2020 Vision | Sarah Stook

With 25 candidates in the running to be Democratic nominee in the 2020 US presidential election, it’s like a lacklustre version of Big Brother. Jokes about the number of Conservatives running in the leadership election here were high, but at least most people had heard of the candidates.

Considering one of these people will be running against Trump next year, it’s important to know who they are. 25 is a large number, but an interest in politics is what many of our loyal readers have. Though we do not have a vote across the pond, undoubtedly many of you will be keeping a keen eye on the US election. It’s unavoidable really, with increased media interest and an 18 month cycle, but the importance of facts are as important as ever.

With that in mind, here are the 25 candidates, in alphabetical order:


Name: Michael Bennett

Age upon Inauguration: 55

Home State: Colorado

Current Job: Senior United States Senator for Colorado (2009- Present)

Previous Job (s): Law clerk; chief of staff for fellow candidate John Hickenlooper; Clinton White House worker; businessman; school superintendent;

Education: Wesleyan University (BA in History), Yale University (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Focusing on climate change through historic reform, such as cutting energy waste in half by 2040 and reducing food waste by three quarters.
  • Reforming democracy by banning lobbying for former members of Congress, automatic voting registration and using a constitutional amendment to ban corporations from funding political campaigns
  • Decreasing costs for the American family, such as raising the minimum wage and bringing in paid leave.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Choosing Russia as the biggest threat to the USA over China.

Debate Performance:

Had some good sound bites, especially on foreign policy and also wasn’t afraid to stray from the pack, especially with his attacks on Medicare for All and President Obama. He was in the middle of the table in terms of airtime at 8.1 minutes. Unfortunately, he was not prominent in the debate and suffered from lack of recognition. He wasn’t talked about afterward.

Chances: None of getting President, but a potential Education Secretary in a Dem administration.

Campaign Site: https://michaelbennet.com/


Name: Joseph ‘Joe’ Biden

Age upon Inauguration: 78

Home State: Delaware

Current Job: University of Pennsylvania professor (2017- present)

Previous Job (s): Lawyer, senator, Vice President of the United States

Education: University of Delaware (BA in History and Political Science), Syracuse University (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Biden has tragically outlived two of his children, the latter of which- Beau- died of cancer only a few years ago. He is a huge advocate of health reform after having to pay a lot towards his care. Though not a supporter of Medicare for all, he’s a supporter in government run healthcare.
  • Progressive economic reform, such as a $15 minimum wage, high investment taxes and free tuition for students at public colleges.
  • Infrastructure reform, with a mix of public and private investment, believing in a massive overhaul.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Getting absolutely mauled by Kamala Harris about his past views on race.

Debate Performance:

He really tripped up when Harris took him to task on his old views. Otherwise, he’s a fairly solid debater and is fairly charismatic at debating- when he turns on the ‘Uncle Joe’ routine, he can really play himself as amiable.

Chances:  Pretty high- as a former VP, he’s one of the front runners. He consistently rates highly in the polls. Something that could tamper his chances are his confirmation of Clarence Thomas during the Anita Hill scandal and his tendency to be handsy, something controversial in the #MeToo area.

Campaign Site: https://joebiden.com/


Name: Cory Booker

Age upon Inauguration: 51

Home State: New Jersey

Current Job: Junior United States Senator for New Jersey (2013- )

Previous Job (s): Attorney, program co-ordinator, councillor and mayor.

Education:  Stanford (BA in Political Science, MA in sociology), Oxford (MA, Rhodes Scholar) and Yale (JD)

Main Policies:

  • A general theme of justice, including an end to mass incarceration, campaign finance reform and universal rights.
  • Increased opportunities, such as free universal childcare and a $15 minimum wage.
  • Focus on climate change, with a special focus on adding taxes and creating fees.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Booker spoke fiercely in favour of gun control, calling it a ‘personal’ issue due to hearing shots in his neighbourhood.

