The right president vs. The best Trump competitor

Emma Carpenter


When Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States in the 2016 presidential election, many Democrats were furious about his newly gained position. Despite the fact that some Republicans’ political beliefs and desires for America aligned with Trump’s, Democrats were hopeful that enough voters would see how his flaws outweighed his appeals. According to The Atlantic, in fear that Trump will become president again in the 2020 election, many voters have already decided to vote for the candidate they think might beat Trump, instead of voting for candidates that actually align with their personal beliefs. 

Voters’ idea of picking a candidate who can beat Trump is not only a flawed method of choosing our president, but hurts the possibility of other strong candidates, especially female candidates, from coming into office. For example, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who is a popular candidate so far in the election, is slowly becoming overshadowed by candidate Joe Biden due to Biden’s appearance of being electable. According to NPR’s poll conducted in August 2019, net favorability ratings actually show Warren ranked above Biden. 54 percent of the nation was in favor of Warren, while 52 percent was in favor of Biden. It’s disappointing to think how Biden will most likely be the Democratic candidate going up against Trump in the election, even though more citizens favor Warren and her ideas. Although some female candidates such as Warren are more favorable to voters, according to The Atlantic, people are worried Warren doesn’t have what it takes to win over voters in the more conservative states due to the fact that she is female. Just because the United States has never had a female president in office, doesn’t mean people should see female candidates as incapable of the job in comparison to men. Electability is blocking the possibility for female candidates to have a fair chance of becoming president in 2020.

Illustration by Olivia Kharrazi

Along with the fact that electability is swaying voters away from the more favorable candidates, it is also distracting voters from remembering what makes up a worthy president. According to The Atlantic, more than health care, climate change, immigration or any other policy, electability is what voters care about most of all. Voters do not trust other voters any longer to make informed decisions regarding important policies due to the outcome from the last presidential election. Instead, it’s easier for voters, more specifically Democrats, to attempt to replace Trump with whatever president they believe will be best at defeating him in the 2020 election. According to a recent Fox News “hypothetical match-up” poll showing who may or may not beat Trump in the 2020 election, Biden is set to beat Trump by 12 points. Polls such as these comparing what could possibly happen in the election are a waste of time. This time could be spent on researching and determining which president’s policies citizens personally agreed with most. 

Although voting based on electability has become an ongoing trend that holds unfair consequences, the position of Democrats is understandable. It is difficult to advocate for the person whose beliefs you align with when the 2016 presidential election left Democrats untrustworthy of other states and what their voting power was capable of doing. In addition, it is important to recognize that not all voters are planning on making their election decision based on who is most electable. According to The Hill, there is still a large percentage of democratic voters who plan to vote based on what contender is their favorite. Although this is true, electability is still going to have a dramatic effect on the result of the 2020 election, and is currently preventing females from proving themselves as worthy candidates. 

In order to change the trend of electability, we must go back to the basics and rethink what determines a strong president. Voters must value the ideas and policies presidents make, rather than how electable they are in comparison to Trump.