A Brief Rundown of the Current Democratic Candidates


Trump has control over 1/3 of the government. Democrats are here to change that.

Dina Shlufman, Staff Writer

With the Democratic primaries set for next year, debates are underway to help decide who’s going to be on the ballot. With so many candidates trying to beat Donald Trump in 2020, it can be easy to lose track of who’s who. Here’s a list of the current Democratic candidates, along with their backgrounds, places in the polls, (as of October 5th, 2019), and their positions on 3 of some of the most debated issues: healthcare, immigration, and climate change.


Michael Bennet







Bennet is a Senator from Colorado who got his Juris Doctor from Yale University. He is a moderate Democrat who currently has 0.8% of the Democratic vote. He will continue to promote the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as well as supporting what is known as Track and Trace, which will track drugs from their manufacturing facility until delivery to the pharmacy. As for immigration, he wants to increase border security, while also providing DREAMers aid to obtain citizenship. His climate plan involves conserving 30% of American property and requiring that zero-emission energy be available to every household. 


Joe Biden 


This is the former Vice President’s 3rd time running for President. He is a former Delaware Senator who studied at the University of Delaware and Syracuse University. He is currently leading the Democratic primaries with 26.2% of the vote. He will continue Obama’s legacy to protect and build the ACA by giving the middle class premium tax credits and incorporating more healthcare options. He believes that it should still be a crime to enter the U.S. illegally, with the exception of those seeking asylum. His immigration policies have been under fire in recent debates. He is a proponent of the Green New Deal, and wants America to be a clean energy economy by 2050. He would also like to put limits on methane pollution. 


Cory Booker 


Booker is a Senator from New Jersey who attended Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Yale Law School. He currently has 1.7% of the Democratic vote. He supports the ACA, and he created the Reducing Disparities Using Care Models and Education Act (ReDuce Act). This program’s goal is to investigate unequal access to healthcare and work to limit it. He wants all of America to have carbon-free electricity, and he wants to give more tax credits to climate-friendly powered vehicles. He plans to eradicate immigration detention centers and reverse President Trump’s immigration restrictions on Muslim-majority countries.


Steve Bullock







Bullock is the current governor of Montana. He attended Claremont McKenna College and Columbia Law School. He currently has 0.2% of the Democratic vote. He aims to improve the ACA but doesn’t support providing healthcare to undocumented immigrants. He wants to increase the amount of wind and solar power being used in this country, as well as building on the existing Renewable Fuel Standards. He supports giving DREAMers citizenship and, if recommended by security experts, to then continue to fund efforts to build a wall on the U.S. and Mexican border.


Pete Buttigieg







The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg has described himself as the “only left-handed Maltese-American-Episcopalian-gay-millennial-war veteran in the race.” He studied at Harvard University and the University of Oxford. He currently has 5.5% of the Democratic vote. He supports the ACA and would like to create a healthcare plan that would offer healthcare to all who choose to accept it. He wants to improve the Green New Deal and hopes to ensure that by 2035, all new vehicles have net zero emissions. He wants to create a system so that illegal immigrants in America can gain citizenship while also implementing security at America’s southern border.


Julián Castro







Castro was the mayor of San Antonio, Texas before becoming a member of President Obama’s cabinet. He graduated from Stanford University. He currently has 1.5% of the Democratic vote. He believes in ensuring healthcare for all, and to achieve this, he wants to increase taxes on the rich. He wants to achieve total carbon neutrality by 2030. His climate plan will also create 10 million jobs. He wants to repeal President Trump’s travel ban and make the act of illegally crossing the border a non-criminal offense.


John Delaney







Delaney, a former Maryland Representative, was the first Democrat to announce his bid for the 2020 election. He was educated at Columbia University and Georgetown University. He currently has 0.2% of the Democratic vote. He thinks that all Americans under 65 should get healthcare benefits on a government program, and after 65 they should go onto Medicare. It is also his belief that people can refuse this help as well. He would like to implement a fee on carbon, as well as investing $5 billion in negative emission technologies (NET). He wants to help DREAMers and illegal immigrants obtain citizenship. He will also increase security at the U.S. southern border by adding technologies like fences and security officers. 


Tulsi Gabbard







Gabbard is a Representative from Hawaii, as well as a combat war veteran. She studied at Hawaii Pacific University. She currently has 1.0% of the Democratic vote. She sees many faults with the status quo of ACA and plans to improve it as president. She would also like to have Medicare be available to more Americans. She does not agree with children being taken away from their families at the U.S. southern border. She also does not support the ending of DACA. She is a proponent of the Green New Deal, and she would like America to use 100% renewable energy. 


Kamala Harris







This California senator attended Howard University, and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She currently has 4.8% of the Democratic vote. She believes that healthcare is an American right, and she wants to improve the ACA and supports Medicare for All. She would like to make it easier for DREAMers to legally acquire citizenship, and she does not support the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border. She would like to work with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the Green New Deal. She also wants to invest 10 trillion dollars in a clean energy plan. 


