Presidential Forerunners UPDATE 2

Rowan Munson, Reporter

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The Sehome seniors, and some juniors, will be able to vote for this election. In the coming publications, The Tide will break down the candidates in order, by a series of background and hot topic viewpoints. These include age, past jobs, college and post-grad degrees, their beliefs and/or plans on guns, climate change, birth control/healthcare, economy, equality, boarder/immigration issues, and things against the candidates.

This is not an in-depth presentation of each person. It is a bare, lacking idea of what they stand for and who they hope to be in the White House. Please use this to spark more research. If something or someone interests you, look it up and follow it through.

Other Websites with Information broken down about the candidates’ views:

  • Candidates’ Views on Issues (Politico)
  • On the Issues
  • Inside Climate News
  • Meet the Major Presidential Candidates in 2020 (Time)


Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., speaks at the Iowa State Fair, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Michael Bennet

AGE: 54 years old

PAST JOBS: 2010 Bennet was elected as senator of Colorado with backing from Former-President Obama. When he started his six-year term in January 2011, Obama said, “[Bennet] perfectly reflects the qualities of the ruggedly independent state he has been chosen to serve.” He won his second term in 2016 with the highest majority for a democratic candidate ever in the state.

DEGREE: BA in history from Wesleyan and Juris Doctor from Yale

ON GUNS: In 2010, he earned a C+ from the National Rifle Association for mixed support on the Second Amendment and, after of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, he has demanded universal background checks.

ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Bennet plans to be net neutral throughout America “no later” than 2050.

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: He believes abortion should be unrestricted and birth control easily accessible; “We also need to do more to ensure people have access to lifesaving drugs they need” (

ON ECONOMY: He believes “we need an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few. Our democracy cannot be sustained otherwise” (Michael Bennet’s twitter). Bennet wants to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour.

ON EQUALITY: Bennet is an original supporter of the Equality Act (May 17, 2019, bill prohibiting discrimination against a person for their gender, sexuality, or the medical choices they have made) and supports same-sex marriage; he is undecided on the paying reparation, i.e. repaying (to some extent) the mistreatment and enslavement of African Americans

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: In 2019, Bennet joined a bill against deportation of deployed military members’ families and helped introduce the Protecting Sensitive Locations Act on specific ICE limitations; he has demanded Trump reunite immigrants with their children

AGAINST HIM: He has been accused of “finger-to-the-wind” politics, reported by the Denver Post, or the policy of changing his mind when most peoples’ option changes; he is also towards the bottom of the poles and did not make it into the most recent debates.


Joe Biden

AGE: 76 years old

PAST JOBS: He is most famously known for being the vice-president for both terms of President Obama; he was elected into the Senate from Delaware and served two terms; he unsuccessfully ran for democratic nominee in 1988 and 2008;

DEGREE: BA university of Delaware with a double major in history and political science; Juris Doctor from Syracuse university of law

ON GUNS: As for gun laws and enforcement, Bidden calls for a buyback program to be implemented for assault rifles and universal background checks

ON CLIMATE CHANGE: He is credited with the first environmental bill in congress, the Global Climate Protection Act of 1986 and believes “[denying climate change] is like denying gravity now… the willing suspension of disbelief can only be sustained for so long” (March 2015). His plans would have the US carbon neutral by 2050.

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: He wants to guarantee everyone health insurance; according to the New Republic “Biden’s plan would increase subsidies on the Affordable Care Act marketplace and lower the premium limit on marketplace plans from 9.86 to 8.5 percent of annual income. As Julián Castro noted, to Biden’s headshaking, Biden’s own website says it would leave three percent of Americans uninsured, or more than 10 million people.”

