By Ava Aschettino
With the 2020 election quickly approaching, many Democratic candidates have been announcing their campaigns for President of the United States. As of June 2019, 25 Democratic candidates have officially announced that they are running. Many Democrats are seeking a drastic change from the current direction that our country is heading in under President Trump’s leadership. Despite the fact that voters have multiple candidates to choose from, some Democrats have already taken the lead according to the latest polls. Whether you’re able to vote or not, learning about the candidates for the presidential election is important. Here’s a look at the leading Democratic candidates in the 2020 Election.
Joe Biden: At 76, Joe Biden recently announced that he will be running in the 2020 election. His campaign is off to a great start, as he ranks highest among the Democratic candidates. Biden served as Vice President during both terms of the Obama Presidency. He is also a former Senator from Delaware. Biden has shared that he plans to reform the national health care system, America’s foreign policies, and the criminal justice system. In addition, he has spoken about the need to eliminate sexual assaults on campuses. He supports climate change efforts, as well as the LGBTQ+ community, and he has been an outspoken advocate for access to legal abortions. As of the end of May 2019, Biden has an 18 point lead over Sanders according to a poll conducted by “Morning Consultant.” Biden is currently the leading Democratic candidate in the election, and, at this point, is predicted to receive the 2020 Democratic nomination.
Cory Booker: The outspoken 50-year-old former Mayor of Newark and Junior Senator from New Jersey announced his bid for Presidency in the beginning of February. The outspoken African American politician is favored by many liberal millennials, as well as black, Asian, and Hispanic voters. According to CNBC, Booker’s biggest campaign points include reforming the criminal justice system, legalizing marijuana at the federal level, and offering every newborn interest-accruing savings accounts. Although he is not at the ‘‘top of the pack,” it is quite possible that Booker could receive the Democratic nomination.
Pete Buttigieg: The youngest Democrat (37 years old) to announce his presidential bid, Pete Buttigieg has been gaining traction. The young Mayor of South Bend, Indiana has raised over $7 million in 2019’s first quarter, $1 million of which he raised the day he announced he would run for President, according to Business Insider. According to PBS, Buttigieg supports climate change laws, labor and union groups, universal background checks (in order to own firearms), and pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Being a member of the LGBTQ+ community himself, Buttigieg supports a federal non-discrimination amendment. He gains most of his support from millennials, democrats, and the LGBTQ+ community. Could the young candidate receive the nomination?
Kamala Harris: The 54-year-old Junior Senator from California is among the top Democrats in the running. The fierce, biracial senator is a force to be reckoned with. According to PBS, Harris supports abortion and same-sex marriage, action against climate change, free tuition to four-year college programs, national pre-kindergarten programs, strict gun laws, and “Medicare for all.” Additionally, she has been outspoken about reforming ICE, and she opposes the border wall. So far, many women and African American voters have offered Harris immense support during her campaign, and many are likely to give the senator their votes for the Democratic nomination. That’s right, Harris’s poll numbers have been excellent recently, and although not up to Biden’s or Sanders’s numbers, Harris is likely to make it very far into the election season.
Beto O’Rourke: O’Rourke received nationwide attention after his close loss to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, which almost made him a Democratic Senator in a very red state. The 46-year-old El Paso Representative is a nationwide sensation, and he has raised over $9.4 million in only 18 days according to The New York Times. The Times has reported that O’Rourke has made immigration the centerpiece of his campaign, supporting the Dream Act, allowing for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and opposing President Trump’s border wall. O’Rourke has also voiced support for climate change laws, stricter gun control reforms, as well as universal health care. Many young voters and Latinos support the representative. While many support O’Rourke, it is more likely that he will disrupt other candidates’ campaigns rather than actually win the nomination.
Bernie Sanders: Despite being the oldest candidate at 77 years old, Bernie Sanders’s poll numbers are impressively high. Although Sanders is running as a Democrat, he identifies as an Independent. He served as a Vermont congressman from 1991-2007 and has served as a Vermont Senator from 2007 to present; he is known as the longest serving Independent in the United States Congress. According to CNBC, Sanders supports “Medicare for all,” climate change bills, an increase in minimum wage to $15, higher taxation on the wealthy, tuition free college for families with an income less than $125,000, and more student loan forgiveness. According to Vox, millenials and people of color make up a high percentage of the Vermont Senator’s supporters. During the 2016 election, former First Lady/Secretary of State/Senator Hillary Clinton received the nomination over Sanders, and history may repeat itself. According to “Morning Consultant” by Real Clear Politics, Sanders is second in the pack of twenty-five Democrats, but he has significantly less support than Biden who, as of May 2019, holds a strong lead. Can Sanders pull ahead and take the lead from Biden?
Elizabeth Warren: The 69-year-old Democratic Senator of Massachusetts is the “leading lady” in the 2020 Democratic polls. Warren has been praised for her strong economic background, but recently she has been campaigning about sexism in politics; she empowers young women across the country, letting them know that they do not have to be held to a higher standard than men. Warren is also keen on protecting abortion rights, reining in corporate power and exposing the corruption of the Trump Administration, claiming that the President’s actions have been “unethical.” Women are Warren’s biggest supporters, and those are the voters she is counting on. Although in third place in the polls, some do not believe Warren will succeed in achieving the Democratic nomination. However, many disagree. As Warren’s numbers fluctuate with each passing day, many individuals believe she quite possibly could receive the nomination.