Gather round, people, I'll tell you a story
- Apr 3, 2009
- Reaction score
Well, candidates are coming out of the woodwork, so I figure it's about time to make this thread. The 2020 election is still over a year away, but the primary season will be starting in earnest in the next few months, so we may as well talk about who's up for the prize.MOD'S NOTE: READ BEFORE POSTING - This is your in-thread warning
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Last Updated by Pikochu: July 22, 2019
The Republican Party is a right-wing and majority socially conservative party, which also has large and influential right-wing populist and libertarian wings. It is the party of the incumbent President, Donald Trump, who is aligned with the right-populist wing. Trump's policies and personal manner have proven historically unpopular, and there is significant opposition to Trump within his own party, which both serve to undermine the typical advantages of incumbency Trump would otherwise enjoy.
- Donald Trump: Incumbent President, from New York. Trump has been campaigning almost since the last election, seeking to hold his base intact amidst historic unpopularity. Trump trails in most polls, but he did in 2016 as well, and he will look to the Midwest to win him the Electoral College, as it did the first time. The core policies of his campaign are essentially his greatest hits: his still-unbuilt border wall, "better deals," and nationalism.
- Bill Weld: Former Governor (1991-1997) of Massachusetts. Weld was the Libertarian Party's Vice-Presidential candidate in 2016, and is running as a moderate, libertarian alternative to Trump. Weld is the first major primary challenger an incumbent President has faced since Pat Buchanan challenged George HW Bush in 1992 (Lyndon LaRouche won the North Dakota Democratic primary in 1996, but Bill Clinton was not on the ballot in the state). Historically, a major primary challenger for a sitting President has foretold a loss in the general.
- Joe Walsh: Former US Representative (2011-2013) and conservative commentator, from Illinois. Walsh has been critical of Donald Trump, and holds many positions that are to Trump's right. This places Trump in the strange position of being, essentially, the centrist in the race, between Walsh and Weld.
- Mark Sanford: Former US Representative (1995-2001, 2013-2019) from and former Governor (2003-2011) of South Carolina. Sanford is a prominent Trump critic within the Republican Party, and offers a more traditionally conservative alternative to Trump. However, his infamous 2009 scandal involving an extramarital affair, a trip to Argentina, and becoming AWOL from his office for nearly a week, is an albatross around the neck of his campaign.
The Democratic Party is a center-left and majority social liberal party, with significant progressive, social democratic, and centrist wings, as well as a conservative wing with outsized influence. The party has been largely leaderless since 2016, with no single frontrunner for the Presidency, and the field is expected to be historically wide.
- John Delaney: Former US Representative (2013-2019), from Maryland. The first major Democratic candidate (national-level office holder) to announce his candidacy, way back in 2017. Delaney's campaign has emphasized his bipartisan record, and a major campaign promise is that he would govern on an exclusively bipartisan basis for his first 100 days. A centrist, Delaney believes that national unity is more important than progressive goals. If elected, he would be the first President elected from the House of Representatives since James Garfield. Delaney's primary weakness is that despite two years of campaigning, he has yet to make inroads and gain name recognition, and has no signature policies or issues to carve out a niche.
- Elizabeth Warren: US Senator (2013-present) from Massachusetts. Warren is considered one of the leading progressive Democrats in the Senate, and gained national attention and acclaim in early 2017, when she was disciplined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for reading a letter from Coretta Scott King which McConnell claimed impugned the character of then-Senator Jeff Sessions. However, Warren has been targeted by Trump and other Republicans for her claims of Native American heritage, and her attempts at damage control have been clumsy. Her major policy proposals include a wealth tax on the most financially well-off. Warren is popular with progressives, but has weaknesses, including her handling of the heritage scandal and her overwhelming unpopularity with major Democratic donors. If elected, she would be the first female President.
- Julian Castro: Former Mayor of San Antonio (2009-2014), Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (2014-2017), from Texas. Castro is campaigning as a technocrat, with a similar style to the centrist New Democrats which dominated the party in the 1990s. He has promised to make the first year of college more affordable, and to expand opportunities for working and middle-class families to gain education and skills. If elected he would be the first Hispanic President, as well as the first President elected from the Cabinet since Herbert Hoover. His weaknesses are a lack of name recognition and the fact that, being a centrist at a time when progressivism and nationalism are both the main ideological forces among the parties' bases, Castro is unlikely to inspire many.