ON ECONOMY: His cornerstone is reviving the middle class, but unlike his democratic peers, he doesn’t believe that the 1% are to blame; he believes in raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

ON EQUALITY: Biden has declared LGBTQ+ issues to be the most important focus on the coming years (“it is wrong and it is immoral what [trump] is doing” he said (apnews)), and he has stated that passing the Equality Act would be one of the first actions he would accomplish in office if he won; he supports studying reparation, i.e. repaying (to some extent) the mistreatment and enslavement of African Americans

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: Biden has said that it is a “crime” to cross the boarder illegally; he tweeted that children should not be set back with their parents to a land they’ve never lived in and that those actions were “un-American.”

OTHER: He led the passing of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act (1994) and the Violence Against Women Act (1994). In 2002, he voted in favor of resolution authorizing in Iraq but in 2007, he voted against US troop surges within the region. After becoming vice president with Obama in 2008, his focuses were on countering the Great Recession and moving to pull military from Iraq (2011). He is well known for work with Republicans and help in solving bipartisan issues, including the taxation deadlocks of 2011.

AGINST HIM: It is important to point out that he has a mixed voting record, as seen by missing a key vote in the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act, considered to some as the “strongest” climate bill to ever pass through Congress (Inside Climate News reported). He has been caught up in multiple cases of backlash from democratic support due to racially ignorant comments (“poor kids are just as talented as white kids” and “[low income parents should] play the radio, make sure you have the television  – excuse me, make sure you have the record player on…” incidents) and inappropriate interactions with women (in respondence to the fore-mentioned physical contact, Biden has said that he is a “tactile politician” and understands why this would have affected his past)


Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (10038181ah)
Senator Cory Booker, Democrat of New Jersey, speaks to reporters during a news conference celebrating the passage of the First Step Act at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC.
‘First Step Act’ press conference, Washington DC, USA – 19 Dec 2018

Cory Booker

AGE: 50 years old

PAST JOBS: He was a major of Newark from 2006 to 2013. In 2013, he became senator of New Jersey. “There’s nothing in the realm of progressive politics where you won’t find me” (2013, Salon interview).

DEGREE: BA in political science and Master of Arts in sociology from Stanford; Juris Doctor from Yale Law School

ON GUNS: He believes that democrats should push more gun restrictions, with a plan including gun licensing (one to interfere with domestic abusers and terrorists obtaining firearms). His ideas have been attacked by Biden.

ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Booker went to Paris for the UN meeting in 2015 and upon returning, he took to the senate to discuss the destruction of Bangladesh from glacier melting. He is a part of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; he supports ‘cap and trade’ taxation on climate action and his plan wants to be carbon free by 2030.

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: Booker will work towards universal healthcare insurance, saying “[we will] not sacrifice progress for purity” (Meet the Press). He supports abortion and affirmative action.

ON ECONOMY: Increasing taxation for education and closing the economic deficit are both parts of his economic plan. Booker supports changing minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

ON EQUALITY: He supports same sex marriage, replacing Trump-cut HIV/AIDS funding, and allowing transgender people to serve in the military. He supports the studying of reparation, i.e. repaying (to some extent) the mistreatment and enslavement of African Americans.

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: “[Turning away immigrants is] an insult to our history. It’s unacceptable to me” (alltheissues). He plans to ‘virtually eliminate immigration detention’ by phasing out such centers and having immigrants be held accountable by other means such as ankle bracelets and phone check-ins. Republicans and grey-zone democrats gave black lash against the plan, mostly saying it was too lenient and it could easily break under the rising number of immigrants coming through the southern border.

OTHER: He was key in passing the “First Step Act” (bipartisan criminal program that seeks to cut down recidivism). Brooker believes in raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

AGIANST HIM: He backed the Iran nuclear deal framework (2015), which sparked debate within some of his long-term contacts (especially Jewish voters). He also follows an extremely leftist agenda, which other candidate have disagreed with.


Steve Bullock

AGE: 53 years old

PAST JOBS: From 2009 to 2013, he worked as Attorney General of Montana. In January of 2013, Bullock became governor of Montana and from July 2018 to July 2019, he was a chair of the National Governors association.

