2020 presidential candidate profiles


Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Aug. 8. Photo by Gage Skidmore.


President Trump
President Donald Trump sits in his conference room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Oct. 4. (Tia Dufour)



Birthdate: June 14, 1946

Birthplace: Queens, New York

Education: Bachelor of Science in economics from the University of Pennsylvania (1968)

Faith: Presbyterian


  1. Prefers his steak to be very well done and to eat his pizza with a fork.
  2. Says he typically gets four hours of sleep
  3. Hated shaking hands and pressing elevator buttons in fear of transferring germs, even  before the beginning of the pandemic
  4. Appeared in multiple movies and TV shows including: The Apprentice, Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, The Little Rascals, Two Weeks Notice and Across the Sea of Time
  5. Attended New York Military Academy at the age of 13


Donald Trump publicly declared his interest in American politics in 1988, although he did not actually have a presidential campaign until 2016. Trump has raised and spent over $1 billion on his reelection campaign since he took office in 2017. During his presidency, Trump has brokered a peace deal to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, made efforts to overturn Obama Care, banned certain vaping products and gave the Pentagon orders to create a new branch of the military called the Space Force.


Trump seeks to repeal Obama Care, although he has created no clear health care plan that fulfills his goal of minimizing government involvement in health insurance while still managing to not take away the coverage that people were provided under the Affordable Care Act.  Trump values cutting the cost of medicines, allowing Americans to buy health insurance across state lines and making insurance coverage accessible for citizens with preexisting conditions. The first sitting president to attend the March For Life and deliver a speech, Trump is pro-life. In a campaign letter sent Sept. 3, Trump wrote if he is reelected, he will “‘fully defund’ health care providers that perform abortions, including Planned Parenthood,” according to USA Today



In September, the Trump administration rolled out a plan that detailed how COVID-19 vaccines would be distributed to the public immediately after being created and approved. This plan involves delivering 6.6 million kits filled with syringes and alcohol pads. His goal is for vaccines to have no upfront or out-of-pocket cost for providers or Americans receiving the shot. Trump was an advocate for gradually reopening the economy in May, and he discussed new coronavirus relief plans at the beginning of October with Speaker Nancy Pelosi but ultimately stopped the negotiation.


This Summer, Trump urged public schools and universities to reopen for on-site education because, as he wrote in a tweet, online learning is terrible in comparison to in-person learning. Trump disapproves of the Common Core; he instead thinks the nation should do-away with standardized learning and focus on letting parents and teachers have a say in the education in children’s education. On Aug. 7, Trump said he was contemplating taking actions that would “defer student loan payments and forgive interest until further notice.”

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump talks with reporters outside the White House, Oct. 21. (Tia Dufour. )


 An advocate of the death penalty, Trump signed the First Step Act, which released thousands of people from prison by shortening some required sentence periods and increasing compassionate releases. The First Step Act also improved the conditions for incarcerated pregnant women. In response to the death of George Floyd, Trump made an executive order that emphasized deescalation strategies and professionalism among law enforcement officers. Trump said, “We’re not defunding police. If anything we’re going the other route. We’re going to make sure our police are well trained, perfectly trained, they have the best equipment.”


Trump’s economic growth policies have created 6 million new jobs. Before the global pandemic, the unemployment rate was lower than it had been in 50 years. He also ordered the 2017 tax cut, although it increased the national debt. 

President Trump
President Donald Trump delivers remarks on Protecting America’s Seniors at the Caloosa Sound Convention Center & Amphitheater in Fort Myers, Fla. Oct. 16, 2020. (Shealah Craighead)


To prevent illegal immigration, Trump’s administration built a wall on the U.S-Mexico border. He has a “zero tolerance” policy for illegal immigration, which prosecutes any adult who illegally crosses the border, separating many families who cross the border together.  


In 2017, Trump deemed climate change no longer a threat to national security. In March, Trump retracted several policies that Obama created to help the environment, because he said they were too costly. He replaced Obama’s Clean Power Plan with the Affordable Clean Energy Rule. While making this switch, he suggested modifications for the Endangered Species Act that would diminish legal protections for endangered animals.   


Joe Biden
Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaking with supporters at a community event at the Best Western Regency Inn in Marshalltown, Iowa, July 4. (Gage Skidmore)



Joe Biden ran for president for the first time in 1987 and didn’t run again until 2008, when he dropped out after ranking fifth in the Iowa caucus and was later selected to be Barack Obama’s running mate. Delaware’s longest serving senator, Biden’s interests and actions in politics include co-sponsoring the Violence Against Women Act in 1994, openly supporting the LGBTQ+ community, organizing and implementing the Recovery and Reinvestment Act and opposing the manufacturing and selling of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Biden raised $364.5 million for his campaign in August and $383 million in September.


Biden wants to build on the Affordable Care Act rather than create a new plan. He is interested in “giving Americans more choice, reducing health care costs, and making our health care system less complex to navigate,” as stated on his campaign website. Biden hopes to end the opioid crisis by ensuring Americans have access to all types of health care, including mental health services and substance use disorder treatment. The safety of nursing homes and long-term care facilities is also a priority of Biden’s. A pro-choice candidate, Biden considers abortion a “constitutional right,” and plans to remove the requirements for parental notification, waiting periods and ultrasounds. 

Joe Biden
Democratic nominee Joe Biden speaks at the University of Delaware. Photo credit: The Review Univ. of Delaware on Flickr.com (Flickr.com)


Biden and Kamala Harris have a seven-point plan for working to beat the coronavirus. These steps consist of: adjusting the current system for testing and tracking by adding more drive-through testing centers, utilizing the the Defense Production Act to increase the production of masks and other personal protective equipment, clearly conveying the evidence-based national guidelines, dispersing vaccines and treatments equally to each American population, protecting those at high risk as well as older Americans, restoring the US’ relationship with The World Health Organization and implementing mask mandates for any time Americans are near people outside of their household. 


Biden may request more funding for schools in order to follow his five-step roadmap for reopening in-person education. He focuses on incorporating more diversity in the classroom and narrowing the gap in funding between white and non-white districts. For higher education, Biden laid out a $750 billion plan centered around allowing two years of tuition-free community college, which would bring down the tuition for a four year degree by half of the price. This plan would also give funds to historically Black colleges and minority-serving universities. 

Joe Biden
Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, Aug. 8. (Gage Skidmore)



Despite his previous statements in support of the death penalty, Biden now wants to collaborate with congress to terminate the death penalty and also remove mandatory minimum sentences. He believes all incarcerated people should be able to obtain a GED, and he supports giving Pell Grants to prisoners and former prisoners. Biden also wants to, “address systemic misconduct in police departments and prosecutors’ offices,” according to his campaign website. He does not support defunding the police, but he does call for more diversity in law enforcement officers and increased funding for body cameras for officers. 


Biden wants to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour and get rid of the tipped minimum wage and sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities, which could allow people with disabilities to be able to provide a middle class life for a family of their own. He also wants to improve racial economic inequality.


He plans to revoke the national emergency title and overturn the effects of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy that separates families at the border. He says immigrants should be provided with a “roadmap to citizenship, “and resources for immigrants that live in the United State should be expanded.


Biden’s $1.7 trillion Clean Energy Plan involves investing in energy efficient buildings and striving for net-zero emissions. He hopes his plan will not only benefit the planet but also the American people, by creating numerous jobs. Biden would also rejoin the Paris Climate accords.