Point: Should all primary democratic candidates get equal coverage?

Emily Djohan, Contributing Writer

As the Democratic Primary heats up, an important issue has arisen;
some candidates aren’t getting the same amount of coverage as others. In the
digital age, candidates need screen time to become relevant. It is impossible
for a person to be able to voice their opinion and become a household name if
their face is not present on the news. One could potentially argue that a person
could be often referenced in the newspaper, which would make up for the
coverage lost on television. However, the coverage from a newspaper can’t
compare to the publicity from being streamed online or on TV.
“Andrew Yang is a great example of a candidate who is not getting
enough media representation; therefore, not many people can recognize him,“
said sophomore Natalie Parker.
Newton’s third law—every action has an equal and opposite reaction—
comes to mind in this situation. If a candidate receives little media
broadcasting, voters will not be informed about that candidate’s particular
beliefs. Consequently, Americans will not vote for a candidate whose values
and ideas are unknown. When voters don’t have any easy way to discover
information on a candidate, a large quantity of them might give up and turn their
attention to candidates who are already in the spotlight. Generally, voters tend
to vote based on name recognition. Political analysts have pointed out that this
might be the reason why Vice President Biden has been doing so well. A lack
of familiarity will likely lead to lower pole numbers for the undiscovered
candidate. This is a very dangerous precedent because with the current
whether or not you make it onto the debate stage is based on the polls and it
turns into a cycle.
“Why not put everyone on a level playing field, not just the candidates,
but the voters as well,” said sophomore Nicole Bonavitacola.
The debate serves as the spot where candidates are best able to plead
their case to the American people, and the only chance for low-polling
candidates to really get their name out
there. By prohibiting low-polling candidates from speaking on the debate
stage, the Democratic Party is putting a dent in our democracy.
There is an argument to be made that the “playing field” will never be
equal because some candidates are already well known due to past campaigns
or from previous endeavors. If
someone is already a part of congress, then it is very likely that voters will
already know them and their beliefs. This argument emphasizes that since
lesser-known candidates are most likely
going to receive fewer votes, then resources should be focused on candidates

that do have a significant chance at winning. However, the aforementioned
argument ignores two key facts. First, it does not acknowledge that some
candidates might be unfamiliar as a result of a lack of coverage, and this
doesn’t mean that the candidate is not a worthy one. The second thing that the
argument forgets is that popularity is not a permanent thing, as it is very
common for a candidate’s approval ratings to fluctuate. In fact, in the majority
primaries, usually an early low polling candidate wins the primary. For
example, when Mitt Romney first ran to be the Republican nominee in the 2012
election, he was low in polling but he eventually won the primary.
“I think that the voters deserve to hear about all of the candidates
regardless of how popular they are at the moment because their popularity can
change overnight,” said sophomore Abigail Kapoor.
As citizens of our country it is our responsibility to keep ourselves
updated and to assure that we inform ourselves about every single candidate.
Everyone, even if they are unable to vote, should make an effort to inform
themselves about the people who will potentially lead the country. It is not an
easy task but we, as students and the next generation of voters, owe it to the
candidates to give each one of them a “level playing field.”