Sally Joughin
Nov 27, 2019 · 3 min read

I keep hearing Democrats saying their vote will be based upon “Who can beat Trump?”

Wrong question. You do not have to (and cannot) figure out who is “the one”. I say that any of the Dem candidates can beat Trump IF A LOT OF VOTERS ARE EXCITED ABOUT THAT CANDIDATE. If lots of young people and other activists are motivated to knock on doors, make phone calls, rally on the streets, organize events, and donate, that is how candidates win. I would rule out anyone who is out of touch, beholden to corporations, or has middle-of-the-road uninteresting policies that will not excite campaigners or the majority of voters. Choose your primary candidate in the following way:

Evaluate each candidate in terms of how well they align with your own political views and also whether you believe they will appoint the kind of people you want in the Cabinet, in the courts, on the White House staff and in other positions. The President does not do everything him/herself; they set the standard for the country’s values and policies; they provide leadership and appoint others to carry out the specifics. Evaluate which candidates’ views most closely match yours on all the topics you care about. Then put your candidates in order, since you don’t know who will still be in the race by the time of the 2020 Primary.

Make a list of 5–10 topics you care most about and your specific viewpoints. These are 10 topics I picked: environment, homelessness, political influence, criminal justice, health care, education, immigration, foreign affairs, wealth disparity, discrimination. Evaluate the % match with your views on each topic, or create a scoring system like 1–5. Here’s my chart listing my10 topics and 3 samples of the kind of specific viewpoints on which I’ll evaluate each candidate. You make your own chart.

A grassroots worker volunteers her time at a Multnomah County Democrat stand. To volunteer, go to
A grassroots worker volunteers her time at a Multnomah County Democrat stand. To volunteer, go to
The author volunteering at a Multnomah County Democrats stand during a recent community event. To become more involved in MCD, visit the website at:

Don’t base your support on how many others agree with you, because that’s not how we should evaluate the candidates. The Primary election gives Democrats the opportunity to pick the person who represents your interests. Don’t worry about “which candidate is most likely to beat Trump”.

If you want to worry about something, worry instead about voter suppression in all the states in which it is still happening and the undue influence of both money and the media in our elections. And tell the DNC Establishment not to tell us whom we should choose but to get behind the candidate whose policies most Democrats actually prefer.

Don’t you want to vote for the candidate you’d really like to see as our President, the candidate you feel most connected to? If every Democrat did that, the nominee will be the most popular candidate, and hopefully the one who will have many people out campaigning for them. That’s how we’ll win!

County Democrat Reader

Sally Joughin

Written by

County Democrat Reader

Of, by, and for Multnomah County Democrats

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