Democratic Candidates Rundown

By Anthony Yevtukh.

With beautiful autumn swinging by, we have less than a year before Ohio is bombarded with advertisements and a new president is elected or re-elected to lead this country. Without a doubt, Donald Trump will be leading the Republican Party in the primaries, but the question is, who will be in the primaries against Donald Trump? There are numerous candidates still remaining, such as moderate Joe Biden, socialist Bernie Sanders, and progressive Elizabeth Warren, who recently surpassed Sanders in the polls. We will review the seven main candidates with a chance at winning the primaries. 

Joe Biden: First on the list leading with 30% in the polls is Joe Biden. Even before Biden was in the presidential run, he was the favorite to win the primaries and rose to 41.4 percent in the polls when he finally declared he was running for President. The former Vice President is the most experienced in politics out of anyone in the field. Biden’s vision of the economy primarily consists of stronger labor unions and tech education. He also has a $1.7 trillion climate plan that would counter carbon emissions in the US by 2050, which he plans to do by reversing Trump’s tax cuts. Overall, he is able to attract moderate Republicans and independent voters, which is beneficial against Donald Trump. 

Bernie Sanders:  Next on the list Bernie Sanders. Unlike Joe Biden, who is more moderate, Bernie Sanders is part of the progressive left, or those who believe in a social reform. He believes in a very high tax rate, such as taxing up to 77% for those who make over a billion dollars in income. With the money, he plans to make college tuition-free, give Medicare-for-all, increase the minimum wage to fifteen dollars, and provide more Social Security benefits, or the Federal insurance program with retirement benefits. For climate change, his plan, the Green New Deal, is to make all transportation and electricity to be dependent on renewable energy by 2030 and complete the reduction of carbon fuels nationwide by 2050. In general, he is a strong competitor that is able to attract a lot of socialist and progressive Democrats. 

Elizabeth Warren: Fighting for second with Bernie Sanders in the polls right now is Elizabeth Warren, the women from Massachusetts. She is very similar politically to Bernie Sanders as they share many similar policies. Both believe that college should be tuition-free, Medicare should be given to all, the minimum wage should be increased to fifteen dollars, and even has a very similar climate change plan to Bernie Sanders, only differing in the dates. However, there are still some differences between the two. First, she believes in a wealth tax that taxes 2% on those whose net worths are over fifty-million and a 3% tax over those whose net worths are over a billion dollars. She also strongly believes in slavery reparations and in capitalism. For example, for Medicare, instead of eliminating private insurance, she instead proposed to give more options to the general public. Although she is similar to Sanders, she is able to attract a few moderates. 

Pete Buttigieg: Recently surpassing Kamala Harris for fourth in the polls is the gay mayor from South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg. He is one of the youngest to run for President being only thirty-seven years old, which puts concerns on his lack of experience. However, the Harvard and Oxford graduate has risen up to the occasion. Economically, Buttigieg believes in a wealth tax but has not stated a specific tax rate. He also believes in raising the minimum wage to $15, and he supports making the Equality Act an amendment. In terms of Medicare, he believes in “Medicare for all who want it,” which means not eliminating private insurance but keeping Medicare as a public option, which is similar to Warren. Finally, unlike his fellow Democrats, Sanders and Warren, Buttigieg advocates for debt-free college rather than free college. One way he plans to do this is by expanding the size of Pell Grants, a federal grant made for lower-class and middle-class students. He is possibly the most diverse in the fact that he has the most innovative policies and he is the most popular candidate for LGBTQ supporters and Millenials. 

Kamala Harris:  With about 6% in the polls, the Californian attorney general that battles Pete Buttigieg for the fourth position currently is Kamala Harris. Although being in fifth right now, she once was in second ahead of both Sanders and Warren. However, things have taken a downturn in recent weeks. Harris is similar to Biden as she is considered a moderate. One of her ideas for the economy is reversing Trump’s tax cuts on the rich and on corporations for the LIFT Act, which will give the lower and middle classes up to $500 dollars a month to families. Harris’s Medicare plan is to keep private insurance and make Medicare a public option, similar to other candidates mentioned previously. She also has a $10 trillion plan for climate change that prevents carbon emissions by 2045. In conclusion, she is very similar to Obama, which makes her popular, but she first has to overcome Obama’s Vice President, Joe Biden.

Beto O’Rourke:  In fifth right now with three percent of the vote is the Texan Beto O’Rouke. Beto O’Rouke is most famous for his campaign against Senator Ted Cruz a few years ago and for recently stating to take away AR-15s from the American people. His economic policies are quite vague but focus more on reducing inequality. Just like most candidates, he plans to keep private insurance an option for those who need it for Medicaid. He also supports slavery reparations. Although he is a quiet candidate, he is popular among immigrants and Millenials and stated that he focuses on making Texas blue in the election.

Andrew Yang: The son of immigrant Vietnamese parents is Andrew Yang and is probably the most interesting candidate. His economic policy is called the Universal Basic Income. In short, each adult would make a guaranteed amount of income. In Andrew Yang’s case, he wants to give $1,000 to everyone per month. However, there are a strict amount of rules and the possibility of inflation is not out of the question, but it can help the lower class deeply. He is also is a believer for Medicare for All, but hasn’t stated a specific policy. Overall, he is the most unique candidate in his economic policy. 

Cory Booker: Cory Booker announced his campaign with the focus to limit racial and social inequality. Some of his economic policies include testing the effects of the $15 minimum wage and a program called “baby bond” in order to close the difference in wealth between African Americans and white people. A baby bond is a savings account from the US Treasury in which children earn money until they become adults. However, he surprisingly isn’t very popular with his own party. This puts questions in his ability to win the primaries, although he has been rising recently in the polls. 

Although it seems like Joe Biden can pull away and win the primaries, it is still very early and anything can happen in a year. From universal basic income to Medicare for all, these policies will decide the future of our country and the Earth itself, and whether you like the candidate or not, the American people have a duty to vote for the future leaders of the US. Goalcast once said, “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal.”

Anthony Yevtukh is currently a sophomore at North Royalton High School. He is involved in numerous clubs such as Science Club, Tech Club, and Math Club. Outside of school, Anthony loves hanging out with his friends. After high school, Anthony plans to go to college for the degree of finance.