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There's nearly a year until the first caucus of the 2020 Presidential Election, and it's still anybody's game. Over 450 candidates have already registered to run, but if we ignore suburban fifteen-year-olds who thought it would be funny to register as "Seymour Butz," unknown green party candidates who don't understand that this is not the year to stage a symbolic protest vote, and Russian newsbots, there are roughly ten candidates of interest that have announced their candidacy early and a handful of exploratory committees that have been formed. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll shows that half of Democratic voters don't have a candidate preference yet, and there's no candidate with double-digit support. It's never too early to pick your player, especially when the fate of our nation is on the line. We've put together a list of every candidate that's announced their campaign and a few power players to keep an eye on, complete with what they're all about. We Googled so you don't have to. You're welcome.
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Unfortunately, Donald Trump is running for re-election. Yeah, it sucks. We know. Drudge Report confirmed the news in February 2018, and it looks like he's already gotten his paperwork in. Trump will most likely be the Republican nominee. Only one elected president has run for his party's nomination while in office and been defeated, but anything is possible. Trump's digital strategy leader from 2016, Brad Parscale, will be managing his campaign. Have fun in your deluxe suite in hell, Brad!
Supports: An unnecessary wall, racism, tax fraud, bad spray tans.
Opposes: Tax increases for the wealthy, the environment, women, 21 Savage
Sen. Kamala Harris announced her presidential bid on Martin Luther King Jr. Day before cementing her superstar status with a rally for thousands of cheering voters in Oakland. Kamala was the Attorney General of California until 2017 before becoming a Senator.
She recently made waves for saying she smoked weed in college while listening to Tupac and Snoop Dogg... five years before Snoop released any music. It's okay though, we forgive her. At least she's the type of politician who'll lie about loving Tupac instead of, you know, the type that tries to lock up anyone who's heard of Tupac.
She's had a little controversy regarding cases she took while working as the AG of California — namely, Department of Corrections cases that prevented transgender inmates from receiving gender reassignments, a confusing take on the death penalty, and keeping inmates facing wrongful convictions in jail. She's since apologized, acknowledging that as an attorney, she had to defend clients that took positions she did not personally support. Her record as a prosecutor is a little self-contradictory, but this election cycle will prove where she's grown and what's stayed the same.
Supports: Medicare-for-all, legalized marijuana, sanctuary cities, the DREAM Act, lowering taxes for the poor and raising them for the top 1%, sexual assault victims, homeowners hurt by the foreclosure crisis, a Green New Deal
Opposes: Implicit police bias, the death penalty, cash bail, police body-cameras, jail time for first-time nonviolent offenders
Sen. Cory Booker announced his candidacy in February 2019 at the beginning of Black History Month. Always a Jersey boy, the Senator and former Newark mayor still lives in New Jersey when he doesn't have to be in D.C. He's still, he's still Cory from the Block. A Rhodes Scholarship recipient and graduate of Stanford and Yale, Cory made waves with his hard-hitting questions during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. He would be the first unmarried president ever, but don't get too excited ladies — he has a girlfriend.
Along with Kamala, Cory worked to make lynching a hate crime. It's shocking that was a conversation that even needed to be had in the 21st century, but they did it. Raised by civil rights activists, Cory has one of the most liberal Senate voting records, but his strong left-leanings still carry the shadows of Wall Street connections.
Supports: Equality for all, federal marijuana decriminalization, affordable healthcare, raising the minimum wage, Baby Bonds, American Opportunity Accounts, possibly Big Pharma
Opposes: Employment discrimination, raising the retirement age (unless you're under 20...) , one-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
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Sen. Amy Klobuchar walked in a snowstorm to announce her campaign in Minnesota. Amy's already been caught in some controversies surrounding her demeanor as a boss. It's not great, but it's also not specific to Amy. She's best known as the woman who Kavanaugh asked if she'd ever been blackout, but she's also made history as the first female senator from Minnesota. She threw some shade at the Clinton campaign in her opening speech when she made it clear she intended to begin her campaign in Wisconsin instead of, you know, ignoring it completely.
