By Venice Hancock, News Sub-Editor.
The U.S. presidential race feels crowded, messy and never-ending and it’s not even 2020 yet. This is The Badger’s guide to all the current Presidential candidates, who they are, what their aims are and what their most recent polling scores are. In order to make sense of it all, we are going to be looking at the top ten polling democratic candidates and the three republican candidates that have announced their bid for the Presidency in 2020.
Starting with the Democrats, there are currently 18 candidates running for the Democratic nomination of the party, making this race’s pool of candidates historically large.
Currently the highest polling democratic candidate, at 32%, Joe Biden is in the lead for the Democratic nomination. As a former Vice President, he is seen as someone who is highly qualified for the role of President, having been so close to it for eight years. His views are not particularly radical, although he does intend to make the first two years of college free for all students, raise the federal minimum wage to 15$ per hour and pay farmers to adopt climate friendly practices and overall restore the United States’ image and standing on the global stage.
The U.S. senator for Vermont and former congressman surprised everyone with how successful his campaign for the Presidency was back in 2016. Since then, he has become somewhat of a national progressive icon, remaining popular among the younger generation. He is currently polling at 20%, making him one of the top three candidates for the nomination. He wants to mandate paper ballots to make elections more secure, bring back the Glass-Steagall Act in order to reinforce financial regulation on big banks and make college free for all. He also wants to cancel all student debt.
Currently also polling at 20%, the former Harvard professor turned senator for Massachusetts has led an incredibly successful campaign so far. She has a lot of the same views as Bernie Sanders but her campaign has really fixated on the importance of making college free for all. She also aims to eliminate some student debt. She supports a ban on all assault weapons and is for universal background checks. She is also an advocate for Medicare for all and wants to tackle issues of income inequality.
The Mayor of South Bend, Indiana has made a historic run, his potential win making him the first openly gay democratic nominee and President. At the age of only 37, he is the youngest candidate in the race for the nomination. He is also a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, which makes him very appealing to the American public. He wants to boost taxes on wealthy Americans, limit restrictions on abortion. His campaign has focused a lot on issues of tackling climate change. He is also the first candidate to put forward the idea of increasing the number of seats on the supreme court.
The U.S. Senator for California and former state attorney general and San Francisco district attorney, she has used her strong legal background as an advantage in her campaign. She has been very vocal about her disagreement with many policies and officials belonging to the Trump administration. Her views are quite similar to that of other democratic candidates but she insists less on imposing more regulation on large financial institution but is more focused on addressing income inequality and making housing more affordable. She also wants to impose executive actions to help immigrants legalise more easily. She is currently polling at 5%.
Currently polling at 3%, the highly successful entrepreneur has based his campaign on a proposal to establish a universal basic income of $1,000 per month funded by the government. His focus on technology and scientific advancement are a notable trend in his propositions, for example, his bid to make voting happen on apps using blockchain. Yang, as opposed to all democratic candidates in the race, does not believe that college should be free.
The 50 year old senator for New Jersey is regarded as a highly gifted orator and known for his charisma. One of the central themes of his campaign has been the fight against inequality. He wants to raise taxes for the wealthy and create new social programs, restore voting rights after prison and he wants to address the algorithm bias that takes place on various social media platforms. Right now, Cory Booker is polling at 2%.
While also currently polling at 2%, the senator from Minnesota gained traction amongst democratic voters after her efficient and stern questioning of Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearings. She has made calls for Democrats to start focusing more on the swing states in the Midwest and has pitched herself as someone who could win there. The main focus of her campaign has been to tackle the opioid crisis and drug addiction by putting forward legislation that addresses these issues. She also believes that companies should be taxed for sharing user data and that there should be some limits on abortions.
The congresswoman for Hawaii is also polling at 2% right now. She supported Bernie Sanders back in 2016 but her approach to foreign policy is what makes her stand out to many. She was highly condemned for meeting with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, whose regime was accused of using chemical weapons against its own civilian population. She now opposes any American overseas intervention. She has also made anti-gay statements in the past and has worked with an anti-gay advocacy group. She has since apologised for this. She wants to use money left over from slashing the defence budget to invest in infrastructure.
Currently polling at 1%, Tom Steyer is a billionaire and former hedge fund executive. His campaign has concerned itself with two main issues: fighting climate change and promoting renewable energies and impeaching President Donald Trump. He has invested millions of dollars in pushing for Trump to be impeached. While his stance on abortions remains unclear, some of his proposed measures include the establishment of a national firearm registry and to create a constitutional right to access clean water.
The eight other democratic candidates, all currently polling under 1%, include Michael Bennet, Steve Bullock, Julian Castro, John Delaney, Deval Patrick, Joe Sestak and Marianne Williamson. On November 24th, Michael Bloomberg also announced he would run. Eleven other candidates have already dropped out of the race.
As for the Republican nomination bid, only three candidates are currently in the running.
Current U.S. President Donald Trump announced his bid for a second term in office the day of his inauguration. His stance on many issues remains the same, he wants to restrict immigration and build a wall between the U.S.-Mexico border. He has been very focused on undoing many of the Obama administration’s policies, such as his retreat from the Paris agreement and doing away with Obama care. He promises to keep retreating from international deals and agreements in an effort to keep making “America great again”. As a sitting president, he is by far the favourite to win the Republican nomination and is currently polling at 86%.
The conservative radio show host and former congressman for Illinois announced he would run back in August and is currently polling at 2%. A once avid Trump supporter, in the past three years he has made a 180 turn and is now a vocal critic of the president. In the past he called President Obama a “Muslim” and a “traitor”, he has since stated that he regretted those comments. His main objectives are border security, reduction of national debt and restraint of executive power.
The former governor of Massachusetts and federal prosecutor officially launched his campaign in April. In 2016, he ran for president on behalf of the Libertarian Party. He is also a vocal critic of Donal Trump. He presents himself as the candidate that will restore the Republican Party to its “former glory”. He is in favour of fiscal restraint, more moderate immigration policies, free trade and the legalisation of marijuana. Right now, Weld is polling at 3%.
While the Democratic nomination can still sway in anyone’s favour, so far, the outcome of the Republican primaries seems pretty obvious, although the impeachment procedure could change that. Some third-party and independent candidates include Don Blakenship and potentially Justin Mash and John McAfee.