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Democrats grapple with 'electability' question as white men lead diverse field

FILE PHOTO: Twenty four 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are seen in a combination from file photos (L-R top row): U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet and former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel. (L-R middle row): Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke, U.S. Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, John Delaney, Eric Swalwell, Tim Ryan, Seth Moulton, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. (L-R bottom row): Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Former Gov. John Hickenlooper, Gov. Jay Inslee, Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson, Mayor Wayne Messam, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. REUTERS/Files/File Photo

Democrats seeking to unseat Republican U.S. President Donald Trump in 2020 will choose from the largest and most diverse set of candidates in history - yet, so far, two older white men are leading the pack.

The early dominance of former Vice President Joe Biden, 76, and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, 77, is raising uncomfortable questions about whether Democratic voters think a woman or minority candidate has what it takes to defeat Trump, the likely Republican nominee.

Women candidates played a key role in Democrats regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives last year. But they still face greater hurdles than men in seeking executive offices, and there is division in the party about what kind of candidate is best suited to win in November 2020.

“How do you beat Big Daddy Trump? One of the ideas is that you beat him with Big Daddy Joe,” Christine Pelosi, daughter of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and chairwoman of the California Democratic Party’s women’s caucus, said in reference to Biden.

Pelosi, who has not endorsed a candidate, did not say if she agrees with that assessment. She thinks a woman ultimately will end up on the Democratic ticket.

Ten of the 24 Democrats seeking the nomination are minorities or women.


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