DEGREE: BA in politics, philosophy, and economics from Claremont and JD, with honors, from Columbia Law School

ON GUNS: Bullock supports an assault rifle ban. He would implement universal background checks. He discusses his options on guns through two stories – his son’s first buck kill and his nephew’s murder on a playground at Montana Elementary, where both boys were eleven; he says, as a hunter and firearm owner, he knows “no real hunter needs a weapon of war” and “they don’t want a terrorist or domestic abuser or a violent felon to have a gun, period” (Bullock told RealClearPolitics).

ON CLIMATE CHANGE: He hopes to be carbon neutral “by 2040 or even earlier” according to his twitter account. In the past he has worked in adapting the “Blueprint for Montana’s Energy Future” (2016).

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: He is against med-care for all. Instead, he calls for a rehaul of the American Medicaid foundations, creating insurance for the country, and continuing to allow private options. He is not clear on abortion, though he did veto a bill that barred doctors from late term actions. Bullock wants to build on the American Counseling Association foundation.

ON ECONOMY: Bullock has criticized current President, Donald Trump, on his trade war with China; he believes in fewer tariffs and pro-business for job increase. He believes in raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

ON EQUALITY: He is the only democratic candidate that doesn’t support or hope to study reparations, i.e. repaying (to some extent) the mistreatment and enslavement of African Americans. He has signed a bill to prohibit discrimination of state employees, sub-contractors, and contractors due to gender or sexual identity.

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: He believes in “citizenship for dreamers” or the pathway for undocumented immigrants to become citizens of the United States. He backs funding the wall if experts support its ability. He doesn’t plan on changing the policy on illegal entry to the US

OTHER: His campaign is based on taking on “dark money” in politics.

AGAINST HIM: He is far from the top candidate and has not been included in any democratic debates.

Pete Buttigieg

AGE: 37 years old

PAST JOBS: From 2004 to 2005, Buttigieg worked in DC as the Cohen Group’s Conference Director. He has been involved with the Truman National Security and, in 2014, he was appointed to the Board of Advisors.

DEGREE: He graduated from Harvard with a BA in history and literature and later Pembroke, Oxford, with a Rhodes Scholarship

ON GUNS: Buttigieg supports a voluntary buy-back system and universal background checks. He is in favor of a gun licensing program, where gun owners would be required to declare the weapons they own.

ON CLIMATE: He advocates for a plan to pay farmers for adopting climate-friendly options. Buttigieg supports nuclear power and would end new oil and gas leases on federally owned land. Within his climate plans, carbon emissions would be taxed. He has proposed an achievable Green New Deal that would make the economy net-zero by 2050 while increasing the job market with new green jobs.

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: He is pro-choice and would try to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal support of abortion services of all but extreme circumstances. After the Human Life Protection Act passed in May of 2019, Buttigieg said the bill was “ignoring science, criminalizing abortion, and punishing women.” He opposes med care for all but wants to expand overall coverage. In relation to drug prices, Buttigieg supports negotiating for Medicare and promoting generics.

ON ECONOMY: Buttigieg has stated that automation is the major cause of decreased manufacturing jobs and speaks to working with labor unions to improve work environments. He believes a constitutional amendment to protect democracy in the face of corruption within politics, like Bullock’s views. He would raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

ON EQUALITY: Pete Buttigieg has been married to Chasten Buttigieg since June of 2018. In July 2019, he shared his Douglass Plan to address systematic racism within the United States. He supports passing New Federal Voting Rights Act to allow easier voting access. He opposes the transgender military ban imposed under Trump. He would support studying reparations, i.e. repaying (to some extent) the mistreatment and enslavement of African Americans.

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: While supporting Citizenship for Dreamers, he also believes in removing the statute of illegal entry.

OTHER: Between 2009 and 2017, he served as a part of the US navy as a lieutenant in Afghanistan. According to Buttigieg, he joined the Navy due to the class disparity within those who went into the military and those that didn’t have to.

