Counterpoint: Should all primary democratic candidates get equal coverage?

Ava Fasciano

Abraham Franchetti, Contributing Writer

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Right now, the Democratic Party faces many of the same problems that the Republican Party faced in 2015 and 2016, choosing a presidential candidate among an influx of hopefuls.
“I can hardly keep track of all the democrats running this year,” said sophomore Marcus Freeth.
Indeed, there are four Republicans and twenty Democrats still running for president in 2020. These candidates range from the experienced Vice President Joe Biden to the quirky self-help guru Marianne Williamson.
Overcrowded debates prevent voters from getting a better grasp of the candidates they care
about because of the small amount of time that is allowed for each candidate to speak.
“It’s difficult to side with any one candidate when you have so many options, and it’s hard to tell if any of these candidates are genuine,” said senior Ashley O’Neill.
This problem has been prevalent in this year’s round of debates. In July Senator Kamala Harris [D] (CA) attacked Vice President Biden on the issue of busing, which isn’t relevant to voters today, only to say she agrees with him a day later. These over-crowded debates are a breeding ground for pointless and wasteful barbs between candidates.
Although Democrats mixed the frontrunners and lower-tier candidates in the first two multi-night debates, the higher polling candidates were always in the center of the stage and were asked more questions. Opponents argue that this restricts the ability of candidates to jump tiers.
However, the duty of a party isn’t to serve under qualified people with an ill-thought out
campaign, it’s to serve the people.
“I care about what the candidates with a serious chance of winning have to say, not the
irrelevant ones,” said sophomore Ethan Wofse.
For September’s debate, the Democrats cut the field in half, requiring 2% in three polls and
130,000 donors, which is fair. Enter Tom Steyer, California billionaire and former hedge fund manager who announced his candidacy in early July. Since then, he has bought himself a national platform using $100 million of his own money, and is the 11th qualifier for the October Debates. Steyer has no unique policy positions and no qualifications for office other than wealth. To avoid this, the democratic party needs to raise the qualification threshold, which is being rumored for the November debates.
In contrast to Steyer, who’s running because he has money, some candidates are running
solely for money and fame. Drastically under qualified people, mainly house representatives and mayors have clogged the Democratic Primary. These include Rep. Tim Ryan, Rep. John Delaney, Rep. Eric Swallwell (dropped out), Mayor Wayne Messam, Mayor Bill De Blasio (dropped out) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. All of these people have virtually no chance at winning. If the democratic party gave all of these “nobody’s” recognition, it would only encourage other politicians to run, making these primaries even more flawed.
Like every party, The Democratic Party’s aim should be to represent its voters and win as many seats as possible. Therefore, it not only needs to choose a qualified president, it needs to file people suited for a given position into that race. One of six Presidential Candidates to drop out, Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is now running for senate and instantly garnered his party’s endorsement. Many argue that Beto O’Rourke of Texas should end his campaign for President and run against Sen. John Cornyn [R] after almost unseating Sen. Ted Cruz [R] in 2018. O’Rourke should throw in the towel and do what is best for his party: win a seat in the senate. For any party, winning as many seats as possible is crucial, and the Democratic Party’s obligation to do so is greater than its obligation to represent candidates with no shot at winning.
Some people are just not qualified to be president and don’t resonate with the voters. For example, Rep. John Delaney [D] (MD) has been running for president since July of 2017, yet he has never caught on with voters. Similarly, Mayor Wayne Messam [D] (FL) is polling at next to none.
“If these people deserved attention, they would already have it,” said junior Emily Berman.
It would be a disservice to voters to give these men equal time as candidates which appeal to voters, such as Biden or Warren. If parties were required to give equal attention to every
candidate then it would simply waste the time of voters who are already indicating their
preferences. In the status quo, some candidates already only run to get attention and money. A required national platform would exasterbate this problem. Additionally, having crowded debates leads to individuals looking to make soundbites for a breakout moment, fostering illegitimate criticisms and insults.
“I wish that more time was spent on the candidates and issues that matter, and not on petty insults,” said sophomore Griffin Fielding.
In sum, parties need to listen to voters and focus on who they care about and keep the focus on the issues on hand.

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