Election 2020: The Field Narrows

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This week, the 2020 Democratic primary field narrowed significantly as Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts both withdrew their candidacy for the Democratic nomination. Inslee’s campaign was based predominantly on fighting climate change. In fact, his campaign released a new climate policy only six hours before he dropped out of the race. Fellow candidate Kamala Harris said that Inslee’s voice would be missed in the Democratic field.

Moulton’s candidacy was founded primarily on national security. After failing to meet the requirements to be included in the first two Demoratic primary debates and lacking significant media coverage, he decided to exit the race. Moulton did not even reach 1 percent in his polling. In an interview with the New York Times, Moulton said “I think it’s evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders, and really it’s a debate about how far left the party should go.”

Also this week, former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper announced that he will be running for Senate after dropping out of the Democratic race. Hickenlooper will be attempting unseat Republican Senator Cory Gardner, who is regarded as one of the most vulnerable Republican senators up for election in 2020. Gardner’s seat is considered a “must win” for Democrats to have a shot at taking back the Senate in 2020.

On Thursday, Bernie Sanders released a new climate plan that represents the most expensive proposal to fight climate change in the Democratic field. The $16.3 trillion plan is a version of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal and would declare climate change a national emergency, build new solar, wind, and geothermal power sources across the country, and commit $200 billion to help poorer nations cope with climate change. The same day, the Democratic National Committee voted 17-8 against the idea of holding a climate change-specific debate.

However, CNN will be hosting a climate change town hall for qualifying candidates on September 4. Candidates must be polling above 2 percent in order to qualify. This coming week, candidates will continue campaigning and preparing for the town hall as well as the next Democratic debate, which will take place on September 12 (and possibly also the 13th, if one more candidate qualifies)  in Houston, TX.