As the 2020 election and presidential race quickly approach, the political climate can be hard to navigate. With a historically large pool of 18 Democrats and 3 Republicans running, concepts can be confusing and it is hard to decide who to vote for. This is a guide to each candidate and their signature issues.
The Democrats currently running are Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Steve Bullock, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Wayne Messam, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Joe Sestak, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang. Currently leading the polls are Biden, Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg, with 19%, 19%, 13% and 6% respectively.
The Republicans currently running are incumbent Donald Trump, Joe Walsh and William Weld. Trump is currently leading with 89% of the polls.
Former Vice-President Joe Biden has run for President twice before and claims that 2020 is the last year he will run. He is widely popular with moderate Democrats and was popular as VP under Obama. He falls short with younger and more radical voters and has a history of flipping his viewpoints. His main issues are restoring America’s international standings and relations as well as adding more protections for lower-class citizens.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders ran for President in 2016, but lost to Hillary Clinton in the primaries. Sanders describes himself as a democratic-socialist, which is different than socialism itself. Sanders’ main goals are free medicare for all, free college tuition and curbing the influence of billionaires in American politics. He is highly progressive and radical, which earns him both criticism and praise.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has 13% of the polls and a lot of her concepts closely align with Sanders. Warren has released her long and detailed plan for reshaping the American economy, as one of her main arguments is the need for a structural change. This plan has received many criticisms, but economic experts say it might have potential. Warren’s main issues are income inequality and helping the middle class.
Veteran and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the youngest candidate in the Presidential race and has gained a lot of attention in recent news. Buttigieg has fundraised more than any other candidate in the race and has proven to be widely popular with college age voters. Buttigieg has focused on American identity, economic issues and climate change. While he has gained popularity for his service and younger mindset, some criticisms have risen over his inexperience and age.
California Senator Kamala Harris originally gained strong traction for her debate skills and star power, but lost poll points after some questionable bills and comments she made were brought to light. Her main issues are middle-class tax cuts and civil rights.
New Jersey Senator Cory Booker currently has 2% of the polls, but some of his arguments are popular with the voters. He is running on a policy of love, unity and equality. He wants to combat mass incarceration and the racial wealth gap.
Tech executive Andrew Yang’s signature concept is giving households a universal basic income of $1000 a month. He currently has 2% of the polls.
Castro, Klobuchar, Gabbard, Bullock and Steyer all hold 1% of the polls, but will likely not make it to the primaries. Williamson, Delaney, Messam and Sestak all currently have 0% of the polls.
The most likely candidate for the Republican primary is incumbent President Donald Trump, as he holds nearly 90% of the polls, and it has been historically difficult for any other candidate to beat out an incumbent. Trump is sticking with his 2016 signature issues of building a wall on the Southern border, cutting taxes for the upper class, undoing bills of the Obama administration, and withdrawing American troops from overseas while renegotiating international relations.
Running against Trump is former Illinois Congressman and radio show host Joe Walsh. He has come under fire for some controversial comments about President Trump, but is still holding 5% of the polls. His signatures are getting Trump out of office, restricting government control and reducing the national debt.
The final Republican candidate is William Weld, the former governor of Massachusetts. Weld is representing moderate Republicans in the race, and has continued to be a strong critic of Donald Trump since the 2016 race. Weld is running on giving a voice to moderate and mainstream republicans, as well as free trade and immigration reform.
There is a historically large number of Presidential candidates this race, which means it is more imperative than ever to vote in not only the primaries, but also the main election. The Arkansas primaries are Tuesday, Mar. 3 of 2020, with the Presidential election Tuesday, Nov. 3 of 2020.