- Tulsi Gabbard: US Representative (2013-present) from Hawaii. Gabbard came to national prominence by endorsing Bernie Sanders for President in the 2016 primaries, and for giving a well-received speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Gabbard has positioned herself as an anti-interventionist progressive since that time, and likely seeks to gain the support of the coalition Bernie Sanders was able to build to support him in 2016 as her core support. However, Gabbard's progressive credentials have been called into question: her record on LGBT rights is spotty, her opposition to war and interventionism is inconsistent, and her strong support for Hindu nationalist groups and especially India's controversial leader Narendra Modi has garnered significant criticism. If elected, Gabbard would be the first female President, the first Hindu President (and consequently the first non-Christian President), and the first President of Samoan descent, as well as the first President since James Garfield to be elected from the House of Representatives.
- Kamala Harris: US Senator (2017-present) from California, former Attorney General (2011-2017) of California. Kamala Harris' campaign has attempted to align her with the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, while leaving room to compromise with the liberals and centrists. Harris' signature issue has been criminal justice reform, emphasizing mass incarceration and police brutality. She has also expressed support for Medicare For All. Harris' record as a prosecutor has been criticized and scrutinized, and her work to enforce the mass incarceration she currently criticized, and her support for ICE, has brought her commitment to reform into doubt. Progressives have also criticized her inconsistency on what policies she supports, her declining to prosecute Steve Mnuchin, from whom her Senatorial campaign received financial contributions, and her campaign's focus on personality over policy. If elected, she would be the first female President, the second black President, and the first President of Indian descent.
- Pete Buttigeig: Mayor of South Bend (2012-present), Indiana. Buttigeig has been a rising star since his election as Mayor of South Bend in 2011, garnering national attention for his management of the city. His campaign has emphasized his youth and his record as Mayor. If elected, he would be the second President elected without holding either national level office or high military rank, as well as the first openly gay President.
- Cory Booker: US Senator (2013-present) from New Jersey, former Mayor of Newark, New Jersey (2006-2013). Booker has been the subject of Presidential speculation since 2016, and has spent much of his time since 2017 building up progressive credentials in the Senate. Booker's primary weakness is his reputation as a centrist with strong corporate ties, especially to the pharmaceutical industry, which will make garnering progressive support difficult to impossible for him. If elected, he would be the second black President.
- Amy Klobuchar: US Senator (2007-present) from Minnesota. Klobuchar, like Delaney, is running as a centrist touting her bipartisan credentials. Reports of mistreatment of staff on her part have hurt her campaign with Democratic voters before it even began. If elected, she would be the first female President.
- Bernie Sanders: US Senator (2007-present) and former US Representative (1991-2007), from Vermont. Bernie's campaign is expected to be in many ways a follow-up to his 2016 campaign, with the same themes of social democracy and justice which won him popularity and acclaim. He emerges immediately as one of the main frontrunners in the primary. If elected, he would be the oldest President in US history, and would be 79 upon taking office. He would also be the first Jewish President.
- Wayne Messam: Mayor (2015-present) of Miramar, Florida. Messam is running as a progressive and Washington outsider and stresses the urgency of issues such as gun violence and climate change which are affecting America. If elected, he would be the second black President.
- Beto O'Rourke: US Representative (2013-2019) from Texas. Hoping to capitalize on the interest generated by his 2018 Senate campaign, O'Rourke is attempting a similar grassroots campaign style, but now that he is on the national stage, the lack of substance in his speeches, his inconsistent policy positions, and ties to pro-fossil fuel and pro-Israel lobbies are beginning to come under more scrutiny.
- Tim Ryan: US Representative (2003-present), from Ohio. A moderate to conservative Democrat from a swing state, Ryan will hope to win over erstwhile Republican voters to gain support, but will struggle to win support from progressives.
- Joe Biden: US Senator (1973-2009) and Vice President (2009-2017), from Delaware. Biden is running as a centrist and a bipartisan unifier who can win over moderate Republicans and appeal to working class voters who swung for Trump in 2016. Biden's record on busing, crime, and debt have become issues for his campaign, as well as his history of inappropriately touching women.
- Michael Bennet: US Senator (2009-present), from Colorado. Bennet is a moderate, and is opposed to popular policy proposals such as Medicare For All, favoring a refinement of Obamacare instead. He gained public prominence during the government shutdown, during which time he gave an impassioned speech on the Senate floor lambasting Ted Cruz.
- Steve Bullock: Governor (2013-present) of Montana. Another moderate centrist.
- Joe Sestak: US Representative (2007-2011) from Pennsylvania. Sestak touts his military credentials as a retired vice-admiral, but policy-wise he is very much a standard moderate Democrat.
