What do Women at UofL Think About the 2020 Election?

This election cycle has seen one of the largest and most diverse Democratic candidate fields in the history of America. Over the months, as primaries went on, the field lessened until two candidates remained—Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. On April 8, Bernie Sanders announced the end of his campaign through an online livestream after several losses in the primaries. This proved to be a disappointment to many young Americans who had hoped to see a progressive candidate take office. Alternatively, it was a relief to many moderate Democrats who hope to pull in votes from a wider political spectrum to defeat Donald Trump. 

Then, on April 13, Sanders endorsed Biden in a joint livestream, citing the need for the party to unite. In his endorsement, Sanders said, “I am asking all Americans…to come together…to support your candidacy which I endorse… to make certain that we defeat somebody who I believe… is the most dangerous president in the modern history of this country.” During the stream, the two discussed some of Sanders’ platforms such as a $15 minimum wage and universal public education, with Sanders hoping that Biden would support these. 

Women at UofL were asked to complete a survey concerning their opinions on the 2020 election, with a total of 32 respondents. Because Sanders will remain on the ballot in the remaining states’ primaries, respondents were first asked who they plan to vote for in these elections. 47% expressed their wish to vote for Sanders versus 38% for Biden. For the general election this fall, 72% of respondents indicated their intent to vote for Biden and 13% for Trump.

Respondents were also asked to indicate their first choice for the presidency due to the aforementioned large field of candidates. 38% of respondents selected Bernie Sanders as their first choice and 34% chose Elizabeth Warren, an indication of more progressive views among many college women. This was also expressed in comments regarding Joe Biden, the more moderate candidate. One respondent said Biden was the “lesser of two evils,” a sentiment mirrored during the 2016 election. 

Another respondent said, “Bernie Sanders is for the people,” with many others saying they are voting for Biden in November due to a desire to vote Trump out of office. A common sentiment among respondents was the desire for a Democratic president to replace the Supreme Court seats that may be opened in the next four years. Several other respondents indicated a moral dilemma in voting for either Biden or Trump, citing concerns about sexual assault, a very important issue to many college women. 

Many are uncertain on what the outcome will be this November. With many young voters indicating their dislike for Joe Biden, he will have to do a great deal to win them over as the presumed Democratic nominee. Although Biden’s views are more moderate, his campaign website declares policies to mitigate gun violence, fight against climate change, and make healthcare more affordable—many issues that young people are advocating for today. Will the Democratic party unite to elect their candidate, or will Trump serve another term? We will have to wait until November 3rd to find out.