A rundown of the 25 Democratic presidential candidates

On June 26 and 27, the first presidential debate will air from 8 to 10 p.m. on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. This will mark the beginning of the race for the 2020 presidency. Currently, 25 Democrats and two Republicans, Donald Trump and William Weld, are in the running for POTUS. Among the Democrats, six are women, one is gay and seven are people of color. Perhaps this abnormal number of candidates is due to the Democratic party’s desperate effort to overthrow the Trump presidency, in hopes that at least one of the candidates has policies both parties can agree on. Or perhaps the number of candidates is due, instead, to the delusion under president Trump that anyone can be a president. For Pete’s sake, even Oprah’s religious advisor is running (Marianne Williamson.) Nonetheless, when deciding on the leader of the country, it’s important for citizens to be informed of what a candidate really supports — not just the image they display to the public. 

To qualify for the debates, candidates had to either get 65,000 donors with at least 200 donors in 20 different states, or have 1 percent in three polls recognized by the committee. Of the 25 Democrats running, 20 qualified for the debates. Below, is a list of all 25 of the Democratic candidates, their background and their stances on the issues they plan to prioritize if elected. For more information on their policies, check out each candidate’s website, which is located at the bottom of each list.


Michael Bennet

Bennet is a senator from Colorado. His main focus is driving economic opportunity and restoring American values and politics. 

Education: Wants to further the No Student Left Behind Act, which gives financial assistance to the education of poor children. 

Climate change: Wants regulations placed on the climate. He will achieve this by investing in zero-emissions energy and rural communities. 

Gun control: Supports restrictions

Immigration: Wants protection for immigrants



Joe Biden

Biden was the vice president in the Obama administration. His campaign focuses on rebuilding the middle class and protecting equal rights. He is known for being bi-partisan, meaning he will work with Republicans when making new policies. 

Immigration: Believes that the immigration system needs revision and wants to welcome immigrants

Gun control: Wants to enact gun-control laws

Health care: Reinstate the Affordable Care Act

Economy: Rebuild the middle class and make sure everyone — “regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability” — has an equal opportunity for success. 



Cory Booker

Booker has served as a city councilman, mayor and U.S. Senator for New Jersey. He focuses primarily on criminal justice reform, equality and the economy. Booker’s style of speech has been likened to that of former President Barack Obama’s. 

Immigration: In the Senate, Booker helped pass the Keep Families Together Act.

Equal rights: Proudly proclaimed feminist and supporter of passing the Equal Rights Amendment. While on the senate, he co-sponsored the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. 

Gun control: Supports making assault weapons illegal

Education: Supports charter schools and raising teacher pay

Economy: Wants to pass the American Opportunity Accounts Act which would lessen the wealth gap in America between the rich and the poor by creating a seed savings account for every American when they are born. 



Steve Bullock

Bullock is the current governor of Montana who aims to unite the Republican and Democratic parties and provide more economic opportunities. While governor of Montana, he expanded Medicaid. Bullock did not qualify for the debates.

Education: Increase funding for all levels of education

Gun control: supports a ban on assault weapons

Abortion: Wants to protect DREAMers



Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana. He is the first openly-gay person to run for president. His main focus is on the climate change crisis and supporting equal rights. He also aims to counteract gerrymandering and replace the electoral college with the popular vote. 

Immigration: Wants to revise current immigration system practices

Equality: Enact the Paycheck Fairness Act

Gun control: Raise the standards of gun ownership

Veterans: Wants to invest in veteran health care and education

Education: Debt-free college and raise teacher pay 

Climate change: Implement the Green New Deal by using a carbon tax and investment in clean energy

LGBTQ+ rights: Pass the Equality Act and reverse the ban on transgender people in the military

Economy: Raise minimum wage to $15 and provide affordable housing



Julián Castro

Castro was the Secretary of Housing and Development in the Obama administration. He also served as mayor for San Antonio, Tx where he established a city-wide Pre-K system. His campaign focuses on education and immigration. 

Immigration: Was the first candidate to release a comprehensive immigration plan. He wants to welcome immigrants and secure the border with technology.

