Democratic primaries : looking for the candidate who can beat Trump

6 mars 2020
Expatriate U.S. Democrats went to the polls to vote for their Democratic candidate who can beat Trump
Les démocrates américains expatriés sont allés voter pour le candidat qui pourra battre Trump. (Crédit : Tristan Failler)

According to the latest polls, Bernie Sanders would be first in the Democratic primaries. But moderates in his own party think he would be the worst candidate against Trump. As for American expatriates in Toulouse, the choice is complicated. Most vote by default, hoping that the person they voted for will win against Trump.

« We want a candidate who can beat Trump ». The mood is clear. According to Scott Stroud, president of Democrats Abroad Toulouse, American expatriates in Toulouse have no preference for a candidate. « There’s no one who inspires me very much. I vote for anyone but I prefer someone who can beat Trump », Maria says, present in France for 43 years. Even far away from their country, democratic expatriates are fed up with Trump. « He is a disaster, the worst president of my life time », Meredith says, the vice chair of Democrats Abroad Toulouse. « Trump is terrible. He’s bad for the US and for the world », Maria adds.

But who would be able to beat the current President of the United States ? For these expatriates, the choice is difficult. « Any one of them would be much better than Trump », Maria considers. According to the polls, before Super Tuesday, Bernie Sanders was expected to lead the primaries. A candidate who doesn’t have the unanimous support of the Democratic Party. « Even if Bernie Sanders wins against Trump that’s good but he’s alienating for other democrats ».

Four years ago, however, Bernie Sanders had garnered the favour of expatriate Democrats. Although she agrees with Bernie Sanders’ program, Meredith does not believe it will make a difference for Americans : « I would like to see healthcare organized like here in France. I would like to see higher education to be free for students. But, I’m not convinced he can. He hasn’t past any important legislation even though he was senator for twenty seven years ». For Maria, Sanders also has a good programme, but his behaviour leaves something to be desired : « It’s not so bad but he’s very singleminded and he’s angry like Trump ».

« Michelle Obama will be Vice President for Biden »

Before the Super Tuesday, some polls thought Bernie Sanders was the winner, but in the end it was Biden who came out on top. « You know they say people like Biden, he seems like your Uncle, even if he isn’t very dynamic, doesn’t have so much charisma, he seems like an honest man and I think Americans very much vote on gut feeling for personality, and qualities. So I think he has qualities that people will respond to », Meredith explains. According to her, Biden has a chance to win against Trump, but on one condition : « I’m sure that Barack Obama will come out and support Biden. I’ve heard that people says Michelle Obama will be Biden’s Vice President. I hope she does it. That pairing could be powerful. It’s very important who gets choosen the vice presidential candidate too, that would make a big difference ».

For Maria, the candidate who can beat Trump will be the one who can expose his actions : « If a candidate could make people understand the harm Trump is doing and will do, that would be the key to him winning ». Even before the results of the primaries, expatriates are imagining what they would do if Trump were to be elected again on November 3. And sometimes it’s radical. « If Trump wins the elections again maybe I will give up my American citizenship ‘cause I can’t be affiliated with a country that would elect that kind of person to the highest office », Meredith concludes.

Héloïse Thépaut

Etudiante en troisième année à L'ISJT, pigiste à La Tribune Toulouse, passée par 100% radio, La Dépêche du Midi et Boudu

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