A Two Man Race: The Showdown For the Democratic Spot in November Elections

Nolee Bugarin, Copy Editor

Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders welcoming each other at the Primary debate following the outbreak of COVID-19 (Evan Vucci/AP 2020). 

Two candidates are sweeping the democratic election in a two-man galore for who is going to the November Elections. Between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, the Super Tuesday ballots show favor in Biden as he swept along the southwest, meanwhile key states and younger demographics—  even in those not eligible to vote yet —show more loyalty to Sanders. The division between the two shows that even those who are fighting for the same issues can have drastically different trajectories for the solution. Those proposed actions influence the younger viewers to have particular opinions concerning what will impact them the most.

Of the mass issues thrown back and forth throughout the debates, the most popular topic has to be the candidates’ solution plan towards the health Care crisis where millions of civilians struggle with some type of medical debt. From the beginning of his campaign, Sanders has proposed a “Medicare for All” plan that eliminates medical debt and accomplishes his statement that “health-care is a human right.” On the other hand, Biden is an “anti-medicare for all” believer and instead considers that offering public medicare while also maintaining private insurance would be the most beneficial solution. Biden’s ability to do so would propose an increase in tax credits for people to buy insurance, however, this may lead to another debt situation among the public.  

Following the topic of debt, both candidates recognize the over $1.6 trillion student debt as a pressing issue among the youth and even current graduated subjects. The trajectories of the two men are broadly parallel in turn that Biden intends to begin a program that forgives the remaining balance for people who have paid 5% of discretionary income within 20 years with 25k exempt. Moreover, this has the possibility of allowing those who are privileged in terms of income to be discharged faster than others. Subsequently, Sanders plans to completely cease all universities and colleges of their ability to charge their students and cancel all student loan debt through transactions like stock trade. 

In regard to student debt, the topic seems to tear parties in two, with some who need more evidence for both of the candidates’ plans or simply view the program to be beyond saving. 

“I believe that their plans are more far fetched than anything,” said junior Francis Jimenez. “As it is next to nearly impossible to stop student debt.”

When it comes to the population of their polls, a huge focus deals with immigration security and the actions towards undocumented individuals. Sanders’s solution towards the situation aims towards the abolishment of federal agencies and reinstalling Deferred Actions towards Childhood Arrivals (DACA) with a couple of expanding resources to protect Dreamers. Along with these actions would be the decriminalization of those illegally passing the borders. However, Biden’s plan does take an interest in the same ideals and instead wants to put temporary deportations while only persecuting if they have some sort of criminal record. Biden’s plan does incorporate an immediate pass to protect old/new DACA recipients. 

Mass incarcerated citizens are also being a pointed interest of discussion. Biden stands center in the controversy due to his previous involvement that was believed to amplify mass incarceration rates. Biden’s signature on the 1994 Crime Bill led to the provisions that implemented “three strikes” for repeat offenders and the expansion of death penalty-eligible offenses. However, now he plans to shift to increasing prevention programs, ridding of capital punishment, and decriminalizing marijuana. Though Sanders overlaps in said actions, in addition, he plans to abolish the “three-strike” laws and legalize marijuana. 

With the fight for change becoming more prevalent in rallies and debates across the spectrum, climate change and abortion are two topics of popular discussion. 

When it comes to abortion, it’s a complicated history for half of the candidates. Sander’s long-time support since before the 21st century has been recognized even in his present campaign with the ground-breaking transition that he will only upvote Supreme Court justices that support Roe v. Wade (a woman’s right to have an abortion without government restriction) and it becomes protected under his “Medicare for All plan.”  Biden’s complicated history of supporting a woman’s right of abortion has him fenced as apprehensive, even though yes, he now supports codify Roe v. Wade— many still believe he can’t be trusted for abortion rights. 

“I do not feel he necessarily believes this [abortion is not a woman’s right] anymore, though it was wrong and does make him questionable,” said junior Kaitlyn McCalebb. “This brings to a question of if he actually means what he says or if it’s just to appeal to the media.”

The media keeps a keen eye on all that has to deal with climate. Sanders’s “Green New Deal” puts an immediate ban on fracking and promotes carbon-free electricity transportation sectors. For Biden, it’s program takes a different approach with 100% carbon-free energy. It puts an end to fossil fuel subsidies, but the transition would take time. His approach does not include a ban on fracking.  

This November one of the two candidates will be running against Donald Trump in the main elections. Regarding both representatives, Sanders and Biden, this election has sorted the Democratic party in its smallest of categories. When it comes to solutions, the two overlap in many instances, but the trajectories are read by the supporters as what is going to affect their way of living. What determines if the reader will support or retaliate for these different projects is influenced by personal ethics and the actions each candidate has done in an effort to support their fight for change. 

“The principles I use to choose what candidate I support is their beliefs and if they have actually taken action upon those beliefs,” said McCalebb. “I would not vote for someone just because they said certain things I agree with. I have to see actions.”