Amy Klobuchar







Klobuchar is a Senator from Minnesota. She studied at Yale University and the University of Chicago. She currently has 1.0% of the Democratic vote. She wants universal healthcare and plans to improve the ACA. She would like to fix Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and is very critical of the way President Trump is handling immigration. She plans to restore the Clean Power Plan in her first 100 days as President and to work toward zero net emissions in America by 2050. 

Wayne Messam







Messam is the Mayor of Miramar, Florida. He studied at Florida State University and was a wide receiver for the Florida State Seminoles. He currently has 0.0% of the Democratic vote and has not yet qualified for any debates. He wants to build on the ACA and believes in Medicare for all. He advocates for the citizenship of DREAMers and disagrees with the status quo of punishing those who enter illegally. He would like the U.S. to achieve 100% renewable energy. He supports the Green New Deal but would also like to create his own climate plan.


Beto O’Rourke







O’Rourke was in the House of Representatives from 2013-2019. He attended Columbia University. He currently has 2.2% of the Democratic vote. He supports a public healthcare option, as well as keeping private healthcare available. O’Rourke wants to keep families together at the U.S. southern border. He strongly disagrees with the status quo of the policies of immigration. He supports detention only for illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds. He signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge, and he would like to achieve net zero emissions by the year 2050.


Tim Ryan







He is a member of the House of Representatives and is from Ohio. He studied at Bowling Green State University and received his Juris Doctor from Franklin Pierce Law Center. He currently has 0.3% of the Democratic vote. He is a strong supporter of the ACA, and he created Expansion of Nutrition’s Role in Curricula and Healthcare (ENRICH), which will introduce more nutrition-based programs to medical students. He wants to have a fence built around the U.S. southern border and supports integrating more technology at the border to prevent illegal entry. He wants to create more jobs in the alternative energy businesses, and he believes that the climate is a “top priority.” 


Bernie Sanders







Former Vermont Senator Sanders studied at Brooklyn College and the University of Chicago. He currently has 16.8% of the Democratic vote. He thinks that healthcare is a human right and he wants to greatly build on ACA. He is a strong proponent of Universal Healthcare. He also wants to create a way for illegal immigrants to gain citizenship and does not support building a wall around the U.S. southern border but rather supports increasing border patrols. In office, he plans to make climate change a national emergency and implement the Green New Deal. On Tuesday, October 1st, Sanders suffered a heart attack, and while he claims to be doing well, many voters worry if this will negatively affect his campaign. 


Joe Sestak







He was in the House of Representatives from 2007-2011. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy and finished 2nd in his class. At Harvard, he earned a Master of Public Administration, as well as a Ph.D. in political economy and government. He currently has 0.3% of the Democratic vote. He plans to improve America’s mental health system and make it easier for drug addicts to get treatment. He supports DREAMers gaining citizenship and will only build a wall around the U.S. southern border if it is something border security experts say is necessary. He believes in requiring a fee for those who are carbon polluters and he wants to prevent drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. 


Tom Steyer







He is an environmentalist who attended Yale University as the captain of the soccer team and studied at Stanford Business School. He currently has 0.8% of the Democratic vote. He believes that healthcare is a human right but does not believe in doing away with private health insurance providers to achieve this. He has helped illegal immigrants in danger of being deported, and he wants to provide more help to immigrants in America. He has donated $2 million to help those affected by natural disasters.  


Elizabeth Warren







Warren is a current Massachusetts Senator. She studied at the University of Houston, Rutgers Law School, The University of Pennsylvania, and Harvard University. She currently has 24.0% of the Democratic vote. She would like to expand on ACA and introduce her plan of Medicare for All. She plans to lessen the punishment of entering the U.S. illegally and wants to expand DACA to aliens who arrived in America as minors. Warren plans to ban any and all fossil fuel leases affecting public property. By 2030, she would make all electricity carbon-neutron.


Marianne Williamson







Williamson is a bestselling author who studied at Pomona College, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Texas. She currently has 0.7% of the Democratic vote. As President, she plans to increase funding to the Food and Drug Administration, National Institute of Health, and Centers for Disease Control. She is also in favor of Universal Healthcare. She is a proponent of DACA and wants to allow affordable healthcare for illegal immigrants. She proposes that the U.S. creates zero carbon emissions by 2045, and she supports climate-friendly resolutions.  


Andrew Yang







He is the creator of Venture for America (VFA), an organization to help young people learn about and gain experience in business fields. He is the son of Taiwanese immigrants and studied at Phillips Exeter Academy and Brown University. He earned his Juris Doctor from Columbia University. He currently has 3.5% of the Democratic vote.  He wants to build on ACA and supports Medicare for All. He is not in favor of the deportation of illegal immigrants but rather wants to provide them with U.S. citizenship. He plans to invest almost $5 trillion in action against climate change, which is the most of any candidate. By 2050, he wants the U.S. to have zero net emissions.


With so many options, it can be challenging to choose which candidate is worthy of your support. If any Democrats mentioned in this article have sparked your interest, I encourage you to continue researching about them, and their views. I also recommend educating others on the candidates’ policies and, most importantly, telling everyone who is eligible to do so to vote!