Democratic Debate Preview!

Wednesday and Thursday (June 26th and 27th), 20 Democratic presidential candidates will take the stage for the first time this election cycle. Candidates qualified for the stage by either having 65,000 donors across 20 different states and/or earning 1% support in at least 3 reputable polls, according to the DNC.

While there will be 20 candidates on the stage Wednesday and Thursday, five have stood out so far as the most competitor contenders against Donald Trump in 2020. Here’s a quick look at how each of these leading candidates are polling vs. Trump and in the primary field, how much they have raised to date, and their campaign’s stance on money in politics!

If you’re starting to think that we’re biased, WE’RE NOT! There just isn’t a Republican debate to report on.

Joe Biden (Thursday)

 Trump vs. Biden early polling:

Fox News, 6/16 – Biden 49%, Trump 39%, Biden +10%

Quinnipiac, 6/11 – Biden 53%, Trump 40%, Biden +13%

Fox News, 5/17 – Biden 49%, Trump 38%, Biden +11%

Primary polling:

 Economist/YouGov, 6/20 – 26%

Monmouth, 6/19 – 32%

USA Today/Suffolk, 6/19 – 30%

 Biden campaign fundraising:


 Campaign finance stance from his website:  Ending the dominance of big money in our democracy.

 Wealthy special interests, corporations, and foreign influences are skewing the policy process in Washington in their own favor by taking advantage of the way we finance elections. We need to create a public financing system for federal campaigns and pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United to amplify the voices of individual Americans and ensure elected officials are working for the people. In the meantime, the public has the right to know who is contributing to which advertisements and campaign initiatives.

 Bernie Sanders (Thursday)

 Trump vs. Sanders early polling:

 Fox News, 6/16 – Sanders 49%, Trump 40%, Sanders +9%

Quinnipiac, 6/11 – Sanders 51%, Trump 42%, Sanders +9%

Fox News, 5/17 – Sanders 46%, Trump 41%, Sanders +5%

 Primary polling:

 Economist/YouGov, 6/20 – 12%

Monmouth, 6/19 – 14%

USA Today/Suffolk, 6/19 – 15%

 Sanders campaign fundraising:

 $18.2 million

 Campaign finance stance from his website:  Get Big Money Out of Politics and Restore Democracy

Together, we are going to create a political system which is based on the democratic principles of one person – one vote – and end a corrupt system which allows billionaires to buy elections. Yes. We are going to overturn Citizens United, move to public funding of elections.

 We have seen what happens when corporations and billionaires control our system of government to protect their own profit and greed. The era of Wall Street billionaires controlling our government and elections must come to an end, and we must take back our democracy for the American people. Every American, regardless of income and race, must have the freedom to exercise their constitutional right to vote. To make sure every voter counts, we must:

      Restore the Voting Rights Act.

      Secure automatic voter registration for every American over 18.

      Overturn Citizens United.

      End racist voter suppression and partisan gerrymandering.

      Abolish burdensome voter ID laws.

      Re-enfranchise the more than 6 million Americans who have had their right to vote taken away by a felony conviction, paid their debt to society, and deserve to have their rights restored.

      Make Election Day a national holiday.

      Abolish super PACs.

      Replace corporate funding and donations from millionaires and billionaires with public funding of elections that amplifies small-dollar donations.

Elizabeth Warren (Wednesday)

Trump vs. Harris early polling:

Fox News, 6/16 – Warren 43%, Trump 41%, Warren +2%

Quinnipiac, 6/11 – Harris 49%, Trump 42%, Warren +7%

Fox News, 5/17 – Harris 46%, Trump 44%, Warren +2%

 Primary polling:

 Economist/YouGov, 6/20 – 16%

Monmouth, 6/19 – 15%

USA Today/Suffolk, 6/19 – 10%

 Warren campaign fundraising:

 $6 million

 Campaign finance stance from her website:  Strengthen Our Democracy

 Our democracy faces serious threats at home and abroad. Strengthening it will require dramatic changes. That starts with a constitutional amendment to protect the right of every American citizen to vote and to have that vote counted. But it’s just the beginning.

 Politicians are supposed to compete over how many voters they can persuade, not how many citizens they can disqualify or demoralize. We must eliminate unnecessary and unjustified rules that make voting more difficult, and overturn every single voter suppression rule that racist politicians use to steal votes from people of color. We need to outlaw partisan gerrymandering by Democrats and Republicans.

