As the 2020 presidential election quickly approaches, America’s junior and senior students who will be eighteen years old as of November 3rd don’t have much time left to pick their own frontrunners for the upcoming primaries. If you, along with your scholarship apps, test studying, and homework assignments, have procrastinated in choosing a candidate to vote for in the spring primaries, or fall general election, don’t worry! This guide will hopefully help you get a better understanding of each candidate’s overall platform, qualifications, the future vision for America and projected goals if they are elected.
While the campaign trail started with over twenty-five candidates, only eight are still currently in the running. Comprised of former senators, mayors, and representatives, this field of people and principles is sure to have the right match for any Democratic voter.
- Former Vice President to Barack Obama (2009-2017)
- Former Delaware Senator (1973-2009)
- Previous Presidential Candidate in 2008 and 1988
- Plans to rebuild the middle class
- Basis of Political Platform: strengthen the economy and protect workers rights and conditions in low-income industries
- Former New York City Mayor (2002-2013)
- CEO of Bloomberg L.P.
- Disagrees with progressives on issues such as #MeToo movement and regulation of banking
- Basis of Political Platform: Supporter of gun control and climate change action, opposes increased taxation of the wealthy population
- Mayor of South Bend, Indiana (2012-2020)
- Proposed an increase in the size of Supreme Court
- Basis of Political Platform: Being a Millennial, Buttigieg has stressed that he will take action on pertinent issues to the young generations such as climate change and creating opportunities for economic growth throughout the country
- U.S. representative for the state of Hawaii (2013- present)
- Supporter of Medicare for all
- Advocates for better budgeting on both domestic and military spending
- Basis of Political Platform: Opposes any American engagement in overseas military intervention
- Minnesota Senator (2007- present)
- Questioned Kavanaugh during confirmation hearings
- Focused on drawing in “swing” voters and states
- Basis of Political Platform: Wants to make headway in the battle against the opioid and drug addiction crisis, as well as lower the historically increasing cost of prescribed drugs
- Vermont Senator (2007- present)
- U.S. representative for the state of Vermont (1991-2007)
- Mayor of Burlington, Vermont (1981-1989)
- 2016 Presidential Candidate
- Supporter of Medicare
- Basis of Political Platform: Restraining billionaires from having an overpowering influence on society and providing public, tuition-free college education to all
- Hedge-fund Manager
- Advocated for Trump’s impeachment
- Environmental activist
- Basis of Political Platform: Building a more environmentally conscious and sustainable future for the country by fighting climate change and advocating the usage of renewable energy
- Massachusetts Senator (2013- present)
- Has plans to restructure and restore the American economy
- Basis of Political Platform: Protect the vulnerable middle class from inequality and intimidation from large corporations
While presidents up for reelection have historically won the primaries in their respective party, there is still a republican candidate entering the primaries alongside Donald Trump.
- President of the United States (2017- present)
- Implement tax cut to the wealthy and large corporations
- Reversed many of the changes made under the Obama administration concerning healthcare and immigration
- Impeached following legal investigations of international affairs concerning reelection
- Advocates for a government-funded “universal basic income”
- Basis of Political Platform: Building a border wall to lessen the amount of illegal immigration, reforming and tweaking international deals concerning climate change, trade, and gun control
- Massachusetts Governor (1991-1997)
- Basis of Political Platform: Advocates for free trade, national legalization of marijuana, and immigration reform
While this size of a presidential campaign might seem a bit overwhelming for first-time voters choosing a potential candidate, but the Illinois primaries are still a few weeks away, so you have some time to narrow it down. Keep your morals in mind, think about your future and the future of America, and you’ll be sure to pick an appropriate leader.
As always, democracy only works if people actually engage in it, so VOTE! Primary elections occur during spring break, so make sure to register as a voter, and make it to your polling location on March 17th. Absentee voting is also an option if you cannot make it to a local polling site, and you can find a forum to get your mail-in ballot here. For the November election, it is also an option to vote prior to the actual election date, but you must vote in person. However you choose to vote, you should exercise your right to influence democratic decisions and make your voice heard! A cute flag sticker that tells everyone how politically active you are after your first election vote will be included.