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Speed Dating With Potential Democratic Presidential Candidates (Part 1)

In about a year from now, most of us will vote for a candidate we believe will lead America in the right direction — a candidate that will fight for our values and represent America to the best of their abilities. This man or woman will be at least 35 years of age and a natural born citizen of the United States. This individual will be the 46th (fingers crossed) President of the United States. There are currently 18 potential Democratic presidential candidates running for this position, and I bet most of us have never heard of at least half of the people running. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have great ideas. Similarly to speed-dating, I’m going to tell you what each candidate brings to the ballot in a short period of time so you don’t have to do all the stalking, I mean research, yourself. You’re going to learn about the candidates’ thoughts and stances on a few key issues: healthcare, education, climate change, gun laws, and immigration. 

First up,

Michael Bennet


  • Who is He: A 54-year-old Senator from Colorado
  • Stance on Gun Control: Although he has a C+ rating from the NRA due to his mixed voting record on gun rights, he supports passing the background check bill and limiting the amount of magazines someone can purchase. Gun control is not a plan listed on his official campaign website.  
  • Plans for Health Care: Medicare-X builds on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and proposes payment rates that are lower than those of private insurance. Plans to ensure citizens won't pay more than 13% of their earnings on insurance premiums. This is different from the ACA in that it will require the federal government to lower drug prices for Medicare and Medicare-X. The goal is to lower the cost of health care. 
  • Plans for Education: Plans for free community college tuition and to make four-year public college insitutions debt-free. He also plans to expand forgiveness on student debt. 
  • Plans for Climate Change: A Climate X Option that requires all power providers to offer zero-emission energy to all of their clients, and a Climate Bank that encourages private investment.
  • Immigration: Supports giving citizenship to people who were brought into the United States as children and keeping families together.
  • Where to find more information: here, here, and here 


Joe Biden


  • Who is He: Former Vice President of the United States and Former Delaware Senator
  • Stance on Gun Control: Supports banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Plans to regulate the possession of existing assault weapons with background checks. Wants to institute a buy-back program where the government will buy back assault weapons from individuals. Plans to require a background check on anyone who is trying to purchase a gun. He also has plans to stop the sale of guns and magazines from online retailers. I could go on all day telling you about Biden's plans for gun control, but you can also find the information listed on his official campaign website here. He also has plans for guns and victims of domestic violence. I highly recommend taking a look. 
  • Plans for Health Care: Plans to build on the Affordable Care Act to ensure that every American has access to affordable health insurance. He wants to increase the value of tax credits to lower premiums and expand coverage to low-income Americans. He also has a plan to allow Americans to purchase their prescriptions from other countries to fuel competition in the U.S. He plans to make healthcare a right, not a privilege. To learn more click here.
  • Plans for Education: Make two years of community college debt-free and plans to invest in community colleges. Individuals making $25,000 or less do not have to pay back their debt to college institutions. Everyone else will use 5% of their income (excluding costs for housing, food, etc.) to pay off their loans. 
  • Plans for Climate Change: Supports the Green New Deal and plans to ensure that "the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050."  If you're interested in learning more, click here
  • Immigration: Wants to reinvent legal-immigration. Has made some comments about illegal immigration being a crime. 

Cory Booker


  • Who is He: New Jersey Senator
  • Stance on Gun Control: Supports gun licensing and banning assault weapons along with high capacity magazines. Supports passing universal background checks. Learn more here.
  • Plans for Health Care: Believes that health care is a human right. Plans to implement universal paid family and medical leave and to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Cares about  "reducing racial disparities in maternal mortality rates".
  • Plans for Education: Plans to establish a path for debt-free college tuition. Wants to simplify the process of applying for federal financial aid (can we get an AMEN?).
  • Plans for Climate Change: Booker plans to accelerate the termination of fossil fuel use. Has intentions to lead the world toward ambitious and binding emissions commitments.​ He will directly invest trillions of dollars to help restore the climate. Learn more here
  • Immigration: Plans to end family separation and expand protection to DREAMers. Wants to create an asylum process for those seeking refuge in the United States.


Steve Bullock 


  • Who is He: Governor of Montana; Former State Attorney General
  • Stance on Gun Control: Backs limiting gun control. Information is not on his official campaign website.
  • Plans for Health Care: Health care is a right. Plans to increase the quality of health care and make it more affordable. Wants to strengthen Medicare and fight opioid addiction.
  • Plans for Education: Plans to increase funding for school-based mental health. Wants to make community colleges tuition-free. Supports lowering interest rates for student loans. 
  • Plans for Climate Change: Plans to aggressively expand clean energy use and reduce carbon emissions. To learn more about his ideas, click here.
  • Immigration: Plans to reform the immigration system in America. Ensure families remain together — no kids in cages!