Debate Performance:

In order to best O’Rourke and Castro, Booker showed off his language skills with bit of Spanish. He was a little robotic, but was fairly eloquent.

Chances:  He’ll make it fairly far- though not as highly rated as Warren, Biden or Sanders, he’s still going to outrank many of the other candidates. He’ll probably be in a future administration or remain a vocal senator.

Campaign Site: https://corybooker.com/



Name:  Stephen ‘Steve’ Bullock

Age upon Inauguration: 54

Home State: Montana

Current Job: Governor of Montana (2013-)

Previous Job (s): Lawyer, state Attorney General,

Education: Claremont McKenna College (BA in PPE) and Columbia (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Is a huge proponent of campaign reform, especially when it comes to money from abroad. Amongst others, he wants to ban SuperPACS, overturn Citizens United and enforce campaign laws
  • He is a friend of the union and labor movement, with the topic of minimum wage being an important one. Bullock also opposes right-to-work and believes in agency fees being mandatory.
  • Bullock supports net neutrality, having signed an executive order to enforce it- Montana was the first in the country to have this.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

N/A, was not eligible due to lack of polling support and fundraising.

Debate Performance:


Chances: If he’s not even getting into the debates, he has no chance. Bullock is, however, a governor of a Trump won state so that might indicate his future.

Campaign Site: https://stevebullock.com/


Name: Peter ‘Mayor Pete’ Buttigieg

Age upon Inauguration: 39

Home State: Indiana

Current Job: Mayor of South Bend, Indiana (2012- )

Previous Job (s): Naval Lieutenant (reserve and active service), conference director and consultant

Education: Harvard (BA in History and Literature) and Oxford (Rhodes Scholar, BA in PPE)

Main Policies:

  • Inequality and corporations with too much power- Buttigieg supports better healthcare for all, free public colleges and minority, reproductive and LGBT rights.
  • Security in personal, public, domestic and foreign spheres. Buttigieg advocates gun control and diplomatic foreign policy as two things he believes keeps people secure.
  • Like others, he wants electoral reform- automatic voter registration, end the electoral college and campaign finance rules.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Buttigieg put those he put those who deemed ‘bad Christians’ on blast, criticising the response to the border crisis.

Debate Performance:

Pretty good, he showed promise as a debater and spoke with passion others lacked. Still has a long way to go.

Chances: Many believe that’s the Obama candidate, a dark horse who will go from relative obscurity to being President. Like Obama, he would be a history maker- Buttigieg is openly gay and married to a man.

Campaign Site: https://peteforamerica.com/


Name: Julián Castro

Age upon Inauguration: 46

Home State: Texas

Current Job: Speech circuit seems to be the only indication of any current job (2017-)

Previous Job (s): Lawyer, Councillor, Mayor and Housing and Urban Development Secretary.

Education: Stanford (BA in political science and communications) and Harvard (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Justice Reform- Castro has criticised police brutality, racial profiling and lack of accountability for cops.
  • Castro is also in favour of immigration reform, being a huge critic of the current border crisis. He’s in favour of DACA, a pathway to citizenship for illegals and an increase in refugee admissions.
  • One that is fairly unique to Castro’s policies is that of fighting lead poisoning. The crisis in Flint, Michigan has become world famous due to its duration and the lack of water safety. He wants to make it a public health threat.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Castro got praise for his role in the debate, with many deeming it a breakout performance. His main moment was his passionate defence of immigration and argument against the border crisis. Castro’s policies on immigration are definitely the most radical.

Debate Performance:

Though some believe that he was a star, Castro did tend to go off on a tangent and ramble. That detracted from any policies, as it read as more of a list than anything.

Chances: Pretty slim, he does have a chance of being Homeland Security Sec in future.  He was considered as Hillary Clinton’s VP in 2016.