Gun control: More restrictions and a ban on all assault weapons

Education: Universal Pre-K program, less student debt and no tuition for public college

Climate change: Recommit to the Paris Climate Accords



Bill De Blasio

De Blasio is the current mayor of New York City. During his administration, he provided Pre-K to all of NYC children. His wife, Chirlane McCray, is very active in health reform. His main focus is on the immigration crisis and establishing a universal Pre-K system. 

Immigration: Create greater outreach and assistance systems for immigrants

Gun control: pass laws that ensure gun safety

Education: Create a universal Pre-K system

Climate change: transition to a low-carbon economy



John Delaney

Delaney is a former United States Representative for Maryland and businessman. Due to his background in business, his campaign focuses on boosting economic opportunities and education.

Gun control: Restrict gun purchases

Veterans: Enhance job and education opportunities

Education: Mandatory Pre-K through 14 years of education

Health care: Has criticized the “Medicare For All” plan. Instead, he wants an alternative universal health care plan

Economy: Invest in rural America by creating a “Heartland Fair Deal”



Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard served on the Hawaii National Guard, the Hawaii state legislature and served as a U.S. Senate Aid. She focuses primarily on honoring veterans and preserving Hawaii’s natural environment. 

Immigration: Protect immigrant rights

Gun control: Ban on assault weapons

Education: Provide free college to all Americans and fund Hawaii schools

Health care: Protect medicare and social security

Climate change: Switch fossil fuels for sustainable energy



Kirsten Gillibrand 

Gillibrand is a U.S. senator for New York and a former member of the House of Representatives. Her campaign centers around reinstating moral values, women and family rights and creating a national paid leave. She has an “F” rating from the NRA, and “she’s proud of it.”

Abortion: Pro-choice, take away gag rule

Immigration: Create a pathway to citizenship and reform the current immigration system

Gun control: Run universal background checks and ban assault weapons

Education: Universal Pre-K, raise teacher pay, fix student debt-repayment process

Climate change: Invest in sustainable energy and implement a tax on carbon

Economy: Raise the minimum wage to $15 and provide tax relief for middle class and low-income families

Mike Gravel

Gravel is a former Alaska Senator. He did not qualify for the debates. His focus is on civil rights and immigration. He also wants to abolish the electoral college.

Immigration: Open the borders to all

Education: Universal Pre-K, student-debt forgiveness

Climate change: Implement a tax on carbon



Kamala Harris

Harris is a former U.S. senator and attorney general of California. She focuses on ensuring equal rights for women and people of color and preventing human trafficking. Her parents were very active in the civil rights movement of the ’60s and she worked on both the Kavanaugh case and the Mueller Report.

Abortion: Wants to provide public funding for abortions

Gun control: Mandate background checks for dealers

Education: Tuition-free higher education

Economy: Raise the minimum wage to $15, provide tax cuts for the middle class



John Hickenlooper

Hickenlooper is the former mayor of Denver, CO. He focuses on the environment and education. While mayor of Denver, he expanded Pre-K to all 4-yo’s in Denver and created the Denver Scholarship Program. 

Gun control: Passed landmark gun-safety legislation, supports the second amendment 

Education: Create a universal Pre-K system, increase investment in education

Climate change: Has his own “reasonable” alternative plan to the Green New Deal

Economy: Rebuild the federal reserve



Jay Inslee

Inslee is the current governor of Washington and a former member of the State House of Representatives. His main goal as president would be to combat the issue of climate change.

Immigration: Give scholarships to DREAMers

Gun control: Pass common-sense gun laws

Education: Raise teacher pay and fund public schools

Climate change: Plans to have 100% clean energy by 2035

Economy: Build a clean energy economy to provide jobs



Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar is a U.S. Senator from Minnesota and a former attorney. Her campaign is centered around regulating the cost of prescription drugs and addressing the opioid crisis. 

Immigration: Stop the cruel treatment of immigrants and create a pathway to citizenship

Gun control: Ban assault weapons and increase background checks

Education: Increase teacher pay and fund public schools

Health care: Make prescription drugs and health care accessible

Climate change: clean power rules and gas mileage standards



Wayne Messam

Messam is a former owner of a construction company and is currently the mayor of Florida. Many news sources have questioned his ability to handle the US economy due to his past economic issues with his construction company. He was not able to raise enough money to qualify for the Democratic debates, however, he is still in the running for the presidency. His campaign focuses on the creation of a student-debt repayment system and immigration. 

