Patrick enters Democratic race, adds to number of presidental hopefuls

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With the Iowa Caucus less than 80 days away, former Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick has started a last minute campaign as a 2020 democratic nominee with hopes of being an alternative moderate vote.

Patrick unexpectedly started his campaign last week, despite announcing last year that he wouldn’t run for president in 2020. Regardless of previous decisions of not entering the race, he hopes to deliver to the American people, according to his Twitter account.

Because of late entries to the race, front runners could be displaced due to the wealth and past political involvement of the newly joining candidates, according to the New York Times due to strong ties with former President Barack Obama, Joe Biden is heavily relying on black voters for some of the districts that are tied closely with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, especially in New Hampshire. Politico has speculated that because of Patrick being the second black governor to be elected since Reconstruction also with ties to Obama, Biden could lose a lot of black voters. Patrick’s popularity could change the positions of candidates within the polls. 

According to a poll by the New York Times, Biden is polling at 25% and is currently the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, with Warren close behind him with 19%. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is in third, polling at 17%, and farther behind is South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg in fourth place with 8%.

Warren was a rising challenger to Biden, and as Warren’s poll numbers go down, it seems Sanders and Buttigieg are gaining support. The placement of candidates within the polls were more clearly defined early on, but experienced candidates joining the race late could spread votes to more candidates.

Sanders visited Fresno, California for a college rally at Fresno City College encouraging students to help end the student loan crisis.

“Thank you Fresno! It is great to be back in California. Together, we are going to defeat Trump and pass a Green New Deal to address the climate crisis and create 20 million jobs,”said Sanders on Twitter.

Biden had his first rally after the school shooting in Santa Clarita and spoke about the disgust that he had for gun violence in America.

What does that say about our soul? … I’m so tired about people talking about your prayers. Damn it, we have to protect these kids. We have to do it now,” said Biden, according to the LA Times.

Grace Laverriere, a freshman at Suffolk, commented on how she has changed her mind on Biden leading the polls.

“When I first heard Joe was running I was excited because I enjoyed him as vice president but now it’s a little bit scary because I don’t think that is what the country needs right now,” she said. “I think it would be scary considering what he will be up against.”

Although late to enter the race, Patrick isn’t the only candidate jumping in. Billionaire and former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, will possibly join the ballot of 18 Democrats this week. 

Patrick and Bloomberg are both moderate Democrats, but Patrick is specifically focusing on bringing people together, rather than just getting President Donald Trump out of office. In his recent announcement video on his website, Patrick said his message is building a “better, more sustainable, more inclusive American dream for the next generation,” similar to the other candidates running. 

Because of the late start to campaigning, Patrick will have to fundraise quickly to be on the same track as other candidates according to the New York Times. Unlike Bloomberg, who Forbes estimates is worth $53.4 billion, Patrick will rely heavily on fundraising rather than individual contributions. 

Logan Casey, a senator at-large in Suffolk’s Student Government Association, commented on the fact that Patrick and Biden don’t value social change and diversity as much as the Suffolk Community does. 

“For me personally leading into this election, I want someone that is far left,” Casey said. “It hurts to know that people outside of Suffolk, as inclusive and diverse Suffolk is, or as much as we try to be a strong community around supporting others, seeing what’s going on really sets back what we are doing as a community.”

As for the other candidates, Warren announced her plan for transitioning into a Medicare-for-all program within the United States according to her political page.

My plan to pay for #MedicareForAll will cover everyone, cost less, and put $11 trillion back in the pockets of American families. And no family will ever go broke because of health care costs again,”said Warren on Twitter.

This past September, Suffolk hosted an event encouraging students to register to vote so that they were able to vote in the election this past month. Suffolk encourages students to advocate for social change, and voting is a direct way for students to do so. 

Megan Bateman, a freshman at Suffolk University, talked about the different student loan crisis plans that she has mixed opinions on.

“I love the idea of being loan free with the Sanders or Warren campaigns, but I am skeptical of whether or not it will actually happen,” she said. “It is a cool platform to run on which will hopefully get 18-25 year olds to vote.”

Suffolk also held workshops this past October called “Why Vote?” and “Fake News” in hopes to educate students on the importance of voting and its impact. By doing this they were able to increase voting turnouts across campus, The Suffolk University student voting rate increased 13 points (23.5 percent to 36.5 percent) between the midterm elections in 2014 and 2018, said the Suffolk University website.

Across campus, students and staff gave their opinions on the current state of the democratic race for 2020.

Associate Government Professor Brian Conley said the location of Suffolk could be another incredible opportunity for students to get involved in a campaign.

“In terms of directly impacting Suffolk students is there is probably going to be another campaign launching out of Boston,” Conley said. “In some respects, it’s another way for students to get involved, particularly in the campaign starting late as they are going to be desperately recruiting people”

Catherine McCarthy, a freshman at Suffolk, reminded her peers how important it is to vote regardless of political affiliations.

“Suffolk students need to remember that no matter what, they need to vote. They need to be informed, vote and encourage their friends to do so as well,” She said. “This country is ours too, and we need to speak up for what we believe in.”

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