 Our democracy is not for sale, and we need to end the influence of big money on our elections. That means overturning Citizens United. It also means ending the unwritten rules requiring anyone who wants to run for office to start by sucking up to rich donors and Washington insiders. No more donations from federal lobbyists. No more donations from PACs. And no more billionaire Super PACs.

 When foreign governments sow division, attack our democracy, and interfere in our elections, we must fight back and hold them accountable. And to prevent future attacks, we must reject the efforts of those with power to weaponize hatred and bigotry to divide us. Whether black, white, or brown, we all want a democracy where every American can participate–and we’re all in the fight to build an America that works for everyone.

 Pete Buttigieg (Thursday)

 Trump vs. Buttigieg early polling:

Fox News, 6/16 – Buttigieg 41%, Trump 40%, Buttigieg +1%

Quinnipiac, 6/11 – Trump 47%, Buttigieg 42%, Trump +5%

Fox News, 5/17 – Trump 41%, Buttigieg 40%, Trump +1%

Primary polling:

 Economist/YouGov, 6/20 – 9%

Monmouth, 6/19 – 5%

USA Today/Suffolk, 6/19 – 9%

 Buttigieg campaign fundraising:

 $7.1 million

 Campaign finance stance from his website:  Democracy means that dollars shouldn’t be allowed to drown out the will of the people


 Small-donor matching system for federal elections

 Our democracy should work for the interests of ordinary Americans, not corporations and special interests. We need to have a strong public financing system that provides matching funds to small donations so that average citizens can run for office, not just those with access to big donors. 

 We also need to create common-sense campaign finance rules that clearly establish that corporations do not have the same political rights as people, and dollars cannot outvote human beings. If necessary, we should do this by constitutional amendment. Our democracy is at stake, and the reason the amendment system was created is to fix problems like this.


      Strengthen the Federal Election Commission

      Overturn Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo, if necessary by constitutional amendment

Kamala Harris (Thursday)

Trump vs. Harris early polling:

 Fox News, 6/16 – Harris 42%, Trump 41%, Harris +1%

Quinnipiac, 6/11 – Harris 49%, Trump 41%, Harris +8%

Fox News, 5/17 – Harris 41%, Trump 41%, Tie

 Primary polling:

Economist/YouGov, 6/20 – 7%

Monmouth, 6/19 – 8%

USA Today/Suffolk, 6/19 – 8%

Harris campaign fundraising:

$12 million

 Campaign finance stance from her website:  Government for the People

 Our democracy was built on the notion that every American has an equal voice. But that’s not the democracy we have today.

 Across the country, the right to vote is under attack by voter suppression tactics, our politics are infected by a campaign finance system rife with dark money and a President beholden to special interests, and our outdated election infrastructure stands vulnerable to foreign attack.

 We must rebuild the foundation of our democracy, and Kamala believes that starts by building a campaign that reflects the values we want to see in our policies and politics. That’s why Kamala’s campaign won’t take a dime from Big Oil and Pharma executives, federal lobbyists, or SuperPACs.

 Our campaign is powered by the people—and that’s the kind of government Kamala will fight for as president.

 That means fighting back against voter suppression and making it easier to vote. Across the country, millions of Americans are being denied the right to vote by a wave of state laws intentionally designed to disenfranchise Black Americans, Latinx Americans, Native Americans, and college students. As president, Kamala will restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, require the availability of early voting, fight for automatic voter registration, and make Election Day a national holiday.

 A government for the people also means taking on special interests in Washington. Corruption didn’t start with President Trump, but his Administration has put the consequences of corruption in stark relief: A $1 trillion tax handout to big corporations and the top 1%, the gutting of life-saving environmental protections, and the erosion of rules to protect workers, veterans, and young people from predatory corporations.

 As Attorney General, Kamala fought off attempts by a Koch brothers-aligned group to hide their donors. As president, she’ll take on the corrupting influence of money in politics by fighting to overturn Citizens United, requiring the public disclosure of donors by dark-money interest groups, and appointing Supreme Court justices who prioritize the right of Americans to vote over the right of corporations to buy elections.

 Let’s be clear: A government for the people means a government for the American people. Unlike President Trump, Kamala believes we must ensure our elections are protected from hackers and foreign adversaries intent on undermining our democracy. In the Senate, Kamala introduced the Secure Elections Act to protect against foreign interference. As president, she will fortify America’s election infrastructure by funding election security improvements, implementing cybersecurity guidelines, and replacing outdated electronic voting machines.


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