Supports: Tax advantaged savings accounts, abortion, expanding Obamacare, the Equal Rights Amendment, sanctuary cities, Palestine, taking things one step at a time
Opposes: The backlog of rape kits, lead in toys, drugs, voter suppression, Social Security for undocumented immigrants, chilling out for like a second
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren is a power player in this race. She's been the face of the progressive left for a decade, and questions surrounding her announcement were a "when" and not an "if." In a completely opposite stance from her opponent Amy, Elizabeth is championing a bug structural change in the government. Elizabeth's big uh-oh moment came when people realized she claimed she was a minority because of Native American ancestry from six to ten generations ago, for which she has apologized. Her biggest hurdle, however, will be media comparisons to Hilary Clinton and that same element of implicit sexism that kept Hilary out of the White House in 2016.
Oh, and in case you were wondering: Nevertheless, she persisted? Yeah, that was said about our girl Liz.
Supports: The middle class, a wealth tax on ultra-millionaires and billionaires, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, student loan reform, consumer protection
Opposes: Changing Dodd-Frank, cutting Social Security, Jeff Sessions
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is an Iraq war veteran and the first Hindu and the first Samoan-American to serve in Congress. She also was the youngest woman ever elected in the state of Hawaii when she won a house seat at only 21. Will the next glass ceiling she breaks be the presidency? Probably not. She's a little young, she doesn't have an advanced degree like most of her peers, and she'll likely have issues getting rid of the shadow of her father's anti-gay organization. She helped the Alliance for Traditional Marriage in the early 2000s as they tried to block gay marriage and supported conversion therapy. She's also been supported by Krelim-backed media networks...
Supports: Dictator Bashar al-Assad, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, veterans, the Glass-Steagall Act, universal health care, increasing the minimum wage, free higher education, Planned Parenthood
Opposes: wars for regime change, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Saudi Arabia
Julián Castro is not in Congress but he is a political power player. He was on the shortlist for Hilary's 2016 VP, served as Barack Obama's Housing and Urban Development Secretary, and was the first Latino to deliver the DNC's keynote speech. His biggest controversy so far is publicly supporting Hilary as HUD Secretary, which is frowned upon by the Hatch Act, but he's still struggled to rake in that cash money for his campaign.
Supports: ConnectHome internet for public housing recipients, immigration reform, universal pre-K, free trade, Medicare-for-all, raising taxes on the wealthy, a Green New Deal, fossil fuels, abortion, the Paris Climate Treaty, NAFTA
Opposes: Trump, PAC money, the border wall, assault weapons, ICE, the Syrian war
What is there to be said about Bernie Sanders that hasn't already been said? Bernie was already a frontrunner in the 2020 democratic nomination race before he even announced he was running on February 19. Bernie running as an Independent (his current party) would almost definitely split the vote on the left, leaving a Trump re-election almost guaranteed. Medicare-for-all, $15 minimum wage, and tuition-free higher education is all him, which is dope. No one ever mentions sexual harassment allegations against his male staffers or pay disparities amongst his workers, but it just isn't cool to hate on Bernie. Hopefully the left can get it together and agree to either *all* love Bernie or *all* leave him, lest we get a repeat of 2016. If you can't tell, I'm bitter.
Supports: Big actions, the environment, affordable housing, LGBTQ equality, racial justice, the Iran Deal, Guam
Opposes: Incremental change, compromise, centrism, Constitution Pipeline, Wall Street, war
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Nothing's official yet, but Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand proved she's hip by announcing her exploratory committee on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Kirsten took over for Hilary as Secretary of State in 2009, and her political beliefs have become more and more liberal with time. She used to have an "A" rating from the NRA which has now been downgraded to an "F." Congrats to Kirsten on failing the only test that you actually, definitely *don't* want to pass. Her past stance against amnesty for undocumented immigrants is not going to help her in the race, but her strong support of #MeToo and her feminist campaign might fare well in this political climate.