AGAINST HIM: Unlike similarly high-polling Democratic candidates, Buttigieg is against Medicare for all. Both Sanders and Warren support the idea. He is also tied for youngest dem with Gabbard.

Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro speaks at the National Forum on Wages and Working People: Creating an Economy That Works for All at Enclave on April 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Six of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are attending the forum, held by the Service Employees International Union and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, to share their economic policies. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Julian Castro

AGE: 45 years old

PAST JOBS: He was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Obama and became Major of San Antonio in 2009, leaving office in 2014. From 2001 to 2005, he was a member of the San Antonio City Council.

DEGREE: BA in political science and communications from Stanford and a JD from Harvard Law School

ON GUNS: “Police violence is gun violence” ( Castro said, explaining why he pushes for a mandatory buy-back program. He would create mandatory background checks at gun shows and ban assault rifles. Castro also wants to limit high-capacity magazines.

ON CLIMATE CHANGE: While Major of San Antonio, he pushed the city-owned utility away from coal and oil, and towards more renewable sources. He also worked to make the city a hub for clean energy. He over saw a 1 billion grant program to help urban centers become more flood and extreme weather resistant as Housing secretary. His “People and Planet First” plan, released in 2019, would require 10 trillion spending from federal, private, and state over ten years, carbon neutral by 2030, and net-neutral by 2050. It hopes to create 10 million new jobs.

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: Castro has called for Medicare for All and stated that he would pay for these changes by taxing the 0.5, 1, and 1.5 percent of Americans in relation to wealth. Drug prices should be lowered and check to see that imported drugs meet high quality standards. Abortions should remain in easy access and be legal after 20 weeks.

ON ECONOMY: Castro is a strong supporter of free trade but believes it should be reconfigured to strengthen worker and environment protections. Canceling ‘some’ student debt and making college free are also a part of his economic plans (Politico). He would raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

ON EQUALITY: He supports the American right of same-sex marriage and the ability for trans men, women, and other citizens to serve in the military. He would study reparations, i.e. repaying (to some extent) the mistreatment and enslavement of African Americans.

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: Castro opposes Trump’s wall and alien policy, instead supporting a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. He has said that ICE needs to be reconstructed and he would repeal Title 8 which makes crossing the border illegally a civic offence and not a criminal one.

AGAINST HIM: He has been accused for having a ‘terrible’ gun policy. The issues come down to how would he execute the buy-back while maintaining his promise not to make police go door-to-door. He admitted to O’Rourke that this enforcement would impact communities already suffering from the brunt of police actions. He had some conflict with green energy, promoting the new jobs that franking brought within San Antonio.

John Delaney

AGE: 56 years old

PAST JOBS: Delaney co-founded two businesses and won Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2004. In 2010, he was CEO of CapitalSource, which supplies senior loans. He has been Maryland’s representative in the House from 2013 to 2019.

DEGREE: BS from Columbia University and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center

ON GUNS: He supports universal background checks and barring assault rifles from entering the streets. Delaney cosponsored the Assault Weapons Ban Act, which would target military equipped weapons such as the AR-15 and remove high-capacity magazines from the market. He would also prohibit the use of accessories that increase firing capacity such as bump stocks and trigger cranks.

ON CLIMATE CHANGE: He supports a federal carbon tax that would aim at reducing US carbon emissions 90% by 2050. Delaney has been quoted saying the Green New Deal is “as realistic as Trump saying that Mexico is going to pay for the wall.” Along with all the democratic candidates, he would rejoin the Paris Climate Accords.

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: Delaney supports abortion and doesn’t agree with the ban on federal funding for set medical access, along with making sure that religious organizations cannot restrict employees birth control coverage. He would move to sustain the Affordable Healthcare Act while Congress worked on passing a new system – one remaining Medicare based. He opposes Medicare for All and would impose a public option without eliminating private insurance.

