Photo Credit: Los Angeles Times
The presidential nomination process often produces undemocratic results, especially with a large number of candidates. Just as we saw in the Republican nomination in 2016, the large field of 2020 Democratic contenders threatens to produce a nominee without broad support from the party. Candidates with similar platforms, experiences or demographic characteristics can split supporters and votes, potentially helping another, more polarizing candidate take the lead. Meanwhile, candidates seen as longshots are pressured to drop out, winnowing the field not based on voters’ choices but because of the limits of a single-choice system. And when it comes time to mark their ballots, voters often feel forced to vote strategically, rather than selecting the person they like best or who best represents them. All this for the increasing likelihood of a contested convention that leaves voters feeling even more disenchanted and the party more divided by an unpopular nominee.