Campaign Site:  https://www.julianforthefuture.com/


Name: Bill De Blasio

Age upon Inauguration: 59

Current Job: Mayor of New York City (2014-)

Home State: New York

Previous Job (s): Campaign manager, aide, councillor, NYC Public Advocate

Education: NYU (BA in Metropolitan Studies) and Columbia (MIA)

Main Policies:

  • Criminal Justice Reform- De Blasio has talked about him and his wife talking to their biracial son, Dante about encounters he could have with police. On his website, he lists his accomplishments by ending stop and search- leading to a 93% decrease, decriminalising low level weed possession and having police receive implicit bias training. NYPD hates him.
  • Worker’s rights- Like many; De Blasio is focused on the labour market. He is a proponent of mandatory paid sick leave, something not mandated in the US and ensuring that employees have at least two weeks paid vacation.
  • Equality Legislation- protected classes will include women, the disabled and the LGBTQ (including a Health Care Bill of Rights and allowing people to change their gender on their birth certificate).

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

  • Announcing that he would ban private health insurance completely in favour of a full government run scheme, followed by him clashing with Beto O’Rourke on the issue immediately.

Debate Performance:

He showed a particular fire, especially considering he’s been quiet on the trail. De Blasio used personal anecdotes to underpin his policies.

Chances: De Blasio is definitely highest on the name recognition, considering he’s been mayor of NYC for five years. He probably won’t win, but he’ll remain important in New York politics. Perhaps governor or Senator?

Campaign Site: https://billdeblasio.com/



Name:  John Delaney

Age upon Inauguration: 57

Home State: Maryland

Current Job: Full time candidate (2017-)

Previous Job (s): Entrepreneur, CEO and US Representative for Maryland

Education: Columbia (BA) and Georgetown (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Opioid Crisis- Delaney is a strong critic of ‘big pharma’ and believes them to be part of the problem behind the huge crisis. He wants a stronger federal response and limits on the number of prescriptions handed out.
  • Healthcare- Delaney is opposed to single payer healthcare (aka Medicare for All), something that has put him at odds with candidates like Warren and Sanders. He’s worried about the old generation’s backlash, so the programme he imagines is for under 65s.
  • Focusing on the African-American Community- His focus is on the disparity in healthcare, education, criminal justice and access to capital and investment.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

His attempt to talk about his grandfather’s entry into Ellis Island, when he was separated from his family. He was ignored.

Debate Performance: Considering his anecdote was ignored and he looked like a kicked puppy throughout the debate, I’d say not great.

Chances:  Ain’t gonna happen.

Campaign Site: https://www.johndelaney.com/


Name: Tulsi Gabbard

Age upon Inauguration: 39

Home State: Hawaii

Current Job: US Representative for Hawaii (2013-)

Previous Job (s): Army Major, legislative aide, Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee and Hawaii House of Representatives.

Education: Hawaii Pacific University (BS in Business Administration)

Main Policies:

  • Anti-War- Gabbard is an enemy of the neocons and love of the isolationists. She opposes military strikes, boots on the grounds, sanctions and all other types. Unfortunately, many believe Gabbard to be an Assad apologist. She’s also fairly in favour of relations with Israel.
  • Environment- She has been against the Dakota Access Pipeline, introduced legislation to have the US be committed to renewable energy and also supports a Green New Deal. Her website claims she has been a passionate environmentalist ever since she was a little girl.
  • Relations with India- Gabbard is a huge supporter of Indian PM Modi and supports close relations with the country.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Pushing anti-war rhetoric and flexing her isolationist credentials.

Debate Performance:

She caught the attention of unusual followers after, such as Breitbart News. It may have pushed off moderate and liberal democrats, but she found a following with more conservatives. Her voice was clear and she spoke well.

Chances: Extremely, extremely unlikely. With her more conservative views and former anti-LGBT rights views, she’s not got much of a chance, even if her beliefs on gay rights have changed over time. Don’t expect to see her in any administrations.

