Get to Know the 10 Democratic Candidates in the 2020 Presidential Election

So, you’re just about totally lost on who all of these Democrats running for president are, right? Join the club! With the first debate having 20 candidates, it was hard to not only listen to what anyone was saying but truly understand what they were running for. Thankfully the September debate, which takes place on September 12, will only host 10 candidates. Luckily for you, I’m going to break down the qualifying candidates' opinions on the hard-hitting major issues this election season.

  1. 1. Pete Buttigieg 

    Mayor Buttigieg is a young face in this lineup, but that doesn’t make him any less qualified. He believes in a “Medicare for All Who Want It” policy for healthcare in America. This will create a pathway to eventually get us to Medicare for All without disrupting the economy too quickly. With that he will also lower drug prices, attack the opioid crisis, and remove bias in our healthcare system. Mayor Buttigieg wants to create debt-free college by making public colleges free for all. Climate change will be addressed with a Green New Deal that ensures clean energy for all and decarbonizing transportation. He wants to end family separation and reevaluate ICE so we don’t endure another crisis. In regard to gun laws, Mayor Buttigieg wants to create universal background checks, ban assault weapons, enact red flag laws, close all loopholes, and establish a gun licensing system.

  2. 2. Bernie Sanders 

    If you’ve heard of Bernie Sanders, there’s not a doubt in my mind that you know he wants to pass a Medicare for All bill, cancel student debt and tax wealthy corporations like Amazon. However, his platform doesn’t just stop after those three points. He has plans for all of our current major issues. For climate change, he recently discussed passing a Green New Deal in order to take action on many near irreversible issues we’re facing. His immigration reform deals with providing legal statuses for all DACA recipients, restructuring ICE, creating humane policies for asylum seekers and dismantling vile deportation programs and detention centers. Senator Sanders wants to create common-sense gun laws, which include expanded background checks, ending the gun show loophole and banning assault-style weapons.

  3. 3. Cory Booker

    Senator Cory Booker separated his platform into three categories: Justice, Opportunity and American Leadership. Justice covers human involved issues including equality, Opportunity covers our basic rights and needs and American Leadership entails national issues. In regard to gun violence, the senator wants to pass universal background checks, ban assault rifles, close loopholes, and create a gun violence intervention program. His immigration plans include protecting DREAMers, fighting for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and to destigmatize asylum seekers. He also plans to end the War on Drugs and reform the criminal justice system. Senator Booker’s plans for health care are to fight for Medicare for All, defeat the opioid crisis, lower prescription drug prices, protect women’s reproductive rights and to end attacks on the Affordable Care Act. For climate change, he wants to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord and implement a Green New Deal.

  4. 4. Julián Castro 

    Julián Castro is the Former house and Urban Development Secretary under President Obama. Castro’s immigration plan includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented individuals, give DACA recipients citizenship, change the visa system and revoke the Muslim Ban. Julián Castro wants to attack white nationalism as well as the gun violence problem we are in. In order to do so, he wants to end all firearm loopholes, ban assault weapons, require a license to obtain a firearm, reform ammunition laws and support safety measures. Castro also wants to create an “Inherited Wealth” tax that has the top wealthy heirs pay a fair tax and bring money into the economy. He wants to move minimum wage over to a $15 living wage and close the gender pay gap.

  5. 5. Joe Biden 

    The former Vice President is running on the idea of American as a vision. He separates his vision into three categories: rebuilding the middle class, showing respected leadership on the world stage and making sure democracy includes everyone. Like many other candidates, he wants to change health care in the United States. However, he opposes the Medicare for All plan. His plan is to make healthcare more affordable and expand the Affordable Care Act while giving American’s options for their providers either private or public. Biden wants to create a humane immigration system that doesn’t stray away from America’s beliefs and focuses on legal immigration. Joe Biden also has a plan by 2050 to have America run with clean energy to reduce pollution and help deal with climate change. Similarly, Biden wants to have America rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and backs the Green New Deal.

  6. 6. Kamala Harris 

    Senator Harris is running to restore justice and help rebuild an economy that works in everyone's favor. Kamala Harris supports Medicare for All, wants to lower prescription drug costs and help protect women’s reproductive rights. She has a proposed climate bill that will create a clean economy by 2045 to help reduce the effects of climate change. Senator Harris’ plans for gun control include closing all loopholes, creating universal background checks and repealing the NRA’s immunity shield. In regard to immigration, Senator Harris wants to create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, expand temporary protected status for asylum seekers and close private detention centers.

  7. 7. Amy Klobuchar 

    Senator Klobuchar supports universal health care, just like many of her colleagues do. On top of it all she supports expanding the Affordable Care Act so consumers will pay less out of pocket. Like many of the others, she supports a closing of gun loopholes and universal background checks, along with banning assault weapons. She is a backer of the Green New Deal and to get us back into the International Climate Agreement. For immigration, Senator Klobuchar, wants to create a pathway for citizenship for DREAMers, as well as undocumented immigrants. Senator Klobuchar also wants to raise minimum wage and help lower student debt by refinancing loans.

  8. 8. Beto O'Rourke 

    Beto O’Rourke is a former member of the House of Representatives. O’Rourke has plans for universal health care, same as many of his colleagues. His healthcare will give high-quality care to every American, along with lower prescription drug costs. After his hometown of El Paso fell victim to a mass shooting, gun control became personal to him. He wants to end NRA influence in the government, implement universal background checks, ban assault weapons and make gun violence a public health emergency. O’Rourke wants to expedite the naturalization process for immigrants eligible, as well as create a pathway to citizenship for many and end family separations. Beto plans to have America be without fossil fuels or pollutants by 2050 and invest in new technology to help accomplish that.

  9. 9. Elizabeth Warren 

    Senator Warren, just like Bernie Sanders, is very involved in Medicare For All. Actually, both of them are co-sponsors for the bill which will give all American’s health care. Senator Warren is also a known advocate for helping the middle class and having big companies pay their fair share in taxes. In regards to gun violence, Warren wants to reinstate universal background checks, call for a ban on assault weapons and fight back against the NRA’s hold on the government. Her immigration plans include decriminalizing our borders so family separations would be harder to have happen. She also is a supporter of the Green New Deal and plans to make America a leading nation in clean energy technology.

  10. 10. Andrew Yang 

    Andrew Yang is the businessman running on not only being the opposite of President Trump but as the man who is going to give you $1,000 a month as long as you’re 18 or older. Yang wants to reduce student loan debt by creating a 10x10 Student Loan Emancipation Act. This would have a student pay 10% of their salary per year for ten years to the balance of their student loans, after that the rest would be forgiven. For health care, Yang, like almost all of the other candidates backs Medicare for All. Which will provide healthcare to all Americans, lower out of pocket costs for prescriptions and protect women’s reproductive rights.

Hopefully, this helped you feel just a bit better about who the heck all of these people are. While I only covered and summarized the major issues this debate season, each candidate has a whole list of all of their plans with longer explanations on their website. Don’t forget to watch the debate on September 12 to learn even more about each candidate!