Where do the remaining Democratic candidates stand on the big issues?

Field of Democratic candidates is getting less crowded

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Getty)

A field of Democratic candidates that was at one point more than two dozen has, for the moment, been whittled down to an even dozen.

There are 11 candidates remaining, a number that will be short-lived with other candidates assuredly dropping out in the coming weeks once primaries are held and clear-cut favorites are more established.

But where do the candidates stand on certain issues?

Here’s a synopsis of the views of the candidates on the economy, health care, education, the military and on elections, according to Politico. Some candidates haven’t publicized a stance on particular issues.

The remaining candidates, in alphabetical order, are: former Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former vice president Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and businessman Andrew Yang.


Minimum wage - A majority of the candidates support raising the federal minimum wage to $15, but not all. Candidates that do want a $15 minimum wage are Biden, Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Gabbard, and Bloomberg.

Bennet wants it to be $12 an hour, while Yang wants to leave raising the minimum wage up to states.

Taxes - While most of the candidates agree on raising the capital gains tax and raising corporate taxes, there are differences of opinion on how corporate taxes should be raised. Biden and Klobuchar want to raise corporate taxes, but keep them lower than they were before 2017.

Warren wants to raise taxes on some corporations beyond the 2017 rate, Buttigieg wants to reverse the corporate tax cut of 2017 and Yang wants to create a value-added tax, where products are taxed when value is added.

Sanders and Gabbard want to eliminate tax breaks for offshoring, where companies shift their base to other countries in an effort to pay lower taxes than they would in the U.S.

Health care

The big issue is Medicare for All, a proposal that would move the country into a single-payer health care system funded by the federal government, instead of a multiple-grouped system paid by health insurance companies, employers and the government.

Some experts have said it would cost more than $30 trillion a decade.

Sanders and Warren are the two candidates 100% in favor of Medicare for All.

Gabbard also supports Medicare for All, but wants to take more gradual steps toward that end goal by offering cheaper options to more people.

All the other candidates oppose Medicare for All and want to offer people a chance to make their own decisions on whether they want private insurance or a government plan.


Student loan debt - The candidate who has raised the most eyebrows on this issue is Sanders, who said he wants to eliminate all $1.6 trillion in student-loan debt. Supporters love the idea, but opponents of that stance want to know where the money will come from to pay for the proposal.

Buttigieg, Warren and Yang all favor canceling some student loan debt. Warren has a loan-forgiveness plan that targets lower and middle-income borrowers, while Buttigieg wants to provide debt relief in exchange for national service. Buttigieg also has a plan to forgive loans of those borrowers who went to mostly for-profit colleges and went through lower-performing training programs.

Biden, Klobuchar, Gabbard and Bennet want to expand or fix current debt-relief programs.

College cost - Gabbard, Sanders and Warren feel college should be free. Sanders wants college expenses to be funded by federal and state governments, while Warren said a special “ultra-millionaire” tax would cover the cost of four years of tuition.

Biden and Klobuchar want to make two years of community college free, Buttigieg supports increasing aid so students don’t have to take out loans, while Yang wants to mandate how much public funding colleges receive and how much they are allowed to raise tuition each year.


Defense budget - Gabbard, Klobuchar, Sanders, Warren and Yang are in favor of cutting the budget for defense. On the other side, Biden, Buttigieg and Bennet want to increase defense spending.

Deployments - Buttigieg, Gabbard, Sanders and Warren are in favor of bringing troops home, while Biden, Bennet, Klobuchar and Yang are in favor of keeping troops deployed.


After George W. Bush and Donald Trump won elections without winning the popular vote, some are calling for the Electoral College to be eliminated.

Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Bennet are all in favor of eliminating the Electoral College.

Gabbard and Yang disagree and feel the Electoral College should not be eliminated.

Biden is among the remaining candidates who hasn’t offered a stance.

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