Campaign Site: https://www.tulsi2020.com/select


Name: Kirsten Gillibrand

Age upon Inauguration: 54

Home State: New York

Current Job: Junior United States Senator for New York (2009-)

Previous Job (s): Lawyer, political campaigner and House of Representatives

Education: Dartmouth College (BA in Asian Studies) and UCLA (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Women and Families- Gillibrand is an ardent feminist and especially vocal in regards to the #MeToo Movement. She advocates for universal pre-K, universal childcare, paid family leave and on fighting the maternal mortality crisis.
  • Climate Change- Gillibrand supports The Green New Deal and believes Climate Change is the biggest threat we face. She also wants to tax carbon, phase out fossil fuels and make clean air a human right.
  • Fighting Corruption-Gillibrand believes in transparency in terms of meetings, releasing tax returns and ethics reform.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Gillibrand’s main aim was to talk about reproductive rights, especially abortion, and women’s issues.

Debate Performance:

She put on a decent performance, but was outshone by Biden, Harris and Sanders on the night.

Chances: She’ll outrun other candidates but there’s a low chance of her winning. Expect to see her in a future Democrat administration.

Campaign Site: https://kirstengillibrand.com/


Name: Maurice ‘Mike’ Gravel

Age upon Inauguration: 90 (seriously)

Home State: California

Current Job: CEO of a Marijuana Company (seriously) (2014-)

Previous Job (s): Soldier, advocate for Alaskan statehood, state legislator, US Senator, political advocate, guest lecturer

Education: Columbia University (BS in Economics)

Main Policies:

  • Anti War- He makes Gabbard look like Dick Cheney. He made his name as an anti-Vietnam war activist and is a fierce, fierce isolationist. His main policies are nuclear disarmament, banning foreign arms sales and creating a Department of Peace.
  • Justice Reform- He wants to legalise all drugs, decimalise sex work and give amnesty to all whistleblowers. Basically, he wants a liberal justice system and a whole lot of civil liberties.
  • Electoral Reform- Plans include abolishing the Electoral College, give more voting power to certain states in the senate and self-determination for US territories.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Wasn’t eligible.

Debate Performance:


Chances: Absolutely none, but he’s a marijuana businessman aged ninety who wants to give more powers to larger states, legalise every drug under the sun and create a Department of Peace. The man is a walking meme and even he said he hasn’t run to win.

Campaign Site: https://www.mikegravel.org/



Name: Kamala Harris

Age upon Inauguration: 56

Home State: California

Current Job: Junior United States Senator for California (2017-)

Previous Job (s): Deputy District Attorney, City District Attorney and Attorney General of California

Education: Howard University (Economics and Political Science), UC Hastings College (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Healthcare- Harris is a supporter for Medicare for All, using her mother’s battle against the colon cancer as a reason to why she supports reform. She also supports lowering costs of medicine, prosecuting Opioid manufacturers and protecting access to birth control. Harris is most concerned about racial discrepancies in maternity care.
  • Women’s Rights- Harris has put gender equality at the heart of her campaign, supporting equal pay and Planned Parenthood. She also supports legislation regarding sexual assault and against workplace harassment.
  • Gun Violence- Harris promises to use executive action if the legislative branch does not impose gun safety measures in the first 100 days. Other policies include banning the import of AR-15s and comprehensive background checks.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Scorching Biden on his past comments/actions on race relations.

Debate Performance:

An impressive performance, especially against Biden. Many were impressed by her.

Chances: She is extremely controversial due to her past actions during ‘The War on Drugs,’ especially since she admitted she’s used weed before. Many call her ‘Cop Kamala’ and believe that she has disproportionately targeted ethnic minorities through this. If you ignore that, she has a fair chance of getting through but most likely won’t win. She’ll probably stay in California or get a position as Attorney General of the United States.

