The Democratic politicians who have announced their presidential bids for the 2020 election make up the most diverse presidential field ever, CNN is reporting. There are eight notable Democratic candidates who have either announced they are running or have formed an exploratory committee. Four of these candidates are women, which is a new record for female candidates. As for the men, there is one Asian man (Andrew Yang,) one Hispanic man (Julian Castro,) and one gay man (Pete Buttigieg). This means that, in total, seven of the eight candidates are either non-white, female, part of the LGBT-community, or some combination of those three traits.
In the past, the highest amount of candidates who met any number of these qualities was only three. An example of such a three are candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Bill Richardson who were vying for the nomination in 2008. This amount of diversity was only matched by the 1972 election in which Shirley Chisholm, Walter Fauntroy, and Patsy Mink ran for president. This year, however, is the first time we’re seeing the number of diverse candidates go over 50 percent. In fact, 86 percent of the candidates announced so far make up the amount of diversity for the Democratic presidential field.
This doesn’t necessarily mean a more diverse candidate will win the nomination, however. There is still Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke to think about. While neither has officially announced their presidential bid, there is speculation that they will do so soon, and it’s safe to say their large fanbases put them at an advantage. It’s important to note, however, that with the last two Democratic nominations being Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton, that the last time a straight, white man actually won the nomination was in 2004 with John Kerry. A straight, white man had won the nomination every year up until Obama.
As for why this could be, it might be due to the demographics of the voters nowadays. For the 2018 midterm, a mere 25 percent of Democratic voters were straight, white men, while a whopping 58 percent of voters were female. In addition, around 10 percent of Democratic voters were non-white, and almost 10 percent of voters identified themselves as part of the LGBT community. These numbers show that perhaps candidates are beginning to reflect the identities of the voters that tend to swing Democrat. For the first time, many people are able to see a representation of themselves in politics, which will certainly make for an interesting voting season!