By Matt Bandy
Social Media and Promotions Manager
With roughly six months left before the primaries for the 2020 Presidential Election, most people will be deciding who they wish to vote for in the coming weeks. Staying up-to-date on the candidates can be a tiresome job, though, so here’s everything you need to know regarding the presidential candidates.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren, 69, is a former-Harvard law professor turned senator who has spent 10 years in politics. Polling an average of 23%, according to RealClear Politics, Warren consistently scores in the top three candidates alongside Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Some criticisms of Warren have been that she is of the “intellectual elite,” and therefore, out of touch with the common people and lacks the personality or viewpoints to attract centrist Democrats.
In regards to her campaign, Warren proposes implementing a 2% to 3% tax on wealthy elites. She also follows the standard liberal viewpoints, calling for the reform of the criminal justice system, $15 minimum wage, cancellation of some student debt, free post-secondary education, ban on assault weapons, Medicare for all and the creation of a cohesive and inviting immigration policy.
Former-Vice President Joe Biden
Joe Biden is an experienced politician and another front runner in the Democratic primaries. He polls an average of 28.9% and is a more moderate Democrat. Democrats who think the country is better in the hands of a centrist and experienced politician tend to support Joe Biden.
Biden may also attract moderate Republicans who don’t support Donald Trump.
A criticism of Biden is that he is too moderate to appeal to Democrats who want a new group of progressive leaders.
He supports a $15 minimum wage, universal background checks for gun owners, the right to an abortion and the decriminalization of marijuana. His views that break away from the main progressive ideals involve rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, increasing the defense budget and keeping troops deployed.
Sen. Bernie Sanders
A former mayor, representative and a current senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders has spent much of his life engaged in politics. He polls an average of 16.7% among voters while having the highest social media following of any other Democratic candidate.
Some criticisms Sanders faces are whether his age and health are stable enough for a high-stakes job like the presidency. He’s 77-years-old and has a recent history of heart issues, including a cardiac arrest.
Sanders is a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist. His defining viewpoints consist of making college tuition-free, increasing social security benefits, increasing taxes on the wealthy to fund new social programs, $15 minimum wage, cancellation of all student debt, boosting teachers pay, right of felons to vote while incarcerated, imposing government regulations on all forms of pollution, Medicare for all and increasing tax rates on wealthy Americans.
Sen. Kamala D. Harris
Californian senator Kamala Harris spent much of her career as a district attorney. Then, she was a state attorney general. Her average poll percentage is 5.4% among voters. Followers of Harris may see her as the best choice to unite the multi-ethnic coalition of the Democratic Party.
Criticisms of Senator Harris stem from her tenure as a prosecutor, as she defended the death penalty and was a staunch supporter of the current prison system.
Senator Harris believes in a $15 minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, expansion of student debt relief programs, taxation on carbon emissions, an assault weapon ban, the right to an abortion, legalization of marijuana, tax corporations and bringing troops back from abroad. Some less common views of Harris are to ban fracking everywhere and tax banks with over $50 billion in assets.
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg is a war veteran, former consultant and current mayor of the historically-conservative area of South Bend, Ind. He polls somewhere around 7% among voters. Buttigieg’s lack of political experience at a state or federal level are criticisms he faces as a candidate.
He supports an increase of protection of public jobs and benefits, cancellation of some student debt, the taxation of carbon emissions and universal background checks for firearms.
Andrew Yang is most-notably a former tech entrepreneur as CEO of Manhattan Test Prep. With a dedicated but small base of support affectionately named the “Yang Gang,” Yang polls at 2.5% among voters. Yang’s main point has been that robots are taking over the workforce.
Based on this fact, Yang’s platform has been based around the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) of $1,000 a month for citizens over 18 as a way to compete with the automation of the workforce. To compensate for the UBI, Yang argues that minimum wage should be left to the states, as his plan would render minimum wage less of a necessity.
Yang does not propose to make college free, though he does propose other means of federal funding. Yang supports a tax on carbon emissions, Medicare for all and the right of internet users to keep their data private.
President Donald Trump
As the incumbent president, most polls show President Donald Trump having over 80% of the primary voters support. Trump is face-to-face with criticism, which includes the following, to name a few: he is inexperienced at leading a country, he says things without thinking, he alienates America’s allies and recently is alleged to have engaged in quid pro quo with Ukraine.
President Trump supports a wall on U.S.’s southern border, a ban on abortion, increased military spending and roll-backs on federal health programs, all of which have been focus points of his term thus far. Trump supports the banning of sanctuary cities, a withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord and an overarching anti-terrorism sta