Horrific accident leaves 19 candidates running for Dem nom

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An American garbage fire

The American election, set for Nov. 3, 2020, is now less than a year away and the Democratic candidates are campaigning at a new high while we move closer to delegates electing the nominee for president of the United States.

Beginning in the new year, the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses will see the  election of approximately 3,769 pledged delegates to the Democratic National Convention. It is then up to those delegates to vote on naming the official Democratic nominee who will contest Donald Trump for the presidency. There is no specific timeline for when the nomination will happen, though the primaries typically last for several months. In 2016, Hillary Clinton was chosen as the Democratic nominee on July 26.

A little more convoluted than the Canadian parliamentary system some might say.

The following are the current Democratic presidential hopefuls: Michael Bennet, senator from Colorado; Joe Biden, vice president under Barack Obama; Michael Bloomberg, former Mayor of New York City and billionaire; Cory Booker, senator from New Jersey; Steven Bullock, governor of Montana; Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana; Julian Castro, mayor of San Antonio, Texas; John Delaney, former congressman for Maryland (sixth district); Tulsi Gabbard, congresswoman for Hawaii (second district); Kamala Harris, senator from California; Amy Klobuchar, senator from Minnesota; Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida; Deval Patrick, former governor of Massachusetts; Bernie Sanders, senator representing Vermont; Joe Sestak, former U.S. Representative; Tom Steyer, a billionaire and philanthropist; Elizabeth Warren, senator from Massachusetts; Marianne Williamson, author and activist; Andrew Yang, founder of Venture for America.

A lot of names there, yes. Let’s boil that list down a tad. Here are the candidates that the Washington Post deems to be in the first tier.

Pete Buttigieg is in his eighth and final year in office as mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg was first elected in 2011 at the age of 29. Preceding his re-election in 2015, Buttigieg came out as gay. Buttigieg is also a Rhodes Scholar and a veteran, having completed a seven-month tour in Afghanistan.

When it comes to climate change, Buttigieg supports government subsidizing solar panels as well as the “Green New Deal” proposals which are being floated by progressive Democratic Representatives. Buttigieg presents himself as a supporter of labour and unions. Coming from his own experience, Buttigieg would end the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.

Bernie Sanders is a household name due to his bid for the presidential candidacy in the 2016 election. Sanders is currently serving his third term as a senator and previously engaged as Representative for sixteen years. Sanders is the oldest candidate at the age of 78 and actually suffered a heart attack last month, but his campaign has maintained its momentum, which can partly be attributed to his endorsement from the tour de force that is Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Sanders is a popular choice amongst students given his “College For All” plan in which he would cancel all student loan debt, then place a cap on interest rates at 1.88 per cent. Sanders also believes in everyone’s right to an education and sees it as the government’s duty to ensure post-secondary education is accessible. Sanders is also committed to removing barriers in the healthcare system and around affordable housing.

Joe Biden was the recipient of much acclaim during his time as vice president in the Obama administration. Previously, Biden served in the senate from 1973 to 2009, making for an extremely successful political career. Biden entered the presidential race in April of 2019 and has received criticism for failing to stand out amongst his progressive and diverse counterparts.

Biden’s platform includes the immediate passing of the Equality Act, as Biden has been outspoken about Trump’s banning of trans individuals from military service. A Biden administration would support the decriminalization, but not legalization, of recreational cannabis use. This summer, Biden spoke out against capital punishment, a sentiment that the former vice president has not voiced before.

Elizabeth Warren has experience as a teacher, lawyer, professor of law and has served as a senator representing Massachusetts since 2013. Warren did not run in 2016, though she was asked to. Instead, she was one of 15 female Democratic senators to encourage Hilary Clinton to run. She announced her run for the presidency in February of this year and has seen a steady surge in support.

Warren, who self identifies as a capitalist, would raise minimum wage to $15 an hour and supports an “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” (all whose net worth is greater than $50 million). Warren says that this tax would result in $250 billion in revenue for the government.  A defender of the middle class, Warren would push to make the formation of labour unions easier. She supports the Green New Deal and is committed to ensuring that every citizen’s right to vote is protected.

According to the New York Times national average polls, Joe Biden is leading at 25 per cent. Warren and Sanders sit at 19 per cent and 17 per cent respectively while Buttigieg trails at 8 per cent.

In the four early-voting states, the results are more varied, with Buttigieg leading at 22 per cent in Iowa. In Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, Biden leads by margins similar to the national polls with Warren in second, Sanders in third, and Buttigieg in fourth.

On Dec. 19, 2019, the sixth Democratic debate will be held in Los Angeles. As of now, only six candidates qualify. Biden, Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg will all take the stage as well as Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Amy Klobuchar.

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