Hillary Clinton has been the frontrunner and presumed favorite to win the Democratic Party nomination for President. So far several people have decided to run and challenge her.
One is Martin O’Malley the former governor of the state of Maryland. So far he has not gotten any traction and it is our guess that his aim is for the Vice President position and later for President.
Another is Lincoln Chafee a former senator and governor of the state of Rhode Island. Interestingly, when he was a senator, he was Republican. Some have described him as a Nelson Rockefeller Republican. So far, he too hasn’t gotten much traction.
Jim Webb, a former senator from Virginia was the first to anounce an exploratory committee but just decided to declare. However, he has little name recognition and has a long way to go on the fundraising front.
The final challenger to Clinton could be formidable. He is Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont. He recently spoke in front of the largest crowd so far of any candidate running. Over 10,000 people showed up to hear him speak in Madison, WI.
Some say that Hillary Clinton is the strongest front runner of any candidate in history who wasn’t an incumbent. She has experience as a senator and then as Secretary of State, plus the unusual experience of having been married to a President. However, Bernie Sanders could pose problems for the following reasons. ( The Huffington Post had an interesting article on this.)
Because of Sanders length of service in the Senate, he has a more substantial legislative history than any of the Republicans he would have to run against if he won the nomination.
A majority of Americans are on the side of the Democrats on a majority of issues from economic to immigration to climate change to gay marriage. If the issues that Sanders has pushed for over the years such as trade, the federal budget and middle class economics, resonate with voters in this election, then he will have a good chance. If you count all the electoral votes of states that are leaning Democratic, or are likely or safely Democratic then only 23 out of 85 toss up votes are needed to win.
This means that Bernie Sanders can stay true to his pricipals and beliefs and doesn’t have moderate or change them to appeal to conservatives. People for a while have been saying the Democrats had to use realism instead of progressive values to be able to win. Because of changes in the electorate, this seems to be much less the case and could leave Clinton in an outmoded paradigm.
Sanders is on 6 committees in the Senate and on many issues has more experience than Clinton or any of the Republican candidates.
Sanders beliefs haven’t changed over the years based on polling. He has stuck to his beliefs and has been fighting for the middle class and the poor for many years.
Despite Hillary’s war chest and fund raising capability, any more emails on Benghazi or other issues could really cripple Hillary and boost Bernie Sanders position. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.