The 2020 Presidential Election took place from the 2nd of November to the 8th of November 2020, determining on whether incumbent President Donald Trump (R-NY) would be re-elected or succeeded by Andrew Yang (D-NY), in many ways acting as a referendum on Trump's presidential performance since 2017. Trump was eligible to run for re-election due to the 22nd Amendment, which specified that American Presidents could serve a total of two terms as Commander-in-Chief.
The election was the first to primarily feature the use of mail-in-ballots, leading to a record 70% voter turnout, the first time that voter turnout numbers had met the 70% margin since 1900. The results of the election were heavily disputed throughout the six days between the release of the ballots on the 2nd of November and the finalisation of results on the 8th of November, particularly over potential voter suppression and voter fraud. States such as Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania remained too close to call until the final tally on the 8th of November. With a total of 333 electoral votes, Andrew Yang was elected the 46th President of the United States of America against a backdrop of racial tensions, burgeoning tensions with China, a pandemic and an economy entering a severe Depression. Trump was the first one-term President since George H.W Bush, whom was elected in 1988, receiving just 200 electoral votes.
DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION PROCESS
The Democratic Party was as divided as they had been in a very long time following their unexpected defeat in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections. They had managed to regain control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 Mid-Term Elections, which also saw Nancy Pelosi regain her title of Speaker of the House. Due to President Trump's polarizing performance, the Democrats were convinced that 2020 would be their shot at political redemption, with their path to a Senate Majority and the Presidency well paved out. However, Bernie Sanders' unsuccessful yet pivotal 2016 campaign for the Democratic nomination had marked a shift in the Democratic party further left, with once considered radical policy proposals such as universal healthcare, $15 minimum wage and embracing the Green New Deal now common positions of the party's candidates. However, this divide between moderates and progressives would continue to loom on throughout the Democratic primaries, especially after Sanders himself had declined to run. The Democratic primaries saw almost thirty major candidates vie for their party's nomination.
The race began with Massachusetts' Senator Elizabeth Warren and former Republican Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg emerging as its frontrunners, representing two sides of the Democratic spectrum. California's Senator Kamala Harris, New York City's Governor Andrew Cuomo, Wisconsin's Senator Tammy Baldwin and New Jersey's Senator Cory Booker emerged as potential frontrunners all fluctuating for a third or fourth place spot in the polls. Additionally, low-name recognition candidates such as South Bend, Indiana's Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard and eventual nominee, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, would go on to create shockwaves in a Democratic establishment dominated predominantly by long-serving Congresspeople.
Over the first couple of months of the Democratic primaries, the divide within the party had become more and more apparent as the race began to narrow out most of its most minor candidates. The Democratic establishment had become more and more demonized due to its treatment of Bernie Sanders' 2016 Presidential campaign and controversies over its debate qualifications, which shut out many candidates unfairly. Many voters turned to political outsiders in Buttigieg and Yang, whom soon were able to break into the Top 5 by November. Buttigieg would soon overtake Bloomberg as the moderate's favourite candidate. On the other hand, Yang was extremely viable in the youth vote and ended up inheriting a significant portion of the "Bernie 2016" vote despite being one of the most centrist-inclined candidates in the party. Kamala Harris would also see a significant rise of popularity, campaigning as a candidate more progressive than Bloomberg and Buttigieg, and more pragmatic than Warren and Yang, and would soon emerge as the Democratic frontrunner. Following the campaign suspensions of Tammy Baldwin (who endorsed Warren), Andrew Cuomo and Tulsi Gabbard (who endorsed Yang), the race narrowed down to Harris in the lead, Buttigieg and Warren tied for the runner-up position and Yang and Bloomberg rounding out the top five. Booker remained in the race despite failing to meet the debate requirements for the January debate and declining poll numbers. However, as the month progressed, the 2019-2022 coronavirus pandemic began in America, and the race began fluctuating so much so that there was no clear frontrunner for it anymore.
Buttigieg surprised the Democratic party by winning the Iowa caucus, with Harris in second place, Yang in third, Warren in fourth, Bloomberg in fifth and Booker in sixth. The race pivoted the race in favour of the Democratic party's younger wing, with once frontrunners Bloomberg and Warren struggling to even reach viability, polling at 17% and 15% respectively.