A Rundown on the 2020 Presidential Candidates

Emma Pierson ‘20, Staff Writer

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As we approach the next presidential election, it comes time for voters to examine the various candidates for President in 2020. As expected, President Trump will face formidable opposition from the Democrat Party. thus far, only one Republican candidate has emerged to contend. The fifteen declared candidates present a variety of policies and platforms- which of these will come into effect depends heavily on the discretion of the American people in approximately a year and a half.

Cory Booker is a Democrat Senator from New Jersey and the former mayor of Newark. Celebrated as a persuasive speechmaker, he has worked to pass legislation on criminal justice reform and unite the country.

Pete Buttigieg, a Democrat, is the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a military veteran. At 37, he would be the youngest President. His platform advocates the need to address climate change and fair economic opportunity.

Democrat Julián Castro is the former housing secretary and former mayor of San Antonio. His main issues include universal public pre-kindergarten, “free” healthcare, and immigration reform.

John Delaney is a former Democrat congressman from Maryland and businessman. A self-described “pragmatic idealist,” he generally lends his support to liberal agendas such as universal health care.

Tulsi Gabbard is Democrat Congresswoman from Hawaii and an Army veteran. She attracted controversy from some of her liberal supporters with her non-interventionist, anti-regime change stance, as well as for her involvement with an anti-gay advocacy group.

Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke is an American businessman and politician of the Democratic Party who represented Texas’s 16th congressional district for three terms in the United States House of Representatives.

Kirsten Gillibrand is a Democrat Senator from New York and former congresswoman. She claims that personal experience will help her recognize the needs of young mothers:  “I’m going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom I am going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own.” Her signature issue is gender inequality.

Presidential Hopefuls Booker, Sanders, and Gillibrand at The Center for American Progress’ Ideas Conference

Kamala Harris, one of the most popular candidates, is a Democrat Senator and former attorney general from California, as well as the former district attorney of San Francisco.A prominent liberal influence in the Senate, her main causes are cutting taxes for the middle class and furthering civil rights.

Kamala Harris’s 2020 campaign at Howard University, her alma mater

John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, is a former governor of Colorado and former mayor of Denver, as well as a geologist and businessman. He is a generally moderate candidate with a record of success in swing states. He champions gay rights, Medicare, and gun control.

Jay Inslee is the Democrat Governor of Washington and former congressman who is perhaps the most ardent enemy of climate change on the political scene.

Amy Klobuchar is a Democrat Senator from Minnesota. She is well-known for questioning Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings. Her main cause is fighting the national opioid crisis.

Bernie Sanders is a Democrat Senator from Vermont and former congressman who describes his political ideology as “democratic socialism.” He lost the 2016 Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton. His prospective presidential agenda includes enacting universal healthcare and “free” college tuition. His supporters appreciate his spirited denunciation of the upper one percent in favor of a more even distribution of wealth.

Elizabeth Warren is a Senator from Massachusetts and former Harvard professor. Warren has been in the public eye for some time, notably due to interest in her disputed claims of Native American heritage. She vows to defend the middle class against corrupt Washington bureaucracy.

Marianne Williamson is a motivational speaker and author of self-help books. A Democrat, her main cause is protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community and of people with disabilities. She has also proposed that the federal government spend 100 billion dollars in slavery reparations.

Democrat Andrew Yang is a businessman of the tech industry and founder of an economic development nonprofit organization. He believes in implementing a universal basic income of 1,000 dollars a month: “Universal basic income is an old idea, but it’s an old idea that right now is uniquely relevant because of what we’re experiencing in society.”

William F. Weld, the only Republican in the race at this point, is a former governor of Massachusetts and federal prosecutor. He ran for vice president on the Libertarian ticket with Gary Johnson 2016. An open critic of the Trump Administration, he hopes to win the votes of conservatives and moderates who are not compelled by the policies of either Trump or his Democrat adversaries. He urges fiscal restraint, free trade, marijuana legalization, and immigration reform.

Bill Weld’s 2020 campaign poster

There is hardly a need to emphasize that the current administration has created a historic rift in public opinion, the likes of which this country has rarely, if ever, seen before. Trump’s Presidency has provoked the fierce outrage and alarm of a significant population of America. Notwithstanding ever-present censure from the opposing side, Trump’s loyal supporters seem to have the courage of their convictions. They may wax poetic about Trump’s refreshing lack of affectation and his bold departure from party line rhetoric, or the tangible progress of his administration, while his fellow citizen perceives only the retrograde consequences of electing a bigoted and ill-motivated commander in chief. Given the inevitably polarizing nature of the next election cycle, it would be a vain attempt for any invested citizen to speculate on the results of the 2020 election with confidence, for all the heightened passions and fervent prayers on either side of the aisle.