• Civics Junkie

2020 Race - Bring on the Republicans

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

Up until now, the Democratic Presidential Candidates have been getting all the buzz. This summer, the Republican field has expanded 3-fold, so it’s the perfect time to introduce President Trump’s competition for the GOP nomination.


Bill Weld, Republican Candidate

Bill Weld is a 74-year-old former Massachusetts Governor. Originally registered as a Libertarian, he changed his party affiliation in 2019 to Republican shortly before his April entry into the GOP race. For the sake of summary, he is a centrist that wields fiscally conservative, yet moderately progressive policies. In the past, he has supported Democrat Barack Obama in 2008, Republican candidate Mitt Romney in 2012 and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 – but primarily because she was “not Donald Trump”.


His progressive policy views extend to the support of abortion rights and early advocacy of same sex marriage support. He has also been a supporter of the legalization of marijuana since 1992. To date, he has not received any money from political PACs and is running on a VERY adamant “NEVER TRUMP” rhetoric.



Joe Walsh, Republican Candidate

Joe Walsh is a 75-year-old Tea Party Republican and former congressmen from Illinois. He is a conservative candidate that is running on an extreme right platform regarding social spending and defense. His platform consists of reducing the size of the government, securing the boarder, restricting executive power and shrinking the national debt.


Fellow conservatives that hate Trump will love Joe Walsh regardless of whether they are Republican, Independents or Libertarians. He receives significant support from retirees and will likely not fare well with those that love President Trump. He has received a fair amount of criticism and media attention over racist slurs from his past, but has since recanted and apologized.



Mark Sanford, Republican Candidate

Mark Sanford is the most junior of the Republican candidates at 59 years old. He is the former governor of South Carolina and is the most recent Republican to enter the 2020 Presidential race. He is running on a platform emphasizing conservative economics. His lead messaging pushes tighter control of the national debt ceiling, conservative political culture and reinstating humility into the White House. He is also proposing an Obamacare Replacement Plan for healthcare rather than Medicare for all.


For the most part, Sanford appeals to Libertarians, fiscal conservatives and NEVER TRUMP supporters. His aggressive rhetoric toward the incumbent president would not fare well with current Trump supporters and thus he would likely not detract from Trumps existing support base.


Sanford is not without controversy, though. President Donald Trump referred to Sanford as “Mr. Appalachian Trail” in a tweet, referencing a 2008 marital indiscretion where the former governor told staff he was hiking the Appalachian trail and was later found in Argentina with his mistress, whom he later married.


With all of these candidates running against President Trump in the GOP race, it’s interesting that just this week, 4 states (AZ, KS, NV, SC) cancelled their GOP primaries stating that Trump was a lock and it was a waste of money and resources to pursue a primary in their state.


President Trump’s approval rating nationwide is currently at 41.8%, the second lowest median rating by any president since Truman. With that being said, his nomination for the GOP candidacy is not locked in by any means and it may be a bit premature to cancel any primaries.



Rather than cancelling primaries, perhaps the GOP should pool their resources to draw new voters to the party. These three new candidates bring differing perspectives to the party and allow Republicans that find Donald Trump polarizing an opportunity to support the party again. Primaries or a debate even, bring the Republican party back into limelight and create content for discussion, comparison and energize the party’s presence with new voters.


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