Immigration: Preserve a pathway to citizenship

Education: Wants a student debt cancellation plan

Climate change: Rejoin the Paris Climate Accords

Economy: Give tax cuts to the middle class and businesses



Seth Moulton

Moulton is a current U.S. Representative for Massachusetts and a former Marine Corps officer. He focuses on aiding U.S. soldiers and veterans and creating new voting rights. He wants to launch a national recruitment for the armed forces. Moulton did not qualify for the debates.

Immigration: Opposes the deportation of illegals, wants to stop future illegal immigration

Gun control: Universal background checks, ban assault weapons

Education: Integrate schools, raise teacher pay

Health care: Option of personal or public health care

LGBTQ+ rights: Very supportive, wants to change the discharge status of LGBTQ+ veterans from dishonorable to honorable

Economy: tax system that benefits the middle class



Beto O’Rourke

O’Rourke was in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Texas. He became well known after his run against Ted Cruz for US senate which he lost by a margin of 2.6 percent. O’Rourke promotes the issues of climate change, equal rights and immigration in his campaign. 

Immigration: Stop deportation and welcome immigrants

Gun control: Limit guns to maximize safety

Education: Universal Pre-K

Health care: Universal, quality health care

Climate change: Supports the Green New Deal, has a plan to combat climate change



Tim Ryan 

Ryan is a U.S. Representative for Ohio. He focuses on education, health care and finding an economy that works for everyone. Some of his past views leaned more conservative, but he has since tried to align with Democratic stances.

Abortion: Originally pro-life, now pro-choice

Immigration: Restrictive, pro-border

Gun control: Rated “A” by the NRA on protecting gun rights

Education: Provide funding and support to public schools

Climate change: Carbon-free environment, rejoin Paris Climate Accords



Bernie Sanders

The U.S. senator from Vermont has been a popular icon on social media. But, besides being a democratic socialist, not many people know what he actually supports. Sanders prioritizes reversing economic inequality through an “Economic Bill of Rights”.  

Immigration: Humane border security, protect immigrant rights

Gun control: Ban sale/distribution of assault weapons

Veterans: Expand the VA Caregivers Program, provide mental-health aid

Education: Make public schools free for all, cancel debt-repayment process

Health care: Health care for all, lower cost of prescriptions

Economy: Revitalize rural economies



Eric Swalwell

Swalwell is a current U.S. Representative for California. His main focus is on reforming gun policy and safety.

Immigration: Supported the DREAM act

Gun control: Mandatory national ban and buyback of all assault weapons

Veterans: Access to quality and timely medical care

Education: Debt-free college



Elizabeth Warren

Warren is a U.S. senator from Massachusetts. She focuses on rebuilding the middle class and putting an end to government corruption. She also wants to replace the electoral college with a popular vote. 

Abortion: Supports public abortion funding

Gun control: Strongly supports restricting the Second Amendment

Education: Cancel student debt and eliminate tuition

Economy: Implement an ultra-millionaire tax on the 75,000 richest families



Marianne Williamson

Williamson is a self-help author and the spiritual advisor to Oprah Winfrey. While she has no formal political experience, her website provides a detailed plan for popularly-debated issues in the US. The question isn’t if she has a plan, but rather if she is prepared to execute the plan.

Immigration: End family separation

Gun control: Eliminate the sale of assault and semi-automatic weapons

Education: Universal Pre-K, reform education model, free higher education

Health care: Re-enact the Clean Water Act, universal health care

Climate change: Re-enter the Paris Climate Accords

LGBTQ+ rights: End discrimination in health care, employment, etc.

Economy: Implement an adjusted living wage which provides a livable wage based on each unique geographical environment



Andrew Yang

Yang is a businessman who wants to create a universal basic income, Medicare For All and human-centered capitalism. He also wants to protect the press as regulators of the government and have mandatory mental-health check-ups for all White House staff. 

Gun control: Background checks, safety guidelines for manufacturers

Education: Make college cheaper, universal Pre-K

Climate change: Tax on emissions, reverse damage with geoengineering technology

LGBTQ+ rights: Establish anti-discriminatory laws, appoint LGBTQ+ officials to senior positions

Economy: Create a universal basic income