Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

6 Easy Ways to Narrow Down Your Choice of the 2020 Presidential Candidate

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Rhodes chapter.

      As the 2020 election rolls around the corner, America is once again faced with widespread lack of political literacy throughout varying demographics. For many people, the 2020 election is detrimental to the future of the United States. However, for many, politics can be too confusing. I’ve found that a major reason people are not as politically literate as they should be is just because of how confusing politics can be. In the same instance, events like the 2020 Iowa Caucus do not lessen this confusion amongst voters. It can be difficult to understand political issues, let alone picking a candidate for the 2020 election. Below I’ve listed a few tips I’ve used to narrow down my choices of presidential candidates!

1. Familiarize Yourself with Each Candidate’s Stance on Major Issues

      It is vital that you are aware of every candidate’s stance on basic voter issues such as health care, climate change, abortion, and the legalization of marijuana, along with many others. By having a basic understanding of where each candidate stands on these major issues, it becomes easier to form conclusions about said candidate. It may seem like it is counterproductive to form decisions about candidates based on such few stances, but it would be even more counterproductive to invest your time into a candidate that does not hold the same political views on issues that define the candidate as a whole.

2. What Type of President Are You Looking For?

      There is an important difference between a candidate’s stance on a given issue and the characteristics of a presidential candidate. Determine what type of president is personally most appealing. Are you looking for an outspoken leader, a policy-based leader, a leader with a specific type of support base, or a candidate with a fluid base? Essentially, by figuring out which candidate you find more ‘presidential’, it becomes easier to narrow down your choices.

3. Watch As Many Debates As Possible

      Watching debates is an excellent way of determining how any candidate reacts to being put under pressure. Yes, presidential candidates are most likely trained on how to answer questions on the debate stage. However, watching debates can still be very informative in determining a candidate’s dynamic once put in a heated situation. 

4. Investigate Each Candidate’s Support Base

      By speaking directly to people within a candidate’s base, you have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamic of the candidate’s supporters. This does not have to be speaking directly to all the members of a certain candidate’s base. This might entail seeing how their supporters interact on social media, or in paid ads, or in any public setting.

5. Examine Who is Donating to Who

      I have found that examining the demographic of a candidate’s donation pool can be very informative of the candidate themselves. Hypothetically, if the majority of people that are donating to a candidate’s campaign are young voters, that gives you the understanding that the candidate’s policy might tailor to younger voters. Instead of using this information to isolate yourself from the candidate’s supporters, use it to decide which pool of supporters you best align with.

6. Look Into Their Past

      It is not beneath many candidates to superficially alter their stances on various issues for the purpose of gaining more votes. However, this ploy can be avoided by comparing the candidate’s past stances on issues with their current stances on issues. By comparing the candidate’s stance on past issues, it gives you a better idea of the consistency of the candidate and said candidate’s intentions. 

      Determining your preferred presidential candidate can be quite overwhelming. However, remember that you should never feel endowed to a candidate! In the same instance, remember that your vote is always important! 

Girl meets world. Girl loves world. Girl writes about world.