As the once wide selection of candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination decreases, it’s important to start researching and get educated on what each runner supports and opposes. Whether it’s climate change or immigration, knowing their stance on these important policies is essential when choosing who you will vote for. Since Super Tuesday (the date when the greatest number of US states hold primary elections and caucuses) is next week, there is no better time to confidently choose who aligns with your values the most. Look through these policies and check to see which candidate makes you excited and confident in the future of this country.
(Note: When a candidate isn’t listed, it means they have not declared their stance on the policy/issue)
Federal Funding for Abortions
Three years after the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, the Hyde Amendment was voted to take effect. Essentially, this is a legislative provision barring the use of federal funds to pay for abortion except to save the life of the woman. Because of this, it has blocked federal Medicaid funding from abortion services, even to the point where abortion can’t be covered even when the individual’s doctor recommends they get an abortion. The existence of this amendment has been largely debated.
Should federal funding be restricted in the case of an abortion?
Yes: No candidates agree with this stance.
No: Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Gabbard, Klobuchar, Sanders, Steyer, Warren
This issue is one that can be discussed forever. When it comes to assault style weapons like AR-15s, these types of rifles have played a major role in many mass shootings that have taken place in the United States. When it comes to banning and/or regulating assault weapon purchases, the opinion is mixed.
Should the US ban assault weapons or create a voluntary buyback program?
Ban: Bloomberg, Gabbard, Klobuchar
Buyback: Biden, Buttigieg, Sanders, Steyer, Warren
There is no doubt that college tuition is rising. Compared to decades past, big state cuts in funding for higher education have caused significant change in how much a student must pay in order to attend college. For the most part, Democrats lean towards making higher education more affordable.
Should college be free, should the first two years be free, or should college be debt free?
Free: Gabbard, Sanders, Warren
First Two Years: Biden, Bloomberg, Klobuchar
Debt Free (Increased Aid): Buttigieg
Income equality, and more so taxing the wealthy, has become a huge talking point in this election season. New research has shown that the US has a wealth gap that is only widening and does not plan on stopping with current legislation. More specifically, research has found that the average tax rate paid by the richest families in the country (0.003%) was estimated to be 23%, a percentage lower than the 24.2% rate that is paid by the bottom half of American households. Now what do these candidates think about the richest 1% owning more wealth than the bottom 90%?
Do they propose creating special taxes on wealth or should there be an increase to existing taxes on upper-income Americans?
Special Wealth Tax: Bloomberg, Sanders, Steyer, Warren
Increase on Existing Tax: Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar
Legalization of Marijuana
Like abortion, the legalization of marijuana for the whole country has been highly debated. Different from the past stern stance taken to not allow the legalization of the Schedule 1 drug, more candidates have now begun changing their attitude on the issue.
Should the US legalize marijuana or should it be in the states’ hands?
Country Wide Legalization: Buttigieg, Gabbard, Klobuchar, Bernie, Steyer, Warren
In States’ Hands: Biden, Bloomberg
Following President Obama’s executive action of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) in 2012, there has been much resistance surrounding immigration from Republicans. Most recently, the Trump administration has been trying to phase out DACA, but due to being temporarily blocked by federal judges, status for DREAMers is unknown at the moment. Democrats are now hoping to create a pathway for citizenship for those that are DACA recipients.
Should DREAMers receive citizenship?
Yes: Biden, Buttigieg, Gabbard, Klobuchar, Sanders, Steyer, Warren.
Currently, the United States ranks the lowest when compared to similar governments in terms of access, efficiency, equity, and healthcare outcomes. With the passing of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, 20 million uninsured Americans were covered. Candidates now hope to expand coverage for those that remain uninsured. Thoughts are mixed on this issue, but all candidates agree on the need for an improved healthcare system.
Medicare for All, Improve and add to the ACA, or Reevaluate Healthcare System?
Medicare for All: Sanders, Warren
Improve and Add to the ACA: Biden, Bloomberg, Klobuchar
Reevaluate Healthcare System: Buttigieg, Gabbard, Steyer
Carbon emissions are a hot topic around the whole world. From protests to the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, more than ever before, changes in policy are needed. Fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas have raised global temperatures to new highs by trapping solar energy in the atmosphere. In one way or another, all candidates want change.
Put Regulations in Place, Create Programs, or Tax Carbon Emissions?
Put Regulations in Place: Bloomberg, Klobuchar, Sanders, Warren
Create Programs: Steyer
Tax: Biden, Buttigieg
Finding your ideal candidate can be hard with the variety of opinions and stances that are held by the nominees. From the policies and issues above, look to see which candidate you most agreed with. You may be surprised!