2020 United States Presidential Candidates as of 2019–01
The 2018 midterm elections are over and the dust has settled. I know it’s early, but everyone in the political world is looking toward 2020. In just the past few days, two more Democrats, Tulsi Gabbard and Julian Castro, have declared their respective candidacies. Below I offer an analysis of the current state of the field of declared candidates.
Donald J. Trump is our current president and, with $60 million received in campaign contributions, is by far the candidate with the most financial backing so far. He’s got a lot of competition from the Democrats and there are rumors that there are Republicans, as well, that want to take him on. Because he’s in the race, this will likely be as exciting of a race as 2016 was, if not more so.
John K. Delaney, a U.S. Representative from Maryland, has the next largest campaign purse at a distant second, with $5 million. Delaney was among those who declared their candidacies earliest, having done so in July 2017. He is an Irish Catholic from a blue-collar family. Some call him a centrist or moderate, but from my read-through of his political positions, he seems like a mainstream establishment Democrat.
Tulsi Gabbard, a U.S. Representative from Hawaii, is a Bernie-Sanders-style Democrat and first Samoan-American and first Hindu elected to U.S. Congress. Though she aligns with progressive politics, it is notable that she didn’t join other Democrats in their recent attack on the Knights of Columbus. Perhaps as a Hindu, she may be more keenly aware of religious bigotry than her fellow Democrats.
Julian Castro is a Democrat who served as the Secretary of HUD under President Obama. In 2016, he was on Hillary Clinton’s shortlist as a VP running mate. Castro is a strong supporter of same-sex marriage and has been the grand marshal of Pride Parades in San Antonio.
Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur, working on various startups and early stage companies as a founder or executive, and was appointed to the position of Ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship by the Obama administration. His defining platform plank is his proposal for a $1000/month universal basic income (UBI). However, he proposes many other outside-the-box innovations as well, including regulating the addictive nature of media, making tax day a national holiday, and stemming corruption by giving federal regulators pay increases but limiting their private work after they leave public service.
Hart Cunningham is a Democrat with no noticeable political experience. His LinkedIn profile shows impressive degrees from the prestigious Claremont Colleges, but his listed career achievements don’t expose a lot to show off. The website for the business that he purportedly spent 13 years on leads to a URL parking page. His political platform looks like it blends in with other mainstream Democrats without any particular distinctions. He has received an impressive $340k in campaign contributions, but it remains to be seen what he can do to set himself apart from the rest.
Adam Kokesh is the leading Libertarian candidate in the race, having raised $150k. He received his bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College and served in Iraq. After the war, he became a very active member in the anti-war movement. He is personally against abortion and believes that life begins at conception, but as a Libertarian, doesn’t feel that the government should be involved in such decisions.
Brian T. Carroll is a candidate seeking the nomination from the American Solidarity Party, a new party that experienced explosive growth in 2016. Carroll and his party believe in the sanctity of human life, the necessity of social justice, our responsibility to care for the environment, and promotion of a more peaceful world. Carroll is a world traveller and has focused his long career on public education. In 2018, he ran for Congress in California’s 22nd congressional district against Republican Devin Nunes, who was under investigation related to the Trump-Russia investigation.
Joe Edward Collins III, is the presidential candidate for the newly formed Millennial Political Party (MPP). I took a look at their party platform and his campaign platform. To me these platforms seem indistinguishable from the Democratic Party platform, so I’m not sure why they exist. One notable aspect of Collins is that he’s taken bigotry against Catholics beyond that openly displayed by Democrats to a level comparable to that previously shown by Trump toward Mexicans. His Facebook posts from 2018–10–21:
“Are yall ready to start boycotting Catholic churches and Catholicism? Because obviously these men wont stop raping yall children…”
Ryan Andrew Farber is a progressive Democrat from Los Angeles. He takes pride in being a millennial candidate. Other than that, I can’t find anything that sets him apart from other Democrats.