Supports: Postal banking, the middle class, Wall Street, paid family leave, a federal jobs guarantee, abortion, e-cigarettes, PROTECT IP Act restricting access to websites that infringe copyrights, veterans' rights
Opposes: Institutional racism, ICE, sexual harassment, cash bail, closing Guantanamo Bay, No Child Left Behind
Pete Buttigieg launched his exploratory committee on January 23, 2019. An extremely popular Indiana mayor, Pete is a former Rhodes Scholar and a Naval Reserve veteran who served in Afghanistan. If elected, Pete would be the first openly gay president (and nominee!) and the first millennial president. Yes, 37-year-olds are considered millennials. His biggest hurdle will be experience. He lost his bid for Indiana state treasurer in 2010 and for DNC chair in 2017, so this might be a classic case of too much too soon. Still, Pete was named in an Obama exit interview as one of four Democrats who will lead the party forward in his absence.
Supports: The environment, taxing the rich, raising the minimum wage, gun control, Medicare-for-all
Opposes: Welfare benefit restrictions, public spending cuts, corporate tax cuts, the electoral college
Former Vice President Joe Biden is still hot. There, I said it. Anyway, moving on, Joe refrained from a presidential campaign in 2016 because he had some really depressing stuff going on with his family. He's a legitimately good dude who might make a go of it this year, banking on Obama-era nostalgia to push him through. He hasn't connected with younger voters as well as some of the party's fresher faces, he tends to make gaffes, and he apparently has "no empathy" for millennials, just one of many out-of-touch opinions that we can blame on him being like, real old.
Supports: Bipartisanship, economic populism, the working class, free college, middle-class tax reform, labor unions, the Paris Agreement, the ACA
Opposes: Regional inequality, drugs, making distinct statements on race
Beto O'Rourke became a household name during the 2018 Midterm Elections when he almost unseated Republican Ted Cruz in Texas, the place where they make Republicans in a lab and then unleash them onto an unsuspecting public. He told Oprah he was thinking about running for president, which kind of sums up his whole deal. Beto is the hippest politician out there. He's so hip, he knows we don't even say hip anymore.
Supports: Abortion, the environment, gun control, immigration reform, legalized marijuana, universal health care (but not necessarily Medicare-for-all), veterans, Social Security, making LGBTQ Americans a protected class under federal law
Opposes: Tax increases, the wall, ICE, personal retirement accounts and privatization, abolishing the bail system
Michael Bloomberg was a Democrat until 2001, then a Republican until 2007, then an Independent until 2018, and now he's back to being a Democrat again. This former New York City mayor probably changed his political party for the millionth time because he wants to run for president. He's stated he discourages independents running for president (same, bruh), so even though he's further right than most of today's Democrats, here he is. He would finance his own presidential campaign *starting* with $500 million out of pocket, and there have been reports on Politico that part of his desire to run is to finance data and staffing to eventual help whichever nominee the Democrats choose to end the Trump presidency.
Supports: Gun control, Everytown for Gun Safety, a Green New Deal, stop-and-frisk, pipelines, abortion, Wall street bonuses
Opposes: Medicare-for-all, Elizabeth's wealth tax, coal, death penalty, marijuana legalization, smoking
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced that he's definitely thinking about a presidential run as a "centrist independent," which would be interesting to see compared to Bernie's "idealist progressive independent" run. Howard would appeal to the socially liberal, fiscally conservative Americans (so... Libertarians?). He's never been in politics, but that seems to be working for candidates lately, so more power to him.
Supports: "People of means," bipartisanship, immigration reform, border security, gun control, a balanced budget, veterans, Venti Mocha Frappuccinos
Opposes: Democrats, Republicans, Trump, "revenge politics," trade wars, tax cuts on corporate America, tea
Rep. John Delaney's chances are so low, that when I was researching this list, I was convinced he had dropped out of the race. He was the first to announce his campaign, in July 2017, probably because he knows that he's currently the presidential equivalent of Ann from Arrested Development. He tried visiting crucial electoral college voting states to increase his name recognition, but it just didn't work. He visited Iowa over ten times last year, but Politico polling showed only half of Democrats had any idea who he was. Hang in there, buddy! Debates are just around the corner.
Supports: Bipartisan legislation, universal health care, Obamacare, expanding Medicare, the DREAM Act, DACA, immigration reform, abortion, LGBTQ rights, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Social Security reformation
Opposes: Medicare-for-all, tariffs, attacking banks