Know Your Ballot! Overview of 2020 Presidential Candidates


By: Timothy Goldsmith, Staff Writer

{Disclaimer: The Overlook Journal does not collectively have a particular preference in candidate and any opinions expressed in this article do not reflect the views of the Overlook Journal or Thornton-Donovan School. We strongly recommend that the reader seek out extensive research on this topic before deciding on a Presidential candidate. The article below has been published in an effort to provide a brief summary on each candidate’s position as of April 8th, 2019.)

Every four years the United States must elect, or re-elect, a new President. In the last election (2016) Donald Drumpf and the Republicans battled Hillary Clinton and the Democrats for the office of former President Barack Obama. In the very dramatic battle for the presidency,  Donald Drumpf came out as the winner. This development came as a shock to a majority of Americans, many of which, due to the constant controversy surrounding the candidate. However, as the year 2020 comes around, so does another presidential election. This will serve as an opportunity for many Democrats who wish to take the office from President Drumpf and the Republicans, . The current list of candidates and possible candidates is extremely extensive and is getting longer by the week as more Democrats throw their hats in the ring. So here are some of the current, and possible, candidates and presidential hopefuls, as well as their beliefs and why they are running:



President Donald Drumpf (R-NY):

President Donald Drumpf, is the current President of the United States and is looking for a second term of office. He is seen as a very controversial person, having several investigations held on him and his family. So far he has been able to fulfill many of his campaign promises and is trying to complete more of them before his time in office runs out. He has accomplished his main legislative agenda by getting major tax cuts for corporations and wealthy American investors.

Bill Weld (R-NY):

Bill Weld is a Republican attorney, businessman, and was the 68th governor of Massachusetts (1991-1997). Weld was also the 2016 Vice Presidential candidate for the Libertarian party, which is the 3rd biggest political party in the United States. He is trying to be the main, Republican, rival for Donald Drumpf, showing himself as a moderate Republican who is willing to compromise with Democrats. He has been known to be a vocal critic of Drumpf during the 2016 campaign. Weld’s main topics of focus include a fiscal restraint, free trade, and a moderate immigration reform. He has also known for his endorsement of the legalization marijuana.


Cory Booker (D-NJ):

Cory Bookers is known for being the Democratic Senator and former mayor of Newark, NJ. He is considered one of the best orators in the Presidential campaign. Booker wants to revive a lot of President Obama’s 2008 campaign promises and seeks to push a criminal justice reform, and ultimately unify the “fractured” country.

Pete Buttigieg (D- IN):

Buttigieg is currently the youngest person running for office at 37 years old. He is currently the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and served in Afghanistan. Buttigieg is known for being the only openly gay candidate for the Democratic party. He gained national spotlight with the Democratic party by publishing an essay on how the Democratic party could come back from their devastating losses in the 2016 elections. His campaign is considered a long shot; however, this puts him in a national spotlight, allowing him to run for another office with a base of supporters.

Julian Castro (D-TX):

Castro was the former Housing secretary of the United states and is the former mayor of San Antonio. During the Obama administration people considered him a rising star with a lot of promise. however, he has recently fallen out of the national spotlight since Drumpf became President. He was forced to drop out of the Texas Senatorial race in the 2018 midterms because of Senator Ted Cruz and, rising star, Beto O’Rourke. He wants to push for a universal Pre-K for every child, to reform Medicare to make “Medicare for all”, and Immigration reform.    

John Delaney (D-MD):

Delaney was a former Democratic congressman from Maryland and was a businessman. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 as a “Pragmatic Idealist”. Delaney claims that no one knows him; however, he is trying to overcome is obscurity by going to Iowa (home of the first Democratic caucus) and promoting himself since as early as 2017. He promotes a bi-partisan agenda and wants to be known as the “bipartisan problem solver”, he has also wanted a universal healthcare system.

Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI):

Tulsi Gabbard is currently a congresswoman from Hawaii and an Army National Guard Veteran. She is credited with being the first Samoan and Hindu member of the U.S. Congress.  She is best known for her support of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primaries. Gabbard has recently been criticized for meeting with the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in 2017.  Her main focus appears to be in foreign policy and affordable housing. She seeks to fight against American military intervention overseas and wants to cease a majority of operations, including the intervention in Syria.

Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY):

Gillibrand is one of the current Democratic New York senators and a former congresswoman from NY. She is seen as one of the most progressive Democrats in Congress and has gained the reputation of being a progressive champion in the strictly Trump Republican congress (before the midterm elections last year). She has become one of the leading Democratic voices in Congress, mainly the Senate. Gilligan wants to focus on the issue of gender inequality and wants to promote gender equality.

