2020 Presidential Candidates: An Overview

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2020 Presidential Candidates: An Overview

Harper Kolehmainen, Contributor

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While the current administration is notably republican, the overwhelming majority of candidates running for the 2020 presidential election are democrats, signifying a likely change in United States governance. As of March 7th, 2019, there are 16 candidates officially in the running; 14 democratic and 2 republican. These candidates range widely in views despite largely falling under the same party, making it important for every american voter to be knowledgeable of the platforms of each in order to make an informed decision. For the purpose of time conservation, this article will only explore the positions of the highest polling four democratic candidates and the only two republicans candidates.

Democratic Candidates:

Bernie Sanders

While he lost the 2016 election, Bernie Sanders has thrown his hat in the ring for a second time and his chances (according to polling numbers) are much more optimistic in the upcoming election. Famously a democratic socialist, Sanders’ platform stays true to his categorization as he has based his campaign mainly around universal healthcare, tuition free college, a living minimum wage of $15, and a steep increase in taxes for those in income brackets over $1 billion.

Faults: Sanders 2016 campaign has faced many allegations of income inequality on the basis of sex and accounts of sexual harassment committed by his male employees.

Kampala Harris

Kamala Harris, currently a 54 year old senator, gained quite the reputation throughout her career, especially during her days as a prosecutor. Harris may serve as a refreshment from the current administration as she is an established, accomplished, and experienced politician. Harris was born to jamaican and Tamil Indian parents which has lead her to support communities of color and lends to strengthen her campaign as African american women have been at the center of the Democratic Party for decades. She runs on the platform of a green new deal (environmental change), marijuana legalization, and tax cuts for working class families.

Faults: some consider Harris’s record as a prosecutor and attorney general to be controversial.

Elizabeth Warren

Currently a Massachusetts senator, Warren is a promising female presidential candidate for 2020, though her polling numbers fall short of the other main female candidate, Kamala Harris. Warren stands out from the other democratic candidates as she falls more under the umbrella of capitalist rather than socialist. Some voters, especially those in younger generations disagree with this. Despite her support of capitalism, Warren also proposes many policies that her democratic socialist competitors support as well. Policies of this nature actually make up the basis of her campaign platform, such as higher taxes for ultra millionaires and free childcare.

Faults: Allegations have been made about fraudulent or suspicious campaign donations and meetings. In addition, there was a controversy surrounding remarks she made implying she was a Cherokee Indian though it later came to light that these remarks were false.

Cory Brooker

A notable democratic candidate; the current New Jersey senator hopes to become the United States second black president. Brooker has highlighted this in his campaign, even officially announcing his running at the start of black history month. Brooker began to make a name for himself through actively using social media as an outreach platform and participating in confrontations within famous senate hearings, such as that of Brett kavanaugh. Brooker’s platform is based on benefitting people of color and working class Americans. He has especially focused on the issues of social and criminal justice reform, lessening income inequality, legalizing marijuana, and declaring lynching a hate crime.

Faults: Some view him as having problematic ties to Wall Street and many democrats dislike policies Brooker instituted that boosted big pharma.

Republican Candidates:

William Weld

Though Weld is one of few republican candidates, he is much more left leaning than many in his party, especially when social issues are taken into consideration. Weld’s, a former governor of Massachusetts, attorney, and writer, supports gay marriage, LGBT rights, and safe and legal access to abortion. This stands in stark contrast to his republican opponent Donald trump who lies much more on the conservative side of social issues. Weld’s platform also includes cutting taxes, maintaining the current minimum wage, reducing government spending, increasing access to Medicaid, lessening the threat of nuclear war, and instituting less harsh and restrictive immigration policies than that in place under the trump administration.

Faults: Many republicans disagree with Weld on social justice issues and immigration policies while left leaning democrats find his views to be too republican.

Donald Trump

Less information is needed on Donald trump as he is the current president and his policies have been made clear since his election in 2016. Though he was elected, his odds of gaining a second term are lessened drastically as his approval ratings hit new lows. Simply put, it is unlikely he will get enough votes to be reelected. However, if he does, Trump plans to continue his platform of harsher immigration policies, tax cuts for higher incomes, lack of regulation on big business, and much more right wing social policies than that of other candidates.

Faults: His low approval ratings due to a lack of delivering on promises made during his first term campaign make it unlikely for him to be reelected.