• The Meredith Herald Staff

Your Guide to the 2020 Presidential Candidates (So Far)

Updated: Feb 27, 2019

- By Olivia Slack, Features Editor, and Huma Hashmi, Staff Writer -


The 2020 presidential election is shaping up to be a difficult fight between the two major parties. So far, the only Republican who has officially announced their candidacy is the incumbent, President Trump. However, the Democratic side already has a crowded field of candidates lined up, so here is a brief guide to each of these candidates’ positions on a handful of important issues. Sources primarily include candidates’ websites, NBC, and PBS.


Republicans


Donald Trump, incumbent

Education: supports school choice

Environmental: supports cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget, does not feel the need to address climate change and aims to grow the U.S. coal industry

Health Care: supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

Immigration and minority rights: supports stronger security along the U.S.’s southern border with Mexico (including a border wall) and phasing out DACA for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children

Guns: generally opposes most forms of gun control

Abortion: pro-life and has expressed interest in appointing Supreme Court judges who may overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that effectively legalized abortion


Democrats


Cory Booker, New Jersey Senator

Education: supports school choice and privatization of schools, i.e. charter schools, school vouchers, and merit pay for teachers

Environmental: supports a carbon tax to help deal with climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions

Health care: supports expanding Medicare and transitioning to a “Medicare-for-all” system of single-payer healthcare

Immigration and minority rights: does not support a border wall with Mexico and has supported bills to protect DACA recipients

Guns: has supported legislation to ban assault weapons and has voted to prohibit those on terror watchlists from buying guns, but has also said that he believes that law-abiding citizens should be able to own guns

Abortion: pro-choice and opposes overturning Roe v. Wade


Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana

Platform not yet announced, but according to an interview with NBC it will focus on “freedom, democracy and security.”


Julián Castro, former Housing Secretary under Obama admin.

Education: supports making pre-kindergarten publicly funded and available to all children; has also expressed interest in making the first two years of higher education free

Environmental: supports the Paris Climate Agreement, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and a transition to renewable energy, but has also said that he’d like an energy plan that includes fossil fuels

Health care: supports universal healthcare and “Medicare-for-all” as well as the Affordable Care Act

Immigration and minority rights: supports a pathway to citizenship for most undocumented immigrants and does not support the border wall with Mexico

Guns: supports a ban on assault weapons and limits on high-capacity magazines

Abortion: pro-choice


John Delaney, Maryland Congressman

Education: opposes school vouchers and supports more federal involvement in public schools

Environmental: supports renewable and alternative energy and instituting a carbon tax

Health care: supports the Affordable Care Act, but also supports reforming it

Immigration and minority rights: supports immigration reform and a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

Guns: supports gun control

Abortion: pro-choice; supports public abortion funding and requiring abortions to be covered by employee insurance


Tulsi Gabbard, Hawaii Congresswoman

Education: supports making community college free for all students and four-year universities free for students from families who make under $125,000

Environmental: proposed legislation to end fossil fuel use in the U.S. by 2050; supports banning hydraulic fracturing (also known as “fracking”)

Health care: supports creating “Medicare-for-All,” a universal, government-sponsored health care system

Immigration and minority rights: supports banning “discrimination based on sexual preference” according to PBS, an issue which she has changed her mind about since entering politics when she opposed legalizing same-sex marriage in Hawaii

Guns: supports banning assault weapons, requiring universal background checks and closing the gun show loophole in which firearms sold at gun shows do not need to meet federal background check requirements

Abortion: pro-choice


Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Senator

Education: supports improving public school quality and helping students pay for college with less debt

Environmental: supports combating climate change through legislation and transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy

Health care: supports the Affordable Care Act and “Medicare-for-All”

Immigration and minority rights: viewpoints on immigration have changed since entering politics; previously opposed giving amnesty to undocumented immigrants, but now supports DACA

Guns: views on gun control vary, though she has previously opposed any gun control

Abortion: pro-choice


Kamala Harris, California Senator

Education: supports universal pre-kindergarten and making college, including four-year universities, free for “most Americans” according to PBS

Environmental: supports fuel-efficiency standards and believes climate change should be combatted through legislation; created San Francisco’s first Environmental Justice Unit

Health care: supports the Affordable Care Act and advocates for Medicare-for-All; has additionally introduced bills about expanding access to mental health care; wishes to end the practice of drug companies paying competitors to keep generic versions of their drugs off the market

Immigration and minority rights: supports the DACA program and opposes the border wall with Mexico

Guns: supports gun control with universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and on the sale of high-capacity magazines

Abortion: pro-choice


Amy Klobuchar, Minnesota Senator Education: supports creating free community colleges and helping students pay for college with less debt Environmental: supports combating climate change through lowering greenhouse gas emissions, as well as rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement Health care: supports Medicare and Medicaid expansion, as well as a system of universal healthcare Immigration and minority rights: supports DACA and creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but opposes abolishing ICE

Guns: supports gun control and expanding background checks

Abortion: pro-choice


Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Senator

Education: advocates for reduced student debt and has introduced legislation to reduce the interest rates on student loans

Environmental: supports investing in renewable energy

Health care: supports the Affordable Care Act and creating a system of single-payer healthcare

Immigration and minority rights: supports same-sex marriage and passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA); supports DACA and comprehensive immigration reform

Guns: supports reinstating an extended magazine long rifle weapons ban as well as more rigorous background screenings, including for people who purchase firearms at gun shows

Abortion: supports abortion rights and opposes any Supreme Court nominees who “oppose legal abortion,” according to her senate website


Marianne Williamson, author

Platform not yet announced.


Andrew Yang, entrepreneur

Education: supports making community college free or nearly free and revitalizing public school curriculum by adding “life-skills education” to high school

Environmental: supports combating climate change through regulating fossil fuels

Health care: supports “Medicare-for-All”

Immigration and minority rights: supports DACA

Guns: supports gun control, including education restrictions for being eligible to purchase a gun

Abortion: pro-choice


Likely Running, But Yet to Announce


Joe Biden, former Vice President (D)

Education: supports making college

Tax: supports middle-class tax reform

Environmental: advocates reducing fossil fuel use and creating carbon emissions standards in order to combat climate change

Health care: supports “Medicare-for-All”

Immigration and minority rights: supports a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and reforming immigration policies

Guns: supports uniform background checks on all gun purchases and a ban on assault rifles  

Abortion: pro-choice and believes that the government should not be involved with the decision a woman makes with her doctor regarding an abortion, though in the past he has voted to ban partial-birth abortions


Bernie Sanders, Vermont Senator (D)

Education: supports making public colleges and universities tuition-free by taxing financial transactions

Environmental: opposes the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline and supports clean energy initiatives to combat climate change

Health care: supports universal healthcare and “Medicare-for-All” and expanding Social Security

Immigration and minority rights: supports DACA

Guns: supports banning assault weapons, imposing universal federal background checks, and closing the gun show loophole

Abortion: pro-choice and opposes the defunding of Planned Parenthood

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