Get to Know 2020 Democratic Candidates

Isabella Papadhima, Senior Editor

With election year slowly creeping up on us, democratic candidates were quick to join the presidential race. The group started with a whopping 29 candidates and has dwindled down to the eight major ones. If you’re turning 18 before or on November 3, 2020, or are just curious to know about what each presidential candidate stands for, then you picked just the right piece to read. 

Bernie Sanders

Bernard (Bernie) Sanders is a senator from Vermont who’s running for the presidential seat for his second time now. Back in 2016, Sanders was the last Democratic candidate in the race aside from Hillary Clinton who became the nominee. Although he is running as a Democrat, Sanders describes himself as a democratic-socialist. His so-called “radical” agenda of Medicare for All, $15 minimum wage, and free public college has slowly been adopted by many democratic candidates. He also supports Green New Deal legislation, immigration reform, and abortion rights. Sanders takes pride in his campaign for not accepting any sort of money from Political Action Committees (PACs) and is funded 100% by the people. He is also endorsed by three out of four members of “The Squad”, a group of freshmen representatives who rose to popularity after the 2018 midterm elections. Although a senator for quite some time, Sanders has been criticized for not working well across the aisle and claiming to be a Democrat when it’s only beneficial to him. So far into the race, Sanders has won the popular vote in the Iowa caucuses, won the New Hampshire primary, and just recently won the Nevada caucuses as well, putting him with 58 delegates to lead the Democratic primaries. 

Joe Biden

Joe Biden is best known for being the former Vice President to 44th President, Barack Obama. Along with that, Biden also served as a senator for Delaware from 1973 to 2009 and is running for the United States presidency for the third time now. Although Biden has embraced progressive ideals like his fellow democratic candidates, he has still stuck strong to his moderate roots. Some of his policies include campaign finance reform, student loan forgiveness, and increased taxation for the wealthy. Naturally, he is in favor of expanding the Affording Care Act, which was signed into law under Obama’s presidency, instead of a Medicare for All system. Biden recently just won big in the South Carolina primary, boosting him from third to second place for the candidate with the most delegates. 

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana and a former military lieutenant. He is also the first openly gay man to run for the United States presidency and the youngest in the 2020 race. Buttigieg’s main platform is “Medicare for All Who Want It”: a plan that would provide the option for healthcare insurance, but still allows private healthcare insurers to remain active and in business. He also favors abolishing the electoral college, passing a federal law that prohibits discrimination against LGBT individuals, and universal gun background checks. Buttigieg has fallen under criticism for the police-resident relations, and overall racial and economic inequality within his city of South Bend. As of the last primary in South Carolina, Buttigieg is polling in at third for most delegates. 

Dropped as of: 3/1/2020

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren is a former renowned professor and has served as a Massachusetts senator since 2013. She has been labelled as one of the more progressive candidates competing for the presidency. Warren supports abolishing the electoral college, overturning the Supreme Court case of Citizens United v. FEC and banning super PACs, taxing the wealthy, and Medicare for All. Of all things, Warren considers herself a defender of the working class and promises to fight for them as she has been in her political career. Although Warren condemned donations from federal lobbyists and had one of the only two grassroots campaigns for this election, she just started accepting money from a Super PAC this past month in hopes of a comeback seeing as that she is not performing as she hoped with only eight delegates.

Dropped as of: 3/5/2020 

Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar is a lawyer who also serves as a senator for the state of Minnesota. She considers herself a moderate Democrat and claims she will tell voters no when a proposal or policy isn’t at the best interests of the nation. Klobuchar supports expanding on Medicare and Medicaid, “common sense” gun safety legislation, overturning the Citizens United v. FEC case, and reforming Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules. Klobuchar faced backlash after an Associated Press investigation showed irregularities in the case of a black teenager (Myon Burrell) who was sentenced to life over the death of an 11-year-old (Tyesha Edwards), which lead to civil rights groups to call for the suspension of her presidential campaign. She was faced with difficult questions regarding this case, but has continued her campaign. Klobuchar surprised the nation and finished third in the New Hampshire primary placing her with seven delegates. 

Dropped as of: 3/2/2020

Mike Bloomberg

Mike Bloomberg was the mayor of New York City from 2002 to 2013. Aside from his political career, Bloomberg is also well-known for being a successful businessman and philanthropist. You may know him from his infamous commercials attacking President Donald Trump that play non-stop between TV shows or before you watch a YouTube video. Bloomberg’s net worth of a whopping $61.9 billion and prior affiliations with the Republican party have put a target on his back for other democratic candidates. As mayor, his policies can be described as progressive but fiscally conservative. He also faced major backlash from expanding the stop-and-frisk law in NYC, which was deemed inherently racist due to the fact that it targeted minority communities. Nonetheless, Bloomberg promises that as president he would ensure that all Americans have affordable healthcare coverage, make college more affordable, and remove special interests out of politics. 

Dropped as of: 3/4/2020

Tom Steyer

Tom Steyer is the only 2020 democratic presidential candidate with no sort of political background, but has plenty of experience in business and philanthropy instead. Compared to other candidates, he joined the presidential race pretty late (July 2019). Something that makes Steyer stand out from the other candidates is that he’s a billionaire with a net worth of $1.6 billion. His main platform focuses on climate change reform, but he also supports new gun control legislation, raising the minimum wage, and expanding services for immigrants. Steyer was one of the first people to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump. In October of 2017, he launched a political group called Need to Impeach, which gathered over eight million supporters and became a main voice for the cause. 

Dropped as of: 3/1/2020

Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard is a US Representative from Hawaii’s second congressional district, an Iraq war veteran, and former vice-chairman of the Democratic National Convention. She is the first Hindu member of Congress and also the first female combat veteran to run for the presidency of the United States. Gabbard’s central policy focuses on reducing military activity, but also favors a Medicare for All healthcare plan and strengthening the US Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade. Up until 2004, Gabbard voted against same-sex marriage in her state of Hawaii and even went as far as working with a PAC called Alliance for Traditional Marriage and Values back in 1998, but has since then apologized multiple times for her past record. She has also fallen under harsh criticism for being skeptical of Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad’s use of illegal chemical weapons on the people of Syria. President Donald Trump and both parties denounced al-Assad’s actions, but Gabbard still stands by her claim. She currently has no delegates to her name this far into the primaries. 

On the other hand, incumbent to the presidential seat, Donald Trump is leading the Republican primaries with 86 delegates. Regardless of what party you choose to identify with or what candidate you feel is best fit for the presidency, I cannot stress the importance of going out and voting if you are of age. All of us have the ability to make a difference in this world, and you can start by fulfilling your duties as an American citizen and heading to the polls on your state’s primary election date and November 4, 2020.