Campaign Site: https://kamalaharris.org/


Name: John Hickenlooper Jr

Age upon Inauguration: 68

Home State: Colorado

Current Job: PAC Creator (2019- )

Previous Job (s): Businessman, Mayor of Denver, Governor of Colorado

Education: Wesleyan (BA in English and MA in Geology)

Main Policies:

  • Building Rural Economics- Colorado, the state in which Hickenlooper resigns, is a rather rural one. Hickenlooper wants to focus on rural economies, especially infrastructure, schooling and healthcare.
  • Entrepreneurs/ Small Businesses- He supports tax credits for smaller businesses and micro-enterprises. He’s also in favour of anti-trust laws that break monopolies.
  • Climate Change- Hickenlooper describes climate change as ‘the defining challenge of our time.’ He wants to use technologies to address the issue, rejoin the Paris Agreement and create new jobs.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

This happened before the debate- the security guards didn’t recognise him and initially wouldn’t let him into the venue. Awkward.

Debate Performance:

Apart from a few spars with Sanders and Biden, he was pretty forgettable.

Chances: His key staffers are already leaving and a reshuffle is underway as the campaign goes into terminal decline. He’ll quietly go back to Colorado.

Campaign Site: https://www.hickenlooper.com/



Name: Jay Inslee

Age upon Inauguration: 69

Home State: Washington

Current Job: Governor of Washington (2013-)

Previous Job (s): Lawyer, city prosecutor, Washington House of Representatives, Congressman, Department of Health Official

Education:  University of Washington (BA in Economics) and Willamette (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Climate Change- This is the only issue mentioned on Inslee’s website. He wants 100% clean energy, no fossil fuels and an introduction of a Climate Conservation Corps ‘Climate Corps.’ Inslee’s main aim for the economy is based on green energy.
  • Education- Though we don’t know his exact positions, his education policies as governor included a fund for apprenticeships and career connections.
  • Immigration- In 2018, Inslee successfully sued Trump after the latter signed an executive order banning entry from seven Muslim majority high risk countries. This led Trump to reverse his position to comply with court orders. He supports DACA.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

When Amy Klobuchar sassed him when he boasted about his pro-choice agenda.

Debate Performance:

Apart from the aforementioned abortion snipe and his passionate talk about climate change, he was pretty forgettable.

Chances: Yeah, he’s not making it to the next debate, much less the candidacy.

Campaign Site: https://jayinslee.com/


Name: Amy Klobuchar

Age upon Inauguration: 59

Home State: Minnesota

Current Job: Senior United States Senator for Minnesota (2007-)

Previous Job (s): Lawyer, prosecutor, County Attorney,

Education: Yale (BA in Political Science) and Chicago (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Healthcare- Klobuchar believes in universal healthcare by expanding Medicaid and Medicare. Her primary concerns are the price of prescription medication, substance abuse and mental health issues.
  • Climate Change- Klobuchar was a co-sponsor of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal and supported the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge. She wants to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord that Trump pulled the USA out of. Like others, she wants to use clean energy as a job creator.
  • Foreign Policy- Klobuchar aims to focus on cyber security, especially to combat threats from China and Russia. She wants to focus on diplomacy and intelligence, modernising the State department.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Her sassy retort to Inslee about abortion.

Debate Performance:

Klobuchar didn’t shine too much, her comments were pretty much following the Democratic Line and the only interesting thing was the sassy retort.

Chances:  Her bullying scandal may work against her but she’s seen as a rising star.

Campaign Site: https://amyklobuchar.com/


Name: Wayne Messam

Age upon Inauguration: 46

Home State: Florida

Current Job: Mayor of Miramar, Florida (2015-)

Previous Job (s): Businessman, City Commissioner,

Education: Florida State (BSc CIS-BA in Management Information Systems)

Main Policies:

  • Fighting Student Debt- He wants to cancel all student loans, whether federal or private, make college more affordable and tax the wealthy to cover this.
  • Jobs- Messam wants to boost small businesses, bring jobs back from abroad, create a living wage and make it illegal for government to shut down (this affects federal workers).
  • Gun Control- He sued his state in order to allow leaders to take measures regarding gun violence. His aims are to remove weapons from the mentally ill, domestic abusers and those on the terrorist watch list.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Was not eligible for the debate.

