What Good Does Splitting the Vote Do?

The Democratic race for the nomination has been a ruckus so far, and we are only through two states. And these two states have failed to do what they need to do: help Americans figure out who to vote for. Historically, Iowa and New Hampshire narrow down the candidates, but now, the race goes into Nevada, South Carolina, and Super Tuesday states with no clear winner, which may spell trouble.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren are fairly liberal. They support Medicare for All with no private option among many other liberal policies, and are, more often than not, criticizing corruption in our country. And although the more moderate candidates do so as well, they do not do it to the extremity as these two. To some, this may be welcome, but to many swing voters, it is hard to support their policies.

The moderates are what their name suggests: slightly more moderate. They want Medicare for All, but with an option for private insurance. They want to increase equality and decrease student loan debts, but are trying to be wary of the boundary of government. Swing voters and Independents can relate with them more, and they may be the key for stopping President Trump from getting reelected. Yet, in order to beat Trump, one of them must win the nomination. With four major moderates, they are splitting the vote and making it harder to win the nomination and defeat President Trump.

These moderates (Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, Former Vice President Joe Biden, Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg) are splitting the moderate vote, trying to appeal to their own group of supporters. Each are breaking each other, vying over the votes of the same group of voters.

Each of the candidates have strengths. Buttigieg and Bloomberg bring a new perspective into the federal government. Klobuchar brings a sense of clarity and purpose. Biden brings experience. Each have views, ideals, and policies that vary, but ever so slightly. All would do an amazing job at beating Trump. But none are willing to drop out and take a seat at Vice President or in the cabinet.

Why is this? Because of the polling numbers. Buttigieg’s dark horse run before Iowa caused a huge shift in his momentum, helping him lead the delegate count. #Klobucharge in New Hampshire caused a big boost in Klobuchar’s campaign. Bloomberg’s historic spending is winning him support in Super Tuesday states, like California and Texas, which award an enormous amount of delegates. And Biden’s experience and diverse range of supporters are helping him poll well in states like South Carolina.

The bottom line is, well, it is a vicious cycle. The number of moderate candidates cause the polling numbers to stay at around 15–20% for each of them, and the polling numbers encourage the candidates to wait around, in hopes for a spike, like #Klobucharge in New Hampshire and Buttigieg’s win in Iowa. This loop gives two possible opportunities for it to break before Super Tuesday: either Nevada and South Carolina will narrow the race, or a candidate will drop out. If none happen, which is becoming increasingly likely, we citizens will have to combat laziness and find the candidate that supports our views. And if we are still divided, we can always cross our fingers that Trump won’t get reelected.

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