ON ECONOMY: Delaney voted against the 2017 Republican tax-cut bill. The bill has passed and is now law. Passing voting history implies that he is against removing the estate tax. He supports removing the high tariffs on specific foreign companies. He would raise minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

ON EQUALITY: Delaney would ban conversion therapy and discrimination to LGBTQ people within the workplace and housing. He also supports studying reparations, i.e. repaying (to some extent) the mistreatment and enslavement of African Americans.

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: He supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, although he also agrees with increased funding towards border control and physical boundaries. Delaney would raise the refugee resettlement cap from its current limit.

OTHER: He is widely considered by INSIDER polling to be one of the most right-sided democrats in the race.

AGAINST HIM: Like prior candidates, he is within extremely low polling range. He is lacking in political background.

Tulsi Gabbard

AGE: 38 years old

PAST JOBS: She was in the Hawaii House of Representatives from 2002 to 2004. After her second middle east deployment, she ran and won a seat on the Honolulu city council where she stayed between 2011 and 2012. From 2013 onwards, Gabbard has been in the House of Representatives for Hawaii.

DEGREE: BS in business administration from Hawaii Pacific University

ON GUNS: She supports a ban on assault weapons and favors universal background checks. In the past, she has worked on passing bills that would close gun-show loopholes and banning easy access to assault rifles. According to ontheissues, Gabbard is regarded to be ‘sensible’ on gun control, including her plans to ban tourists from obtaining guns.

ON CLIMATE CHANGE: She was an early supporter of the Green New Deal. Gabbard would ban fracking and slowly moving from fossil fuel to renewable energy. Her OFF act outlines the moving between these sources, but it gives no specifics on the cost of carbon tax. The US “should be leading by example [in the fight against climate change],” she explained. Gabbard plans on shutting down existing nuclear power reactors, an opinion that only two other candidates (Williamson and Sanders) share. She would aim to have the US carbon neutral by 2035.

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: She would move to have few limitations on abortion. Working with Medicare to lower drug prices and improving promotion of generics are also included in her healthcare plans.

ON ECONOMY: A primary ideal Gabbard has upheld throughout the campaign is the ending of tax breaks for corporations who use ‘off shoring’ techniques, i.e. moving sham headquarter locations to avoid US taxations. She supports raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

ON EQUALITY: “When we deny LGBTQ+ people basic rights that exist for every American, we are denying their humanity,” Gabbard twitted. Within the topic, she supports working to stop bigotry and violence against other Americans due to race, religion, or identity. She would study reparations, i.e. repaying (to some extent) the mistreatment and enslavement of African Americans.

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: Gabbard supports Citizenship for Dreamers and the executive actions for legalizing current situations meanwhile. The later part would work as a backup if Congress stalls or will not pass the idea of the Dreamers plan.

OTHER: Gabbard has served in the Hawaii Army National Guard and, in 2004, she was deployed for a 12-month tour of Iraq. Her rank was Major.

AGAINST HER: There is some speculation to Gabbard’s extreme support within Russian media. Under her father’s business, she worked to promote conversion therapy and measures against same-sex couples in Hawaii. Currently, she has stated publicly that she regrets such actions.

Amy Klobuchar

AGE: 59 years old

PAST JOBS: She worked as a corporate lawyer before getting elected as Hennepin County attorney in 1998 and 2002. Klobuchar ran for the Senate first in 2006 and has won consequential terms in 2012 and 2018. She was the first female Senator from Minnesota.

DEGREE: BA from Yale University and JD from Chicago University

ON GUNS: In alignment with most democratic candidates, she would ban assault weapons and impose universal background checks. Klobuchar has supported stronger gun laws since working as a court attorney. This is largely backed by the population of Minnesota, where 74 percent of gun owners within the state agree with the imposition of universal background checks, including gun show loopholes ( If elected, she would raise the age requirement to purchase military-style assault weapons and move to ban their selling all together.

ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Klobuchar supports nuclear power and paying farmers to adopt climate-friendly actions within their work. In 2007, she introduced a carbon tracking program that would later work to impose a carbon tax. Another bill she introduced worked to add more green energy credit which was later adopted into the Economic Stabilization Act in 2008. Her plan would make America reach net zero emissions by 2050.

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: Following her modern American liberalist views, Klobuchar supports Obamacare and is pro-choice, though she believes some limitations should apply to abortion. She would work on lowering the price of drugs and promoting generics. Klobuchar doesn’t support Medicare for all but wants to expand its coverage.

ON ECONOMY: Klobuchar’s purposed tax credits for workers forced out of jobs. She supports raising the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

ON EQUALITY: Klobuchar supports LGBTQ+ and has worked against hate crimes from early on in her career, compared to the bipartisan beliefs at the time. She would study reparations.

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: Klobuchar believes in Citizenship for Dreamers and the ending of future southern board wall projects. She has stated that banning immigration based on religion is unconsitutional. Illegal immigrants should be allowed to have government-subsidized healthcare if they pay taxes.

AGAINST HER: Yahoo news has reported that her treatment of staffers is subpair if not unprofessional, with issues ranging from all cap emails nitpicking tweets with multiple colleges cc’d or “haranguing late-night phone calls.” Eight former employees have come out in ranging comments over the intense work environment.


Deval Patrick

AGE: 63 years old

PAST JOBS: He joined the Boston law firm called Hill and Barlow in 1986, before Former-President Clinton nominated him as the United States Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division in 1994. Patrick became Governor of Massachusetts in 2006, and the first African American governor of the United States. He was reelected in 2010.

DEGREE: BA from Harvard and JD from Harvard Law

ON GUNS: In 2010, he began pushing for stricter gun laws due to a string of gun violent incidents within the state. He supports a ban on assault weapons and favors universal background checks. As for weapon registry, he agrees with gun licensing programs.

ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Patrick proposed a bill that would streamline appeals for wind energy within the Massachusetts area. He focused on expanding the state’s renewable energy but was forced back by lawmakers failing to raise solar and hydropower caps.

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: In 2014, he signed a law requiring health insurers to cover up-to two weeks of inpatient care for people struggling with drug addiction. Patrick also signed a bill that allowed police to order anti-abortion protestors away from clinic entrances if they were blocking access.

ON ECONOMY: He has stated that trickle-down fantasies contributed largely to the recession. His has not specified a minimum wage change.

ON EQUALITY: “Citizens come before their government as equals,” Patrick said in 2005 about the legalization of same-sex marriage. His views on reparations are unknown.

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: During the summer of 2014’s immigration influx, he proposed that 1,000 people could be taken into Massachusetts until they were able to be processed at immigrant centers.

AGAINST HIM: He drew criticism during his first governor race for letters written to the parole board about Benjamin LaGuer, who had been put in prison in 1984 for life after supposedly raping his neighbor for eight hours, as a “thoughtful, insightful, eloquent, [and] humane.” After the DNA results came back, finding him guilty, he withdrew his support. He also came under fire when the Boston Herald reported that his administration secret diverted about 27 million dollars in government funds to off-budget accounts.


Bernie Sanders

AGE: 78 years old

PAST JOBS: In 1971, he joined the Liberty Union Party and ran for governor of Vermont twice and senator twice. The party ran out of funding in 1977 and he and the candidate for attorney general announced retirement for the group. In 1980, Sanders ran for mayor and won, serving for eight years. Ten years later, he was elected for a house seat after a mayor defeat two year prior. In 2006, he was elected senator and was reinstated in 2012 and 2018.

DEGREE: BA in political science from University of Chicago

ON GUNS: Sanders supports a voluntary buy-back program and is in favor of universal background checks. He also would work towards closing the gun-show loophole.

ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Sanders supports paying farmers to adopt climate-friendly practices. He has taken a strong stance on reversing the greenhouse effect and considers it the “greatest threat to national security.” In June of 2019, along with Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Earl Blumenauer, he proposed legislation that would declare climate change a national and international crisis.