Debate Performance:

See above.

Chances: If he can’t get on the debate, he probably won’t be candidate.

Campaign Site: https://wayneforusa.com/



Name: Seth Moulton

Age upon Inauguration: 42

Home State: Massachusetts

Current Job: US for Massachusetts (2015-)

Previous Job (s): Captain in the Marine Corps, Businessman

Education: Harvard (BA in Physics and MBA and MPP), Officer Candidate School

Main Policies:

  • National Security- Moulton wants investment in technology, weaponry and research. He supports alliances with NATO and the continued fight against Russia and China. He’s also interested in a massive military recruitment drive and using the GI Bill as a model.
  • Mental Health- Moulton supports routine mental health checkups for active service people and veterans, screenings for high schoolers and the establishment of a national mental health hotline.
  • New Voting Rights Act- This includes: automatic voter registration; abolishing the Electoral College; statehood for DC and Puerto Rico; Election Day being a national holiday and rank choice voting.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Not eligible

Debate Performance:

See above

Chances: As said before, if he’s not made it onto the debate stage, he ain’t making it to candidacy.

Campaign Site: https://sethmoulton.com/


Name: Robert Francis ‘Beto’ O’Rourke

Age upon Inauguration: 48

Home State: Texas

Current Job: Full Time Candidate (2019-)

Previous Job (s): Musician, businessman, councillor, placeholder mayor of El Paso and House Representative for Texas

Education: Columbia University (BA in English Lit)

Main Policies:

  • Drugs- O’Rourke is consistent with other Democrats and many Libertarians in wanting to legalise marijuana, something that he has focused on for many years. He also wants to expunge the record of everyone imprisoned for possession of the drug. He also opposes the War on Drugs.
  • Criminal Justice Reform- O’Rourke wants to end cash bail and profit led profits. He also wants to stop minimum sentencing for non-violent drug offences. His aim is to reduce recidivism in the prison system by providing re-entry programmes so that criminals can get back into society without reoffending.
  • Israel- O’Rourke is a strong critic of Israel, even for a Democrat. He opposed the move of the embassy to Jerusalem, voted against funding the easily passed Iron Dome project and refused to attend an address to congress by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Some sassy Spanish speaking.

Debate Performance:

Pretty disappointing, as judged by his drop in support and funding drying up. Apart from him trying to throw out some Hispanic credentials, there was nothing of substance apart from Castro baiting him on immigration.

Chances: Though the media fawned over him when raced against Ted Cruz, they haven’t this time. He’ll probably not get too far- we’ll probably see him run against Cruz in the next Senate election.

Campaign Site: https://betoorourke.com/


Name: Timothy ‘Tim’ Ryan

Age upon Inauguration: 46

Home State: Ohio

Current Job: US Representative for Ohio (2003-)

Previous Job (s): Ohio State Senator and political aide

Education: Bowling Green State (BA in Political Science) and University of New Hampshire (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Climate Change- Ryan supports a ‘social pact’ to clean energy, with support going towards jobs that create electric cars and solar panels. Like many others, he wants to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • Education- Ryan wants to close the funding gap between affluent and poor communities in regards to schools; give adequate resources; have mental health support; afterschool programmes and healthy lunches.
  • Healthcare- Ryan supports Medicare For All, lower prescription costs and more affordable care.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

  • Getting things wrong- such as believing the 1% control 90% of all wealth and that the Taliban was behind 9/11.

Debate Performance:

Yeah, the above shows he wasn’t great. He was mocked by many for the debate and lost a lot of credibility.

Chances: Not happening. He’ll stick with the Buckeye State.

