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2020 Election: Meet the candidates


With the primaries coming in November, it can feel a little disorienting to know who to vote for among the nineteen Democratic and four Republican participants. Here is a summary of the most prominent candidates running in the 2020 presidential primaries.

Incumbent President

Donald Trump (R): The current president is campaigning on the promise of preserving his plans to build a wall on the border of Mexico, continuing to strengthen ties with Russia, increasing immigration restrictions, decreasing welfare spending and continuing the trade war with China.

Top Four Democratic Candidates for Nomination

Joe Biden (D): For the former vice president and two-time candidate for the Democratic Party, health care is a central issue. He wants to preserve Obamacare, the existing health care system where the government offers a health care marketplace that’s meant to show citizens the most affordable insurance plan for them. In this campaign, he has held that many of the candidates are often striking too radical tones in their campaigns, emphasizing the need to promote stabilization and cooperation between the two parties.

Elizabeth Warren (D): This former law professor and current Mass. senator has welfare-driven economic policies, involving a dismantling of big tech companies, which would be funded by a wealth tax. She also wants to enact legislation that would mitigate the income discrepancies between the rich and poor, establish stricter gun laws, reform the electoral system and enable a single-payer health care system—also called “Medicare for All,” intending to make health care guaranteed to all citizens and paid for entirely by taxes.

Bernie Sanders (D): The self-proclaimed democratic socialist has been strongly pioneering vast economic reforms—$15 minimum wage, tuition-free public university, eliminating student debt and establishing Medicare for All—many of which he’s supported for the past several decades and has only brought into the public opinion through his then-radical presidential campaign in 2016.

Pete Buttigieg (D): The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana—“Mayor Pete,” as he’s called—is running a progressive campaign, forwarding the importance of reforming the justice system, abolishing the electoral college and enacting Medicare for All. He also appeals to many as a candidate who would shake up the presidential status quo: He went straight from the mayor of South Bend to presidential candidate, and would be not only the first millennial president, but the first openly LGBT president.

Other Notable Democratic Candidates

Kamala Harris (D): The California senator and former prosecutor campaigns as the antithesis of Donald Trump. The policies she’s most strongly pushing are targeted towards reforming the troubles of marginalized members of society, which, as a black woman, is an important central goal for her. This is most clearly presented in her promises of reform in gun violence, immigration and criminal justice.

Andrew Yang (D): One of the few non-career politicians in the ring, the former tech executive’s most striking policy is the universal basic income, which he’s rebranded as the “Freedom Dividend,” a policy that would give everyone over the age of 18 $1,000 a month. Other policies include the legalization of marijuana, pardoning of marijuana offenders and an increase in federal education spending.

Beto O’Rourke (D): The El Paso native represents himself as the voice of the immigrants. In the most recent debate, he took a very strong position on gun reform, saying that he would buy back all assault weapons to put an end to the growing number of shootings in the country.

Cory Booker (D): Equality for women and racial minorities is a focus of the former college football player and current New Jersey senator, as is reform of the criminal justice system and the legalization of marijuana.

Marianne Williamson (D): The former self-help author and spiritual lecturer hopes to bring the concept of love back into political conversation. As far as policies are concerned, she has proposed expansive slavery reparations, education investments and other welfare programs.

Republican Competitors

Mark Sanford (R): The former governor of South Carolina is running a campaign that’s focusing first and foremost on the economic deficit and poor federal spending habits of the United States.

Joe Walsh (R): A former conservative radio host, Walsh is centering his campaign on removing Trump from the White House, who he sees as a dangerous and incompetent president. This is a point all three of the competitors dwell on, but for Walsh, it serves as a particular strong point, which he enunciates with marked rigor.

Bill Weld (R): The former governor of Massachusetts is competing with Trump with his strikingly libertarian values. He’s campaigning on the fiscally conservative policies of few government handouts or welfare programs and on the socially liberal stances like legalization of marijuana and abortion.

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