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: He believes abortions should have few limits if any. Sanders is all in on Medicare for all, a universal-coverage healthcare, and promoting generics to lower drug cost.

ON ECONOMY: Sanders would remove all student debt, make college free, and expanding social security benefits. He is resistant against the top percent of the upper class, once saying, “in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, the top one-tenth of one percent should not own almost as much wealth as the bottom ninety percent.” He would raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour.

ON EQUALITY: In 1983, then-Mayor Sanders signed a proclamation recognizing Gay Rights Day, which was also the cities first pride parade. He was one of the 81 Representatives that voted against the Defense of Marriage Act, a bill to recognize the legal term ‘marriage’ as a union between a man and a woman. In 1999, he voted against Republican attempts to ban same-sex couples from adopting children. Throughout his time in the Senate, he has maintained a high score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Congressional Scorecard. Sanders would study reparations.

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: He supports Citizenship for Dreamers, repealing the statue of illegal entry, and not grating additional funding to the southern boarder wall. Sanders said, “[The United States is] a nation of immigrants. That is, in fact, the strength of America.” His plan, A Welcoming and Safe America for All, encompasses improving visas, securing the boarder, and protecting undocumented and guest workers from labor exploitation.

AGAINST HIM: Sanders has been criticized for extremely leftist views, often using the term ‘socialist’ in reference to his plans. He also suffered a heart attack on October 9th, 2019, to which many have deemed dangerous if he were elected, though Sanders has been working to regain his health.


Tom Steyer

AGE: 62 years old

PAST JOBS: In 1986, he founded Farallon Capital (hedge fund firm) however in 2012, he stepped away from the business to focus on alternative energy sources. Steyer and his wife, Taylor, have founded OneRoof Inc., Beneficial State Bank, and One PacificCoast Foundation in 2006 and 2007.

DEGREE: BA in political science and economics from Yale University and BMA from Stanford Business School

ON GUNS: Steyer supports a ban on assault weapons and imposing universal background checks. He agrees that ‘red flag’ laws, i.e. the restriction of gun ownership from people who present danger to others or themselves, should be federally implanted along with closing gun show loopholes. He favors a national firearms registry.

ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Besides leaving Farallon Capital, in 2012 Steyer let go of his carbon-polluting investments, though critics have called to light that his funds will keep the companies running until 2030. Under Steyer, Farallon invested or lent money that increased coal production by 70 million tons annually. He founded the TomKat Ranch to explore sustainably farming and in 2013 he founded NextGen Climate, a two-day climate and political action think tank.

ON BIRTH CONTROL/HEALTHCARE: Steyer is against implementing Medicare for All but would work towards expanding coverage. His opinion on abortion is unclear.

ON ECONOMY: Steyer once described the Republican tax reform proposal in 2017 as a “thinly veiled reverse Robin Hood.” His plan for the economy focuses on removing large corporations from political influence and raising the minimum wage, though it is unclear to what sum per hour.

ON EQUALITY: Talking about Vice-President Pence’s anti-LGBTQ+ history, Steyer said, “I thought it was classic that Trump chose someone who had vilified another part of our community – the LGBT part of our community” (Politico). His stance on reparations are unclear.

ON CITIZENS/ALIENS: Steyer has criticized how the Trump campaign’s “made immigrants in desperation ‘the Enemy’” as he wrote in a tweet. He supports Citizenship for Dreamers as well as executive action to help legalize in the meantime. Steyer does not believe in additional funding to the wall.

OTHER: Since the beginning of 2017, Steyer has poured 10 million dollars into a television ad campaign to advocate for President Trump to be impeached.

AGAINST HIM: The Washington Post has reported that his plans need serious work, referring to gaps they have for substantive politics and instead only focusing on reworking the process of democracy. His campaign has a base in reworking corporate America but his past businesses, especially Farallon, contradict this topic.