Campaign Site: https://timryanforamerica.com/


Name: Bernard ‘Bernie’ Sanders

Age upon Inauguration: 79

Home State: Vermont

Current Job: Junior United States Senator for Vermont (2007-)

Previous Job (s): Political activist; odd jobs; writer; Mayor of Burlington; Congressman for Vermont

Education: University of Chicago (BA in Political Science)

Main Policies:

  • Health Care- Sanders supports Medicare for All. He wants more access in the medicine market, a prescription fee similar to the UK, imports from other countries and negotiating with pharmaceutical companies.
  • Education- Sanders wants free public, community and trade schools for all students with a $48 billion fund, cancel all student debt, cap loan interest and provide living grants for low income students.
  • Wall Street/Banking- Sanders is a fierce critic of Wall Street and hates banking. His policies include breaking up banks; jail those involved in financial crime; reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, cap ATM fees and create a financial transaction tax.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

His anti-Wall Street chance.

Debate Performance:

Sanders isn’t actually that great speaker and he really isn’t a great debater. He has a tendency to ramble and not answer the question. This time was no exception.

Chances: Sanders joins Warren and Biden in the ‘almost guaranteed’ trinity. He will most likely place second or third, or at least cling on until the bitter end.

Campaign Site: https://berniesanders.com/



Name:  Joseph ‘Joe’ Sestak Jr

Age upon Inauguration: 69

Home State: Pennsylvania

Current Job: Charity President (2017-)

Previous Job (s): Naval Vice-Admiral, House Representative for Pennsylvania and college professor

Education: Naval Academy (BS in American Political Systems) and Harvard (MPA and PhD in Political Economy and Government)

Main Policies:

  • Military- As a veteran, Sestak seems to take foreign policy seriously. He is very opposed to Iraq, blasting it as ‘tragic misadventure’ and added that he believes that it was the catalyst for the rise of Islamic State. However, he supported Afghanistan. He wishes to restore the ‘liberal world order.’
  • Other- Sestak only announced his campaign about ten days ago so we are yet to learn of what his main policies are. From his time in Congress, we’ve seen that he supports banning assault rifles and the Iran Nuclear Deal, but rejects the Bush tax cuts and abortion restrictions.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Not eligible

Debate Performance:

See above

Chances: A late bloomer with a history of clashing with his party, so no.

Campaign Site: Not uploaded


Name: Eric Swalwell Jr

Age upon Inauguration: 40

Home State: California

Current Job: US Representative for California (2013-)

Previous Job (s): Politican intern and councillor

Education: University of Maryland, College Park (BA in Government and Politics) and University of Maryland, Baltimore (PHD in JD)

Main Policies:

  • Gun Control- Swalwell is a huge enemy of the gun lobby and his main issue is ending gun violence. He’s got into more than one Twitter spat, including mocking a rape victim who wanted to use guns to protect her home and children. His plans include banning and initiating a mandatory buy back of semi-automatic assault rifles; extra training for law enforcement officials in high violence areas; closing the ‘boyfriend loophole,’ let victims sue manufacturers and create a national firearm registry.
  • Healthcare- Swalwell supports Medicare for All (total shock) and also wants to increase investment for diseases like ALS and Alzheimer’s.
  • Education- Swalwell wants equal opportunities for different income areas, tax free employer contributions, free public college tuition and interest free student loans.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Asking Joe Biden to ‘pass the torch’ to a younger generation, which understandably didn’t go down well with Biden and the audience.

Debate Performance:

Apart from said cutting remark, no one’s talking about him.

Chances: It’s looking like he won’t make the next debate, so probably not. He’ll stick to California.

Campaign Site: https://ericswalwell.com/


Name: Elizabeth Warren

Age upon Inauguration: 71

Home State: Massachusetts

Current Job: Senior United States Senator for Massachusetts (2013-) and Vice Chair of the Senior Democratic Caucus (2017-)

Previous Job (s): Teacher; lawyer; academic; professor; advisor; panel chair and special advisor.

