The next US Presidential election will be held in 425 days – on Tuesday, 3 November, 2020, to be precise.
The standoff will be between the candidates of the two main parties – the Republican Party and the Democratic Party – who generally win 94-95% of the votes.
Other parties such as Libertarian, Green, Constitution, Socialism & Liberation, together with independents, usually get the balance 5-6%, and therefore do not matter in the American political system.
A POTUS (President of the United States) is allowed a maximum of 2 terms of 4 years each. Therefore, if a POTUS is completing his first term and standing for re-election, he is generally not opposed, unless he is very unpopular.
Given this logic, it is highly unlikely that the Republican Party will nominate anyone other than sitting POTUS Donald Trump for the 2020 elections. Many people may hate him and his tantrums, but the fact is that the economy is doing very well, jobs are getting created, and this will overshadow all other considerations.
The key question is – WHO WILL THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHOOSE TO STAND AGAINST DONALD TRUMP?
Just a couple of months ago, 26 candidates had thrown their names into the ring. After two rounds of nationally televised candidate debates – which I have advocated should happen in India, in two of my books, 72@72 and Mr.President…Yes, Prime Minister, there are just 10 candidates left in the fray.
And one of them has an Indian link.
55-year-old Kamala Devi Harris is a lawyer and politician serving as a U.S. Senator (equivalent to Rajya Sabha MP) from California since 2017. She was District Attorney of San Francisco from 2004 to 2011 and Attorney General (AG) of California state from 2011 until 2017. She won the election as California’s AG in 2010 (yes, State AG’s are elected in the US and not appointed) and was reelected in 2014 by a wide margin.
On November 8, 2016, Kamala won the 2016 Senate election, becoming California’s third female U.S. Senator, and the first of Jamaican or Indian ancestry. The U.S. Senate (Upper House) comprises 100 members (2 from each state), of which 25 currently are women. Read more about the various differences in the Indian system of government Vs. the American system in my book, Mr. President, Yes Prime Minister.
Kamala’s mother, Shyamala Gopalan, was a Tamilian breast-cancer scientist who immigrated to USA from Madras (Chennai) in 1960, to pursue a doctorate in endocrinology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her father, Donald Harris, is a Stanford University economics professor who emigrated from Jamaica in 1961 for graduate study in economics at University of California, Berkeley. Kamala has one younger sister, Maya Harris. Her mother gave them Sanskrit names. Kamala identifies her ethnicities as Indian and black. She grew up attending both a Black Baptist church, and a Hindu temple.
Coming back to the final 10 Democrat candidates, President Obama’s Vice President, the 77-year-old Joe Biden sits atop the field, at 30.6% in opinion polls. 70-year-old Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is second at 17.1%. The 78-year-old Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, who was Hillary Clinton’s main opponent for the Democratic nomination in 2016) is third at 16.3%. These three sit well above the rest.
Kamala Harris surged briefly to second position after the first round of debates in early July, but has reverted to fourth position with 6.6%, ahead of the young (37½) South Bend (Indiana) Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s 4.6%
37½-year-old Andrew Yang, founder of job creation NGO Venture for America, is sixth with 2.6%; 50-year-old New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is a close seventh at 2.4% and 47-year-old former Texas Representative (similar to Lok Sabha MP) Beto O’Rourke is a close eighth at 2.1%.
45-year-old Former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro with 0.9%, and 59-year-old Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar with 0.8%, are more or less going to be out of the race very soon.
There is no doubt that Kamala Harris will be in the last 5-6 men/women left standing. Will the two leading white men, Joe Biden (who will be 82 by the time the term of the next POTUS ends), and Bernie Sanders (who will be 83) be able to defeat the so-called white supremacist Trump? I personally do not think so. I don’t know why Americans do not realise this yet!
Elizabeth Warren could be the first female POTUS. Kamala Harris will be more – female, black/Indian, and 15 years younger. I also like Cory Booker and Julián Castro.
The fact is that Trump is unbeatable in 2020. All the young candidates should look at 2024. Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and probably Elizabeth Warren, too, will be too old to run a race against a fresh Republican face. That will be the real test of Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Julián Castro.
31 years ago, I had predicted that Al Gore would one day become POTUS. He was then just a Senator. Almost five years later, he became VPOTUS (Vice President of the United States). Then, another 8 years later, he nearly defeated George W. Bush (Jr.) to become POTUS, had it not been for the much criticized Florida Recount of 2000. Let’s see how close I get this time around.