Pete Buttigieg ​


  • Who is He: Mayor of South Bend, Indiana; Military Vet. 
  • Stance on Gun Control: Plans to make background checks universal and ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Wants to establish a nationwide gun licensing program. 
  • Plans for Health Care: Plans to make Medicare available to all, make prescriptions more affordable, and expand health care access to rural areas. 
  • Plans for Education: Plans to raise teachers' pay and make college tuition debt-free for low-income families. 
  • Plans for Climate Change: Supports the implementation of the Green New Deal and increasing energy efficiency in homes. 
  • Immigration: Easier citizenship for DREAMers and those living, working, and contributing to the United States. Common Sense Immigration is what Buttigieg likes to call it.


Julian Castro


  • Who is He: Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Former Mayor of San Antonio
  • Stance on Gun Control: Supports universal background checks and establishing a permanent assault weapon ban. He also plans for individuals to have a license in order to purchase firearms. 
  • Plans for Health Care: Plans to make Medicare available to all, lower the cost of prescription drugs, and expand health care access to rural communities. 
  • Plans for Education: Hopes to eliminate tuition from public colleges and universities. You have to be 250% above the poverty line to start paying back loans.
  • Plans for Climate Change: Plans to establish a clean energy standard to ensure that United States' energy is clean by 2030. Hopes to "establish a National Climate Council to implement federal climate policy". Click here to see Castro's full plan.
  • Immigration: Plans to reform our immigration system by establishing a pathway for undocumented individuals and DREAMers to become legal citizens. Plans on retracting Trump's Muslim and refugee ban.


John Delaney


  • Who is He: Former Congressman from Maryland
  • Stance on Gun Control: Supports universal background checks and banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines. 
  • Plans for Health Care: Proposes a new universal health care plan called BetterCare. This plan preserves Medicare and applies to people under 65 years of age. It will guarantee  universal coverage and still keep private insurance options. To learn more click here.
  • Plans for Education: Plans to lower the cost of student loans and give more grants to students coming from low-income families. 
  • Plans for Climate Change: A $4 trillion plan that will put a price on carbon in an attempt to reduce pollution. To read more about Delaney's detailed Climate Change plan, click here.
  • Immigration: Plans to create a citizenship path for undocumented individuals and DREAMers. He also plans to allow more refugees into the United States and reform the Visa program for people who come to America to work. 


Tulsi Gabbard


  • Who is She: Congresswoman from Hawaii
  • Stance on Gun Control: Supports universal background checks and banning the sale of military weapons. 
  • Plans for Health Care: Will ensure that all Americans have quality healthcare. 
  • Plans for Education: N/A
  • Plans for Climate Change: Plans to ban "offshore drilling, harness innovation to create jobs in renewable energy". Click here to read more of her quotes that are available on her campaign website. 
  • Immigration: Plans to secure America's borders and stop separating children from their families. Supports DACA and granting asylum to refugees. 


Kamala Harris


  • Who is She: California Senator; Former Attorney General of California
  • Stance on Gun Control: Plans to issue universal background checks, ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Plans on issuing an executive order during her first 100 days in office if Congress won't do anything about gun violence in this country. 
  • Plans for Health Care: Plans to guarantee Medicare for all and lower the cost of prescription drugs. Public and private insurance plans will be available to the public. 
  • Plans for Education: Plans to ensure that no student will pay off more loans than they can afford. To learn more about where Harris stands with student-debt, click here.
  • Plans for Climate Change: Plans to modernize our transportation and energy use to reduce carbon emissions. She plans to hold polluters accountable and has a target to "exceed the Paris Agreement climate goals and achieve a clean economy by 2045". To learn more, click here.
  • Immigration: She plans to reinstate DACA and to protect DREAMers. She also plans to reverse Trump's Muslim ban and restore Temporary Protected Status.


You made it! You've reached the end! But not really! This is only part 1 (haha), but if you are interested in learning about the other nine Democratic candidates running for president, you should check out part 2!!


Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Farah majoring in sociology and minoring in political science. She is the Director of Recruitment and Director of Social Media of Her Campus Utah for the 2020-2021 school year. She loves painting with coffee and drinking lemonade.
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