2020 Presidential Candidates

By Riya Lahoti

As Trump’s first term comes to an end, hopeful candidates campaign against one another in preparation for the next presidential race. Currently, 12 democratic candidates and two Republican competitors from Trump’s own party are running for the coveted position of President of the United States.

Republican Party


Donald Trump

As our current President of the United States, Trump is running for his second term. Although he gained two more competitors from within the Republican party, Trump is currently the most popular Republican candidate.

Signature Issue:

In 2016, Mr. Trump ran with immigration as his primary issue, proposing a subsidiary solution to illegal immigration: a wall between the United States and Mexico. The plan for the wall is to stop illegal immigration from Mexico, due to recent studies that found a great amount of illegal crimes in the USA was caused by illegal mexicans. Originally, he claimed that Mexico should pay for the wall, but the mexican government made it clear they would not pay. Currently, there has been $3.2 billion funded to build the wall of the initially requested $5.6 billion.

Other Important Issues:

Abortion

The Trump administration attempted to defund Planned Parenthood, as well as limit abortion access for detained immigrant teenagers. Standing on the side of pro-life, Trump put multiple conservative judges on bench including Supreme Court justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, giving a 5-4 republican majority. He hopes this will soon overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortions.

Climate Change

Trump and his administration team are big supporters for oil, gas, and coal production, stating that these methods of energy production are necessary if we want to grow the US economy.

Healthcare

Instead of universal health care, Trump proposed individual health care reforms. This includes finding ways to reduce barriers to achieve more affordable options for medical drugs and surgery. His expansion of the Health Reimbursement Arrangements will generate more health plan options that meet different needs. 

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Democratic Party


Michael Bennet

Bennet has worked as a senator for Colorado since 2009.

Signature Issue:

Bennet’s platform greatly rotates around providing the highest quality of education possible to all residents of the United States. He promises to“connect the dots” between school curriculums and the needs of local employers, so everyone can “graduate high school with the ability to earn a living wage, not just the minimum wage.” In addition, Bennet advocates for universally free pre-school and community college, an increase in educational wages, and an extension of the academic school year.

Other Important Issues:

Immigration

Bennet believes all people deserve an equal opportunity to reside in the United States. He pushes for an easier path of securing citizenship and stronger border security.

Climate Change

He endorses an American recommendation to the Paris Agreement, which revolved around climate mitigation and adaptation as well as the financing behind the greenhouse gas reduction movement. However, he opposes the complete elimination of natural gas because of its impact on “small-town economies.”

Healthcare

Bennet thinks universal healthcare is beneficial but criticizes proposals that abolish private insurance companies.


Joe Biden

As the former Vice President and a top democratic contender, Biden intones the basic decree of Capitalism: There’s nothing they can’t achieve if they work at it.

Signature Issue:

Greatly influenced by Obama’s presidency, health care remains one of Biden’s top priorities. Due to losing his wife and two children, he said in an early television ad, Healthcare is “personal”. Biden hopes to re-extend the progress made by Obama through the creation of a new optional public health care that reaches all classes of America. Additionally, he will seek to greatly lower malpractice by strengthening competence and excellence of all treatments.

Other Important Issues:

Immigration

Biden will create more accessibility in immigration to the US by ending the travel ban that was put on seven primarily islamic countries. He will also end all practices of detaining illegals through the construction of an easier path towards legal residents and citizenship.

Climate Change

Biden believes in funding new nuclear technology efforts in part to fight climate change and end off-shore drilling. He also believes a tax on carbon emissions will compel businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Minimum Wage

Biden supports the doubling of the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15, for he believes the current wage is not sufficient enough to provide decent quality of life. When addressing inflation rebuttals, he states the overall effect of this change will help build the middle class, or “the backbone of the US”.


Michael Bloomberg

As the most recent democratic candidate to enter the presidential race, Bloomberg was the former mayor of New York and a billionaire media executive. He stated that “defeating Trump— and rebuilding America— is the most urgent and important fight of our life.”

Signature Issue:

Bloomberg establishes his platform through his lucrative accomplishments as mayor of New York, including economic growth, rural crime rate reduction, and healthcare expansion. With statistics to back up each success, Bloomberg hopes to recreate programs that will equip adults with beneficial skills needed to occupy desirable jobs and careers. Research in intelligence, integrity, and dexterity, he believes, will automatically power the economical and ethical rise of tomorrow’s communities.

Other Important Issues:

Gun Safety

Bloomberg will work toward strengthening gun safety policies by increasing the difficulty of coming into possession of a gun. This process will include new and more extensive background regulations, the closing of private sales for guns, permit requirements, and extreme risk screening before purchase.

Nicotine and Tobacco Products

Bloomberg will ban the sale of all flavored e-cigarettes— due to their prime customer and audience being minors— as well as mandate the decrease of nicotine rates in tobacco products. He will also increase federal cigarette tax rates on cigarettes by $1 per pack.

Climate Change

In the case of his election, Bloomberg insures an 80% nation-wide clean power economy by his second term. Immediately, he plans to replace all 251 coal mines with clean energy sources by ending all subsidies for fossil fuel.


Bernie Sanders

As the runner up to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic race, Bernie Sanders is one of the most well-respected democratic-socialists among the current presidential candidates.

Signature Issue:

Sanders, now that his once-radical ideas are now supported throughout the entire Democratic party, will openly focus on universal medicare, free college tuition, and minimum wage of $15. Additionally, Sanders hopes to create a system which raises tax for those who are extremely wealthy, specifically the top 0.01%. This wealth tax would apply to those whose total assets are over $32 million and would raise an expected $4.35 trillion throughout the following decade. Any individual who has a total assets of under $32 million would not see tax increases. By doing this, he hopes to narrow the discrepancy between the under-priveleged and greatly wealthy.

Other Important Issues:

Housing For All

Sanders will spend around $2.5 trillion to build over 10 million new permanent houses which will be affordable to those financially in need. He will also contribute an extra $400 billion to construct 2 million mixed-income social lodging units to be directed through the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which will help integrate and desegregate parts of the US.

Marijuana Legalization

Within the first 100 days in office, Sanders will legalize marijuana with executive actions. Sanders will additionally audit all marijuana crimes— both government and state— for expunging and re-condemning, hoping to erase all past convictions.

Employment

Sanders will create a “federal job guarantee” to ensure those who want a job will be able to achieve one that pays a living wage. He plans to create these jobs alongside the “Green New Deal” as he continues towards a 100% sustainable energy system.


Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren, who has served as a senior US senator from Massachusetts since 2013, bases her campaign primarily on creating less separation between the “working class” and the wealthy.

Signature Issue:

Elizabeth Warren has proposed a new tax plan which would create a 2% tax on those with a net worth over $50 million, and 6% on billionaires. Within her calculations, she claims this tax will bring in $3.75 trillion over a ten-year period from roughly 75,000 households. 

Other Important Issues:

Immigration

Warren believes that all migration into the US should be decriminalized, for needed attention will be brought back into “serious criminal activity”. She also will keep immigration enforcement and law enforcement separate to reduce fear of those who want to report crime, but are scared it will reveal their immigration status.

Private Prisons

Warren will ban private prisons and detention facilities by ending all contracts with the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Her plan will also ban uses for contractors to gain exponential profit from mass incarceration which could include health care, phone calls, and markups.

Clean Energy

Warren will replace the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with a Federal Renewable Energy Commission, making it a requirement that federal agencies to achieve 100% clean energy by 2024. 

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