The Democratic Party is sensing weakness in President Donald Trump’s chances of winning re-election in 2020 and they are trying to pounce on it. You can tell this by the fact that there are currently 15 major Democratic candidates running for President with more expected to announce soon. The field could be as large as 20 candidates by the time we reach this Summer. One of the things about this field that some observers have noted is that there is a wide distribution of ages.
Beto O’Rourke is the latest major Democrat to announce a run for the Presidency. At just 46 years old, O’Rourke has drawn favorable comparisons to both John Kennedy and Barack Obama says the New York Times. He is considered to be a rising star in the party and many are excited to see if he can win the nomination.
Another name that has drawn a lot of attention (and a ton of money!) is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. He was the runner-up in the 2016 Democratic primary losing only to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He is a favorite among younger voters in the party and yet he is 77 years old. This leads many to wonder just how much of a factor age really is in presidential politics anymore.
Candidates from the past in both parties have drawn criticism (fair or otherwise) for their age and stamina. This was a big concern in 2008 for Republican nominee John McCain. He went on to lose the general election in a landslide to Barack Obama at least in part due to concerns about his age and health. Hillary Clinton also drew criticism for her stamina in the 2016 race when she had a bad touch of illness near the final stages of the campaign and had to be taken away in a van to rest.
Despite what history has told us about candidates of different ages, it seems that the Democrats are willing to give all kinds of different candidates a try this go around. There seems to be an appeal to a lot of different types of candidates of all ages, genders, and races. It could make for an interesting time seeing who eventually emerges as the preferred candidate of the Democrats.
There is arguably no clear front-runner at this time, so it is going to be interesting to see how this kind of thing sorts itself out. We could be on board for a long primary season.