By Logan Bledsoe
There is no beating around the bush, there are a lot of Democratic candidates running for the 2020 presidency. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of names and running motos. So, with that said, who are the major front runners who actually have a significant chance at beating Trump, and what do they stand for?
So far, the top five candidates, in order of latest polling numbers, are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg. It’s important to know that this order is subject to change, with polls showing Elizabeth Warren behind Bernie Sanders by just one point.
So what are the differences between the candidates? Most of the candidates have extremely similar views, so let’s break them down. First, we have Joe Biden, the former Vice President of the United States, who is often viewed as an establishment democrat, with “middle of the road” views that most of the Democratic party agrees on. These include higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Biden pushes for more gun laws, including the ban on assault-style weapons. He also believes decriminalizing marijuana at a federal level, and leaving it to the states to decide their marijuana laws. Biden also supports renewable energy subsidies, student loan forgiveness, and same sex marriage. Biden has been criticized heavily for his stance on capital punishment however, as he has a very pro-death-sentence voting record, as well as voting to add more crimes to the list under captial punishment.
Next, is Bernie Sanders, a self described socialist, who supports free college, higher taxes on the wealthy, free health care.. Sanders has admitted that this will require a broad increase in taxes for all, with the majority of the monetary load falling on the rich and powerful. Sanders has a mixed voting record on guns. While he comes from a state with “virtually no gun laws”, Sanders believes in closing the gun show loophole, banning assault-style weapons, and universal federal background checks. Sanders has been bashed, however, for stating that the mandatory waiting periods that often take place after purchasing a gun, should be left to the states to decide rather than on a federal level.
In third place, is Elizabeth Warren. Warren, like Biden is also an establishment Democrat, who has a long record of fighting for small business, and pushing for higher taxes and regulations for corporations. Like Sanders, she supports raising the minimum wage. Warren is most noted for her accomplishments and voting record when it comes to workers rights. This includes fighting for time-and-a-half pay for farm workers who work over 40 hours in a week. Another big bill she fought for is the Schedules that Work Act, this protects workers from retaliation from asking for schedule changes.
In fourth place, is Kamala Harris. Harris was the former attorney general of California, who spearheaded many investigations into companies like Exxon for lying about climate change. She heavily supports the Paris climate accord. Harris has a perfect 100% score from the League of Conservation Voters, an entity which tracks politicians on their climate based voting records. Harris also supported Bernie Sanders’ College for All Act. Harris also supports the ban on assault-style weapons and high capacity magazines. Harris also supports medicare for all, like Sanders. Harris, unlike other candidates, does not want to completely abolish ICE, but rather “start from scratch”.
Lastly, in fifth place, is Pete Buttigieg. Like Harris, Buttigieg supports the Paris Climate Accord, as well as the controversial Green New Deal. Buttigieg also supports universal background checks, and keeping guns out of school. He has, however, been criticized for speaking out against stand your ground self defense gun laws.
There is no doubt, that whoever wins the nomination, will need the full support of the Democratic Party in order to beat Trump in the 2020 election. It is time to think about who you want to face Trump in 2020. Who has the numbers, and logic to best him?