Young San Diegans Expect More from the Democratic Presidential Candidates

With over 20 individuals wanting to represent the Democratic Party in the 2020 presidential election, it is difficult for each to go in-depth on the controversial topics in such limited time. The first round of Democratic debates were split over two nights for each candidate to have proper time to explain their 2020 platform.

A local San Diego nonprofit, Youth Will, had two watch parties for high school and college-age students to watch the previous debates. These watch parties were designed to create dialogue among younger voters. Although turnout was high, reaching approximately 20 students, the students were left disappointed.

Many of the students were looking to learn more about the major topics, rather than each candidate’s specific position. Some of the sought after topics included healthcare, education, immigration, systemic racism, and gun control.

Students were hoping candidates would explain how any Democratic policies would be implemented should Trump lose the election. A transition from private healthcare to a nationalized system would be a burden on the industry as pointed out by San Diego State University student Rosie Ganley. The lack of substantive analysis has left young voters wary of how such changes would be implemented in a post-Trump era. 

The lack of new talking points from the presidential candidates was a major let down for these local students. A soon to be a student at SDSU, Dalia Villa, was disappointed that no new information was brought to the stage when it came to gun control and immigration. Villa pointed out the obvious: “A lot of them said the same thing over and over.”

Similar to Beto O’Rourke’s memorized Spanish speech, the lack of content in the two-night debate did not go unnoticed. These early indicators have proven that the 2020 Democratic candidates are underprepared and have yet to find a foundation for their campaigns. The candidates will need to do more than just memorizing a speech that sounds appealing, including going in-depth on the issues that will determine the 2020 presidential election.


Photo by Lucas Sankey