Democrats seek candidate to challenge Trump

The contest is in full swing. Six female and fourteen male politicians from the Democratic Party who hope to be chosen to challenge Donald Trump - and will have to convince US voters in the next stage - have faced off in two televised evening debates. Only those who scored at least two percent and have secured the backing of at least 130,000 donors will be invited to take part in the third round. How will the Democrats position themselves for the 2020 presidential election?

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Delo (SI) /

Head or heart?

The Democrats face the decision of what direction to take the party in, Delo comments:

“The televised debate of the 20 Democratic presidential candidates has confirmed the classic dilemma of the left - and of the US Democrats. The heart beats for those politicians who are furthest to the left, like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. But history shows that those in the centre have better chances of being elected, the head counters. That said, Hillary Clinton was regarded as a centrist, and she didn't win. For that reason more Democrats than usual are now saying it's time for a radical break with capitalism.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (DE) /

Shift to the left a boon for Trump

The candidate selection process will deepen the rifts in the Democratic Party, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung predicts:

“Trump will be delighted, particularly if the candidate who challenges him next year is from the leftist camp. At any rate a clear shift to the left is already discernible in the Democrats' coordinate system. But do most of their voters' hearts really beat for the left nowadays? And if so, will a left-leaning programme increase or decrease the chances of beating Trump in the main battle? It would probably play right into his hands; so much for demonising the opponent.”

The Independent (GB) /

Voters want radical change

Pitting a left-wing candidate against Donald Trump would give the Democrats the best chance of winning back the White House, The Independent comments:

“The 2016 presidential election should have made clear to Democrats that a moderate is not what Americans want right now; it was precisely the promise of radical change that got Donald Trump elected to the White House. ... Nothing less than the prospect of a political revolution will bring enough Americans to the polls to vote Trump out. A reality TV personality with no prior experience in politics, and preparation for the presidency, won the 2016 election on a platform of a radical political upheaval. Why should the Democratic establishment be afraid to embrace change?”

Helsingin Sanomat (FI) /

The decisive factor

Helsingin Sanomat explains who will choose Trump's Democratic challenger:

“In the event that the race is not decided in advance, the over 4,000 state electors will choose the candidate at the party convention next summer. ... According to an analysis by CNN the Democratic electors will be more ethnically diverse and better educated than they were in 2016. What's more, a clear majority of them will be women. That could have a significant impact on the results of the primaries.”