2020 United States President Candidate Guide

Joe Biden (D) vs Donald Trump (R)

President | Election | Nov 3, 2020

The Candidates

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Democrat

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

Republican

Incumbent

The Issues

Affordable Care Act

Support Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare? Support a public option?

Biden

Yes. Wants public option “like Medicare” to “build on the Affordable Care Act.” Raise subsidies and tax credits to lower premiums.

Campaign Finance

Limit campaign contributions? Support public funding and expanded disclosure?

Biden

Yes. Eliminate all private donations from federal elections; replace solely by public funding. Would expand required disclosure.

Trump

No. Dislikes using taxpayer money for public funding. Opposed House bill that supported it and expanded disclosure rules.

Climate Change

Is human-caused climate change a serious threat? Limit greenhouse gases or fund renewable energy?

Biden

Yes. An existential threat.” Rejoin Paris Climate Agreement to limit emissions. Introduced $2 trillion plan to boost clean energy and rebuild infrastructure.

Courts

Pick Ruth Bader Ginsburg replacement now or let November winner choose?

Biden

Wait for next president.  Doing so now is “a gigantic mistake and abuse of power.” See CEEP Supreme Court Guide.

Trump

Replace now. Thinks election will “end up in the Supreme Court,” so fill the vacancy now. See CEEP Supreme Court Guide.

COVID-19

Plan for dealing with COVID? Support Trump withdrawal from World Health Organization (WHO)?

What should COVID stimulus bills prioritize?

Education

Support free (or highly subsidized) public college tuition or loan forgiveness for low-income students?

Biden

Yes. Two years free community college. Free public 4-year college if families make below $125,000. Cover student-debt payments for public college and some others if earning under $125,000, max payment 5% of income.

Trump

Unclear. Proposed deep cuts to federal financial aid programs and ending public service loan forgiveness. Proposed borrowers pay 12.5% of discretionary yearly income with loans forgiven after 15-25 years.

Environment

Tighten or loosen environmental protections?

Trump

Loosen environmental review laws. Supports EPA cutbacks and Keystone pipeline. “We are reclaiming America’s proud heritage as a nation of builders.”

Gun Laws

More restrictive legislation on guns? Stricter background checks and bans on assault rifles?

Biden

Yes. Gun violence is a “public health epidemic.” Ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines; background checks for all gun sales.

Trump

Mostly no. Said would support background checks. Later opposed House bill mandating them. Rescinded rule stopping mentally impaired from owning firearms.

Immigration

Path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented residents, including DACA participants brought to U.S. as children? Position on border walls and limiting asylum?

Trump

No. Tried to end DACA program; overruled by Supreme Court. Said would veto DACA path to citizenship. Earlier said might support as part of broader deal. Declared national emergency to pay for border wall. Tightened legal immigration and asylum limits.

Iran

Support Trump withdrawal from Iran nuclear treaty? Require congressional approval for military to attack Iran?

Biden

Oppose withdrawal. “No illusions” on Iran, but diplomacy is “only way out.” Trump lacks authority to launch attacks. Backs relief from sanctions during pandemic.

Labor

Support “right-to-work” laws, banning unions from mandating dues for workers they represent?

Biden

No. Repeal Taft-Hartley provisions that let states impose right-to-work laws. Penalize “companies that interfere with workers’ organizing efforts.”

Trump

Yes. Supports right-to-work laws as creating more flexibility. Issued order making it easier to fire federal employees. Revoked Obama order tightening wage and hour rules.

Legal Abortion

Keep legal or ban?

Biden

Legal. Supports “right to choose.” “Codify Roe v. Wade into law. Until 2019, backed existing federal abortion funding ban.

Trump

Ban. “Strongly pro-life.” First president to attend March for Life. Promised to appoint justices to overturn Roe v. Wade.

LGBT Rights

Support protection from discrimination in employment, education, adoption, credit, housing, and public services.

Biden

Yes. First supported gay marriage in 2012. “Protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination.” Supports Equality Act to give federal anti-discrimination protection.

Trump

No. Prohibiting job discrimination for sexual orientation was a “horrible” decision. Rolled back LGBTQ health care protections to protect religious freedom. Previously mixed.

Minimum Wage

Raise federal minimum from $7.25 per hour?

Planned Parenthood

Can Planned Parenthood receive federal funds for non-abortion-related care?

Police

Restrict police use of force and increase public oversight? Position on sending federal law enforcement agents to cities against wishes of mayors and governors?

Biden

Yes. More community policing, ban chokeholds. Root out unlawful policing, systemic racism, prosecutorial misconduct. Doesn’t support defunding. Trump deployments furthered “chaos and division.”

Trump

No. Police are “under siege.” Cut back active federal oversight of excess force, though supported database to track it. Said deployment of federal agents was necessary to restore “law and order.”

Social Security

Partly privatize Social Security or raise retirement age to stabilize program?

Biden

No. Make Social Security solvent by adding new tax on high earners to match what middle class already pays. Expand benefits and reject privatization.

Trump

Unclear. Proposed $35 billion cuts to Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income, with possible cuts to overall entitlements.

Voting Rules

Strict ID and other rules to combat possible fraud, even if limit access?

Biden

No. Restore Voting Rights Act. Challenge state laws limiting voting rights. Support automatic and same-day voter registration.

Trump

Yes. Seeks stronger voter ID requirements. Voter ID opponents “intend to cheat.”

guides.vote is a nonpartisan effort to show where candidates stand, with links to credible sources. Vote411.org and Ballotready.org  offer guides to local races.