- Andrew Yang: Entrepreneur and venture capitalist from New York. Yang's dark horse candidacy has received some media attention due to his qualification for the initial primary debates on the strength of 65,000 donors, as well as his signature policy proposal of a universal basic income of $12,000 a year for every American. Yang has received support from alt-right communities on sites like 4chan and 8chan, though Yang denounces his alt-right supporters. If elected, he would be the first Asian-American President.
- Marianne Williamson: Activist and entrepreneur, from California. Williamson is running as a progressive, supporting progressive policies such as Medicare For All and a national $15 minimum wage. Williamson has also brought the subject of reparations for the descendants of enslaved black people into the national discourse, saying that she would support a reparations program. If elected, she would be the first female President.
- Tom Steyer: Billionaire and activist, from California. Tom Steyer is a longtime Democratic fundraiser and activist, and has bought out significant airtime since 2017 urging for Trump's impeachment. He is considered a progressive, and supports raising taxes on the wealthy and opposes pipeline construction.
The Libertarian Party is a center to center-right party which ideologically identifies with right-wing libertarianism, which emphasizes the importance of free-market capitalism and limited government interference. With previous standard-bearer Gary Johnson declining to run again, and former Vice-Presidential candidate Bill Weld seeking the Republican nomination, the Libertarians have no frontrunner.
- Max Abramson: New Hampshire state representative (2014-2017, 2019-present): One of the only Libertarian legislators in the country. His campaign is focused on electing down-ballot Libertarians, as well as ending American wars and cutting the national debt.
- Adam Kokesh: Activist, from California
- Vermin Supreme: Activist and perennial candidate, from Massachusetts
- John McAfee: Businessman and computer programmer, from Tennessee
- Arvin Vorha: Former Vice Chair of the Libertarian National Committee, from Maryland
- Dan Behrman: Activist, from Nevada.
- Souraya Faas: Member of the executive committee of the Miami-Dade Republican Party, from Florida.
- Kim Ruff: vice-chair of the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus, from Arizona.
The Green Party is a center-left to left-wing party which promotes ecosocialism, a fusion of socialism and environmentalism, and is generally supportive of environmental causes. The Green New Deal started life as a Green policy which has since gone mainstream.
- Dario Hunter: Member of the Board of Education of Youngstown (2016-present), Ohio
- Ian Schlakman: Former co-chair of the state Green Party and candidate for Governor (2018) of Maryland
- Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry: Activist, from California
- Howie Hawkins: Green Party co-founder, from New York
- Dennis Lambert: US Army veteran, from Ohio.
- Roland Aranjo: Author, from Arizona.
Socialist Action Candidates
Socialist Action is a far-left communist party in the Trotskyist tradition. Socialist Action runs electoral campaigns not to win but to raise class consciousness and perform political education work.
- Jeff Mackler: Socialist Action national secretary and 2016 nominee for President, from California.
Bread and Roses Candidates
Bread and Roses is a somewhat unorthodox left-wing party founded in 2018. Describing itself as "socialistic" rather than socialist, Bread and Roses is best described as libertarian socialist.
- Jerome Segal: Party founder, from Maryland.
Reform Party Candidates
The Reform Party is a populist, protectionist, and reformist party originally formed by supporters of Ross Perot's 1996 presidential campaign. While once a viable force in American politics, it has since fallen out of favor as populism has risen in the Republican Party.
American Solidarity Nominee
The American Solidarity Party is a centrist party which identifies ideologically with Christian democracy, which entails liberal to progressive economic policies but conservative social policies.
- Brian T. Carroll: Teacher, from California
Prohibition Party Nominee
The oldest third party still active in the United States, the Prohbition Party opposes the sale and consumption of alcohol, supporting a reinstatement of prohibition, expanded to include all non-medical drugs. In addition, the party supports various paleoconservative, right-wing positions.
- Connie Gammon: Historian, from Tennessee. Running mate: Phil Collins (not the musician), from Nevada
Party for Socialism and Liberation Nominee
The Party for Socialism and Liberation is a communist party organized on Marxist-Leninist lines. One of the most prominent communist organizations in the United States, the PSL advocates anti-imperialism, socialism, and self-determination to "internally colonized" peoples, such as black Americans and Native Hawaiians.
- Gloria La Riva: PSL candidate 2008 and 2016, from New Mexico. Running mate: Leonard Peltier, American Indian Movement activist, from North Dakota
- Mark Charles: Activist, from Washington DC.