Politics Start Now

The next election is one year away

Cecilia Torres, Opinion Editor

Things are about to get more political, and as potential voters in the 2020 presidential election, we should already be tuning in.

The upcoming presidential election cycle has been talked about since the results of the 2016 election came in. With President Donald J. Trump – arguably the most controversial candidate, and now president, in recent history – up for reelection, it is all everyone is going to be talking about from now up until voting on Nov. 3, 2020.

While people have been tuning in to all the political drama, many are quickly losing interest in the constant coverage.

“Across every major demographic group, there is more exhaustion than excitement over seeing political content on social media,” wrote Monica Anderson and Dennis Quinn for the Pew Research Center survey. “46% of U.S. social media users say they are ‘worn out’ by political posts and discussions.”

It is understandable that people feel overwhelmed with the amount of attention the mainstream news media dedicates to politics. Although listening to political coverage is a guilty pleasure of mine, I have also felt the need to tune out from politics from time to time. Personally, the reason I stop paying attention to politics is because of the negativity and the very obvious bias seen in both liberal and conservative news outlets.

The election process only works when voters are informed and participating. It is not enough to just show up at the polls on Election Day. We have to start paying attention now, approximately a year before voting.

“Prior to a general election, there is a selection process to determine which candidate will appear on the ballot for a given political party in the nationwide general election,” according to the website Vote Smart.

To get the results we want, we have to shape what happens from the beginning. Now is the time to show support for the candidate we want to see go up against Trump. Meaning, no matter how tired we are of politics, we have to listen to the debates and pay attention to the promises each candidate is making to the American people.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination over Bernie Sanders. Although many people question if she secured the nomination fairly, the numbers were in her favor.

“Clinton won three of the first four contests. She won the entire South; the whole thing. She won most of the Northeast. (Sanders’ performed best in the upper Midwest and in states with caucuses, which are a better measure of the intensity of a candidate’s support than its breadth.) And she won the Democratic coalition of minorities and women – the people Democrats thought then and still believe they need to show up to win in November,” wrote Byron Wolf for CNN.

Given that the president is elected by the electoral college and not the American people, the best chance to make a difference is by picking the candidate that better represents the change we want to see.