2020 Democratic presidential field notable for diversity

2020 Democratic presidential field notable for diversity

The line-up is still developing, but it’s already the most diverse in modern political history.

As of this writing, eight different Democratic candidates have either declared that they are running for president or have formed an exploratory committee with a view to doing so. Yet the field as it currently stands amounts to the most diverse in US political history.

Of the eight individuals who have thrown their hats into the ring, four are women (a record), one is an Asian man (Andrew Yang), one is Hispanic (Julián Castro), and one is a gay man (Pete Buttigieg). Put simply, seven of the eight Democratic candidates thus far are non-white, women, or identify as LGBT.

Of those eight, six have either been a member of Congress, governor, held a cabinet position or are polling at 1% or greater in the polls.

The previous high for candidates who met this criteria for a major party nomination was five, which occurred in 2016 when Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio all sought the Republican nomination.

A 2020 Democratic candidate fitting this non-traditional profile is not guaranteed, however. According to many analysts, Joe Biden and Beto O’Rourke would both have a good shot of winning the Democratic nomination if they decide to run.

Ultimately, the diversity among our political candidates is reflective of growing diversity among the US electorate, particularly with regards to the Democratic Party: in the 2018 midterms, only around 25% of Democratic voters were straight white men, according to exit polls. A majority, about 58%, were women. About 10% were nonwhite and another 10% identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.


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Paul Imison
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