Establishment Moderate and Trump.
In terms of how the election will impact the much-vaunted U.S.-UK Trade Deal, it’s highly unlikely that the U.S. Congress will approve any trade deal hammered out between Boris and Trump, even if it were miraculously completed before November, due to it being an election year.
If Biden wins, then the UK ought to expect delays to any U.S.-UK deal as a new Democratic president would be far more focused on repairing the Affordable Care Act, reinstating green measures on climate change, and fixing domestic U.S. economic policies. However, Biden’s positive stance on free trade does mean that he will still likely push for a U.S.-UK trade deal within his first term as president. If Sanders wins, it’s unknown what his position will be.
What are the primaries?
The U.S. primaries are indirect elections, meaning voters place ballots for a slate of delegates who are pledged to a single candidate as opposed to directly voting for any specific candidate in the race.
Super Tuesday is the first primary that truly tests which candidate is realistically going to win the Democratic nomination. The greatest number of U.S. states hold primary elections and caucuses, and approximately one-third of all delegates can be won on Super Tuesday. Now, it’s a rat race towards November. Expect casualties.
During the upcoming general election, voters will cast ballots for a slate of Electoral College members, who will then cast their votes for a specific candidate. Therefore, there might be a disparity between the popular vote and Electoral College vote, which is what ultimately determines who is the next president.
Some Super Tuesday revelations…
Tuesday night was an unexpected revival for Joe Biden’s campaign, which shocked political analysts across the board. The reason for this resounding success? Biden nabbed powerful endorsements from Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, two Democratic candidates who withdrew from the race. It now seems that a campaign once on the verge of collapse has been miraculously resurrected.
The biggest disappointment of the night comes in the form of Senator Elizabeth Warren failing to win her home state of Massachusetts. It’s a crushing blow that Warren hasn’t been able to recover from. Following enormous political and financial pressure after dismal performances at all four primaries, she has now dropped out of the race. Currently, she has not endorsed either Biden or Sanders.
Meanwhile, despite dropping nearly $559 million on ads, the billionaire former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg has dropped out and endorsed Biden.
Bernie Sanders won the crowning jewel of California, a state which possesses a whopping 415 delegates, but Joe Biden snapped up Texas, the other heavyweight state with 228 delegates. Given that Sanders was expected to gain a major foothold above all the other candidates during this primary, the self-proclaimed Democratic-Socialist now has to brace himself for a gruelling campaign against Biden’s resurgence.
There are technically still three Democratic candidates left in the race, but if you could only name Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, don’t feel too bad. We’re all still shocked that Tulsi Gabbard is hanging in there with a single delegate vote.
Ultimately, the Democratic nomination race looks to be a clash between Moderate values and Progressives. Democratic centrists who fear a second Trump term place their votes with Biden, who is seen to be a safer choice to fight off Trump than Sanders, who has collected young voters across the country but has ostracised older Establishment members of his party.
And there’s more to come…
There are still 12 more primaries to go before the Democratic Party must officially nominate someone, but the next big one to watch will be on 17 March, during which four defining states are set to cast their ballots. It’ll be interesting to see if Biden can also pull these states to him as he did with Texas. After that, 28 April hosts several heavyweight states, including New York and Pennsylvania.
Super Tuesday Results:
by Emily Chan