Education: University of Houston (BA in Speech Pathology and Audiology) and Rutgers Law School (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Advocacy for the Middle Class- Warren has always portrayed herself as a defender of the middle class. She wants anti-trust enforcement, 40% worker representation on company boards, universal childcare, an ultra-millionaire tax and housing investment to bring down rent costs.
  • Anti-Corruption- Warren’s policies include mandatory registration of lobbyists, banning Washington lobbyists from working for foreign governments, banning members of Congress from becoming lobbyists and banning them from trading stocks whilst in office.
  • Criminal Justice Reform- Warren supports decriminalising weed, community policing comprehensive sentencing reform and closing the racial disparity in criminal justice. She argues against private prisons and a militarised police force,

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Raising her hand in support of abolishing private healthcare (the only other candidate to do so was Bill De Blasio).

Debate Performance:

Warren was the star of the debate stage- intelligent but not too technical, simplistic but not too boring. Unfortunately for Warren, being the star of the debate wasn’t too hard a task. She did bomb her first question about Americans being happy about the economy by basically saying they weren’t.

Chances: Like Biden and Sanders, she’s likely to hit the top three. If the Democrats can pull off a second female candidate in a row, it’ll be with Warren.

Campaign Site: https://elizabethwarren.com/


Name: Marianne Williamson

Age upon Inauguration: 68

Home State: Iowa

Current Job: Writer and activist (1992-)

Previous Job (s):  Founder of The Peace Alliance and Project Angel Food, House of Representatives Candidate

Education: Unfinished BA in Theatre and Philosophy at Pamona College

Main Policies:

  • Reparations- Williamson believes reparations to the African-American community as an apology for slavery is a good way to promote race relations. She plans a fund of between $200 and $500 billion be given over twenty years, with African-American leaders deciding which economic and educational programmes can benefit from it.
  • Climate Change- Williamson believes climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, supporting the Green New Deal. She also supports the ban of fracking; halt fossil fuel projects and transitioning away from nuclear energy.
  • Foreign Affairs- Williamson believes in focusing on non-aggressive ways of international values, such as diplomacy and medication. She would use those ideas, as well as on the ground programmes, to promote the following: development; medication; post-conflict transitional justice; humanitarian aid work and framework for the democratic process.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Talking above love trumping hate and how she would use it to make the world a better place.

Debate Performance:

She was away with the fairies throughout the entire debate. It was not informative, but it was funny.

Chances: She’s going to be a meme, so she wins in that respect. Presidency? Not so much.

Campaign Site: https://www.marianne2020.com/

Name: Andrew Yang

Age upon Inauguration: 46

Home State: New York

Current Job: Entrepreneur (2000-)

Previous Job (s): Attorney, CEO and venture capitalist.

Education: Brown (BA in Economics) and Columbia (JD)

Main Policies:

  • Universal Basic Income- Known as the ‘Freedom Dividend,’ Yang wants every American adult to receive $1000 a month, no strings attached. He believes that this will lift people out of poverty, fight against automation and provide more opportunities.
  • Healthcare- Yang supports Medicare for All and capped costs for treatment. Another policy is providing a holistic approach, where patients are also seen by a psychiatrist to help underlying issues, such as mental illness or addictions.
  • Human Capitalism- Yang believes in a person centred capitalist system, where the focus of the economy should be to maximise welfare. He also plans to have government use not just GDP and job statistics, but other measurements such as infrastructure quality and marriage rates.

Main moment in the MSNBC/NBC/Telemundo debate:

Talking about his freedom dividend.

Debate Performance:

It was pretty unfortunate, as Yang had the least speaking time of all contestants. He could barely even talk about his signature policy, much less anything else. Still, he was the only one to thank everyone afterwards so props for manners.

Chances: Yang has seen himself become a social media sensation, his supporters dubbing themselves ‘The Yang Gang.’ Unfortunately, that’s not lending itself to actual support.

Campaign Site: https://www.yang2020.com/


So you’ve familiarised yourself with the candidates. Though we Brits cannot vote, there’s no doubt many will have their views on the potential future president. Whether it’s Biden or Warren, we’re no doubt in for a wild ride.

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1 Response

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