Everything You Need to Know About the Top 2020 Candidates

by Stella Pagkas, Social Media Manager

The 2020 presidential election is well over a year away, but there are already scores of candidates beginning to campaign for the oval office. For every candidate, there are endless interviews, records, and lists of policies, and it can be almost impossible to get a sense of what each politician really stands for. Here is a breakdown of what the most promising 2020 presidential candidates are fighting for.

The Democrats

Bernie Sanders

“Feel the Bern”

Sanders is currently a US Senator representing Vermont, and is a former congressman. He identifies as a democratic socialist and received 43.1% of votes in the Democratic primary elections in 2016, coming in just behind Clinton. Many of his supporters are young people, and he is a promising contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

Major Platforms

  • Sanders wants to create jobs and raise wages, including establishing a fifteen dollar minimum wage.
  • He vows to protect the environment, including addressing climate change as a national crisis.
  • Sanders wants to establish universal health care by expanding on the Affordable Care Act, and he believes every American should have access to mental health resources.
  • He wants to increase access to higher education by creating tuition-free public college education.
  • He wants to reform immigration, including making legal citizenship in the United States a more viable option for people of different nationalities.
  • Generally, he wants to reduce the influence of the wealthy on politics.

Elizabeth Warren

Warren is a Senator representing Massachusetts. She identified as a Republican until 1996 when she switched party affiliation and became a Democrat. She has served as the Vice Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, a Special Advisor for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Chair of the Congressional Oversight Bureau.

Major Platforms

  • Warren wants to end corruption in Washington by ending lobbying and prohibiting Senators and members of Congress from trading stock.
  • She wants to rebuild the middle class with universal childcare, an ultra-millionaire tax for the wealthiest Americans, and antitrust legislation so that corporations cannot take advantage of average Americans.
  • She aims to strengthen our democracy by ending partisan manipulation and lobbyists.
  • Warren also wants to reform the judicial system, making everyone equal under the law and ending racial disparities in prisons as well as private.
  • She wants to reform trade policies and enforce a strong military to protect against terrorism.

Kamala Harris

Harris is a current junior US senator. She is the former Attorney General of California, and before that served as the District Attorney of San Francisco. She initiated her campaign on January 27, 2019, and is expected to be popular among younger voters because of her progressive policies.

Major Platforms

  • Harris supports the affordable care act and plans to establish Medicare for All, universal healthcare with complete elimination of private healthcare corporations.
  • She advocates for Planned Parenthood and the right to a legal abortion
  • She supports the DREAM act and protecting those with DACA status.
  • She plans to enact education reform with Sanders’ proposed tuition-free public college education as well as universal prekindergarten.
  • Harris wants to end the war in Afghanistan and bring home American soldiers.
  • She also proposed a 2.8 trillion dollar tax plan to support the working class in which citizens would receive tax credits to match their earnings up to $3,000 to help offset the increasing cost of living in the US.

The Republicans

Donald Trump

“Make America Great Again”

Before winning the 2016 presidential election, Trump was a businessman and a reality television personality. He is now two years into his presidency and is running for a second term in 2020. He filed for reelection the day of his inauguration in 2017. His 2020 campaign is focusing on many of the same issues that his 2016 campaign emphasized.

Major Platforms

  • Trump continues to regard illegal immigration as a major issue, and he has proposed both legislation and a wall on the US-Mexico border as solutions.
  • He supports private, “free-market” healthcare over nationalized healthcare such as the Affordable Care Act.
  • Trump is in favor of decreasing the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency because its regulations impede on certain industries.
  • He advocates for tax cuts for both individuals and businesses to promote a growing economy.
  • He is a strong supporter of tariffs on foreign trade, and has expressed intentions to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
  • Trump takes a pro-life stance on abortion rights.

William “Bill” Weld

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Weld is a former two-term Governor of Massachusetts, and was the 2016 Libertarian party’s nominee for vice president. He is also a writer and an attorney. He acted as legal counsel to the US House Judiciary Committee during the impeachment of President Nixon.


Major Platforms

  • He is economically conservative and believes in cutting taxes, federal spending, and tariffs on foreign trade to support economic growth.
  • He is an advocate for LGBT rights and has been fighting for legal abortions since the 1990s.
  • Weld wants the US to work more closely with neighbors Mexico and Canada in order to address issues such as security.
  • He believes the government should issue more H1B work visas so that undocumented citizens can find work in the US.
  • He considers climate change to be an urgent issue and did not support the US withdrawing from the Paris Agreement.
  • Weld believes a major issue to be addressed is the projected job loss that will accompany increased automation, with a possible solution being new training for workers.