Be informed about the Democratic candidates before the Illinois primary


Associated Press

Democratic presidential candidates (left to right) Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Mike Bloomberg, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer meet Feb. 25 before a televised Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by CBS News at the Gaillard Center, Charleston, S.C.

By Jordan Radloff

The Illinois presidential primary election will be held March 17. All Illinois citizens should be prepared to vote by becoming familiar with the different Democratic candidates and their policies.

Primary elections results in other states have begun to narrow down candidates, with Michael Bennet, Deval Patrick, Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Mike Bloomberg all suspending their campaigns during the primaries as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The results of Super Tuesday, in which 14 states voted in primary elections, have placed candidate Joe Biden in the frontrunner position with the highest estimated delegate count.

The upcoming election in Illinois will be an important factor, however, in choosing the Democratic candidate to go up against incumbent candidate Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

Candidates must acquire a total of at least 1,991 total delegates from state primary elections to gain the Democratic presidential candidate nomination from the Democratic National Committee. Illinois awards 184 delegates, with 155 of these being decided by the primary election results.

There are still four major candidates running for the Democratic presidential nomination as of 6 p.m. Wednesday: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbard. Each of these candidates has unique views on political issues that Illinois voters should be familiar with prior to casting their ballots.

Joe Biden

Former U.S. vice president and former U.S. senator from Delaware, Joe Biden has received 566 delegates as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. There are 49 Illinois government officials who have endorsed Biden, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Biden seems like he would be a clear favorite among Democrats due to his natural charisma and tenure as president Barack Obama’s right hand man, but his efforts to connect with a younger generation of voters have often felt forced and ingenuine.

Despite his lack of youthful energy, Biden’s campaign brings a sense of familiarity, and his presidency would likely be a continuation of the moderate agenda set during the Obama administration, focused on helping the middle class.

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders has received 501 delegates as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. There are 16 Illinois government officials who have endorsed Sanders, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Sanders has been highly popular among young voters. His loyal supporters have returned from his 2016 campaign to support him after watching him lose to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton that year.

His enthusiastic support base and far-left policies might prohibit Sanders’ campaign from being able to defeat Trump. There is a possibility that a Sanders nomination might inspire Republicans who view him as a communist to show up to the polls in higher numbers in order to secure Trump’s reelection.

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator from Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren has received 61 delegates as of 2 p.m. Wednesday. There are 22 Illinois government officials who have endorsed Warren, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Warren has been a fierce opponent on the debate stage, arguing about the government inefficiency yet she has not been able to gain as much support and success in primary election results as Biden or Sanders.

Her inability to acquire many delegates and her loss in her home state on Super Tuesday should be red flags to her campaign.

However, as a former law professor, Warren would be highly capable of going toe-to-toe with Trump in debates if given the chance.

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. House representative from Hawaii, Tulsi Gabbard has received one delegate as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Gabbard’s decision to continue running her campaign for the Democratic candidate nomination is questionable. Her delegate count is lower than Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Bloomberg, who have dropped out of the race, with 26, seven and 53 delegates, respectively.

Despite the low odds of Gabbard being elected as the Democratic nominee, her political views are still worth discussing.

She is a military veteran and has been called the peace candidate because of her aspirations to calm international tensions and end many of the nation’s overseas conflicts.