Kamala Harris (D-CA):

Harris was the former Attorney general, former DA of San Francisco county and is currently one of the senators from California. She is new on the national spotlight, getting her position in the Senate only in 2016 and furthering her position in the spotlight by thoroughly questioning President Trump’s cabinet and supreme court nominees. She is offering many opportunities to make history if she wins either the Democratic presidential nomination or the Presidency.  This would make her the first female African-American to win either. Harris promotes tax cuts for the middle class and wants to further a “civil rights” agenda in Congress.

John Hickenlooper (D-CO):

Hickenlooper was the former governor of Colorado and the former mayor of Denver, Colorado. He was a former geologist who became successful after opening a successful brewery in Denver. Hickenlooper is known as being a moderate with a record of successes in his purple state of Colorado. He wants to expand Medicaid,  promotes LGBTQ+ rights and gun control.

Jay Inslee (D-WA):

Inslee is a former congressman from Washing State and is the current, two-term, governor of Washington. He is one of the forerunners of the Democratic climate change debate, promoting the Democratic party’s green-energy jobs program. Inslee wants to fight for a solution to the climate change problem in the United States and wants the solution mainly to focus on getting plenty of jobs around the country in the green energy business.

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN):

Klobuchar was the attorney Hennepin county in Minnesota and is one of the current senators from Minnesota. She gained national spotlight while “sternly” questioning Bret Kavanaugh while he is being nominated for the Supreme Court. She has been trying to convince many Democrats to retake the swing states in the Mid-West. Klobuchar wants to try to combat the opioid crisis and drug addiction in the United States. She also wants to tackle the rising cost of prescription drugs in the U.S.

Wayne Messam (D-FL):

Messam is the current mayor of Miramar, Florida, where he defeated the incumbent mayor and became the first African-American Mayor of Miranmar.  He isn’t really known on the national spotlight; however, he has taken as progressive stance on gun control, immigration, and climate change. He is a first generation American to parents from Jamaica, and wants to tap into the Caribbean-American community to try to win his “long-shot” bid. His main focus is trying to cancel the 1.5 trillion dollars in Student Debt that 44 million Americans are dealing with.

Beto O’Rourke (D-TX):

O’Rourke is a former congressman from Texas who gained national spotlight in 2018 when he narrowly lost a Senate race to Ted Cruz. He is considered a more “modern” candidate due to his uses of social media and other platforms to spread his campaign of national unity and liberalism in red-states. It is believed that he would most likely win by gaining traction with social media and younger Democrats. He wants to make marijuana legal, reform the immigration system, and allow people who live in Rural areas access to hospitals.

Tim Ryan (D-OH):

Ryan is currently a congressman from Ohio and has experience on Capital Hill prior due to his work as a congressional staffer. He openly challenged Nancy Pelosi for her bid for minority leader in 2016 and lost. However, he was able to secure 63 votes against her 134. He is now pro-abortion; in the past he held a strong anti-abortion stance. He wants to renegotiate and promote/enforce new trade deals with other countries and to “punish” the Chinese for manipulating their currency in the market.  He also wants rights for unions and for development within the workforce.

Bernie Sanders (D-VT):

Sanders is the current Independent Senator for Vermont and is known for caucusing with the Democrats on a majority of bills and legislation that passes through Congress. He claims that he is a Socialist but is running under the Democratic Party. This would be Sander’s second bid for president, after losing to Hillary Clinton in 2016. His campaign is believed to be the most organized out of the rest of the Democratic presidential hopefuls. He is known to be a popular choice for younger voters, as he promotes an agenda for free college tuition, “Medicare for all” and he wants to limit the influence of billionaires on society and government.

Elizabeth Warren (D-MA):

Warren is a former Harvard professor who is currently a Senator for Massachusetts. She is probably best known for her “argument” with President Trump, where she claimed that she was Native American. However, this did not go well as she has had only one Native American ancestor.  Despite this she is one of the most organized campaigns and is extremely prepared for a Presidential bid. She wants to fix income inequality and wants to stop “Big corporations from attacking the middle class and political corruption.”  

Marianne Williamson (D-TX):

Williamson is a self-health author and lecturer. She wants for Congress in 2014 as an independent but lost the race. She promotes the rights of gay men who have AIDS, she also founded a charity that supplies food for people who have serious illnesses that prevent them from getting food.  She wants to give 100 billion dollars in reparations for slavery, with 10 billion dollars being distributed, annually for a decade, for economic and education projects.

Andrew Yang (D-NY):

Yang is a former tech executive who founded an economic development nonprofit.  His campaign is seen as a long-shot campaign and has drawn little attention on social media by talking about tech issues including robotics and A.I.. He wants to establish a universal income of $1,000 dollars a month for all Americans.

The Democrats are very serious about taking the Presidency in 2020 and is showing this by having candidates from all over the political spectrum.  Regardless of who is running the Democratic Party is hoping to have the exact opposite of President Trump take office. This is to allow the Democrats to reverse what Trump did in his Presidency, as well as rebuild the prestige of the Democratic party in the eyes of the American People.