Primary candidates to review before you vote


As of Feb. 18, 2020, President Donald Trump is far in the lead of Republican candidacy, and currently Bernie Sanders leads Democratic candidacy with Joe Biden at his heels. (File Photo)

Bram Martinez


The California primary presidential election takes place March 3 in California to select the final candidates for the United States Presidential election, which takes place Nov. 3. The following is a guide to the top six Democratic candidates and the only viable option on the Republican side, as well as the policies that they have addressed regarding healthcare, college tuition/student loan debt and climate reform. In order to vote, check the voter guides. One can either vote by going to a voting booth depending on one’s area, or one can mail by ballot. This guide does not have any candidates outside of the main two parties. This is up to date as of Feb. 18.

The polls/projections are from USA Today’s Jan. 16 projected presidential matchups poll.

President Donald Trump is running for another term. According to his campaign page, policies include zero tolerance on illegal immigration and finishing the wall. For healthcare he wants to undo Obamacare, cut drug prices, and reform Medicaid. Trump also plans on boosting fossil fuel development, expanding energy development, and rolling back many environmental policies made by former president Barack Obama. For education during his term, Trump implemented the Every Student Succeeds Act, increased ways to get money for college students, and raised $359 million in education aid. Former Governor of Massachusetts, William F. Weld is the other Republican candidate, but his polling numbers are dismal compared to Trump’s according to various polls, including USA Today’s Trump, however, is projected to lose against Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg (tie), Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren according to USA Today’s projected matchups. 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, is a leading Democratic candidate. According to Sanders’ campaign page, he has proposed a Medicare for All which is a single-payer, national health insurance program to provide all Americans with extensive health care coverage while fighting pharmaceutical price raises. Sanders is known for wanting tuition-free college, cancelling college debt, ending equity gaps in higher education, and investing $1.3 billion to minority-serving institutions. Sanders also wants to convert the U.S. into 100% renewable energy, creating 20 million jobs. He wants to hold the former fuel/energy empires accountable, invest in conservation, fund the “Green New Deal,” and save Americans money by investing in public infrastructure/services.  Sanders is projected at 15.5% success against Trump according to USA Today’s poll.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is another candidate. According to Warren’s campaign page, the senator is calling for the Green New Deal, and a Blue New Deal, which is an oceanic environmental plan. She also wants to impose an “ultra-millionaire tax” to fund environmental policies. Her policies for education include updating public school education for all students by using her “K-12 education” plan.  She wants to lower tuition and cancel student debt. She wants universal health care for everyone and lower the cost of healthcare by transitioning to Medicare. Warren is projected at 9.7% success against Trump via USA Today’s projection poll.

Former vice president Joe Biden is also running. According to his campaign page, to expand/update the affordable care act, while protecting it from future presidents. Biden has plans to restructure rural America. Biden wants a clean energy revolution while furthering environmental justice while protecting coal jobs. Biden also wants universal healthcare. Biden wants aid for educators/students by supporting educators by, in addition to other proposals, giving them better pay. Biden is projected at 41.5% success against Trump, according to USA Today’s poll.

Pete Buttigieg is the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana. According to his campaign page  Buttigieg’s healthcare plan ‘Medicare for all who want it,’ is a plan that serves as an affordable alternative to private healthcare. Buttigieg’s pre-K-12 education plan would raise teacher wages, address segregation at school and put a ban on for-profit charter schools. For higher education: affordable college, stronger development of workforce and encourages lifelong learning. Buttigieg’s climate policy is to build a clean economy and invest in resilience (essentially community preparation for natural disasters, and then rebuilding). He is projected at a tie against Trump, according to the USA Today poll.

Michael Bloomberg is the former mayor of New York City.  According to his campaign page, Bloomberg wants to cut economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030. Steps for this include a reduction of pollution from buildings and transportation vehicles, and having the U.S. rejoin the Paris Agreement. He also wants to aid the fight to prevent wildfires. For education, Bloomberg wants to increase the number of lower-income students enrolled in top colleges as well as prioritize increasing student achievement and college and career prep. Bloomberg also wants to create a Medicare-like public insurance option, to improve and expand enrollment in Affordable Care Act plans, while allowing people to keep their private insurance. Additionally, Bloomberg wants to lower drug costs by capping health care prices, and expanding access to dental, hearing and vision coverage. Though he wasn’t projected in the USA Today poll against Trump, he was the popular choice of 6.8% for Democratic voters.

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar wants to expand medicare/medicaid to get universal healthcare, according to her campaign page. She co-sponsored the Green New Deal, making incentives for greener infrastructure, jobs, energy etc. She also wants to get back to the International Climate Agreement and signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge. For education policies, she wants free tuition for the first two years of community college. She also seeks to reduce loans/college cost, invest in retraining with incentives and provide opportunities for success for students. Though she wasn’t projected in the USA Today poll against Trump, she was the popular choice for voters at 6.1%.