Providing Links to all the Major Presidential Candidate Websites

While the televised debate among the Democrat Presidential Candidates has dominated the public’s attention, what has been missing is a detailed comparison of what they are actually presenting to the public in more than 2 minutes or fewer sound bites. I set off to compare their messages as presented in their campaign websites. I was in for a surprise.

I could not find a website that listed each of the Presidential Candidate’s 2020 Websites. Not the Library of Congress, the National Democratic Committee, Ballotpedia, or Wikipedia were hosting this information, although the last two sites do list the candidates and provide very good information on them. However, having a third-party present information about a candidate is not the same as evaluating what the candidate’s campaign presentation to the public. For this reason, my website http://www.becomingacitizenactivist.org/blog/ is presenting that information and it is also presented in this edition of Urban Politics.

Besides listing the links to their websites, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, I also include a quick snapshot of what each candidate has within their “issues” section. I have limited the list of candidates who have scored at or above .4 percent of support according to the amalgamation of polls that RealClear Politics collected as of July 8th, which is shown below

[Image from RealClearPolitics]

 

While there may be additional polls taken after that date, this poll most likely will represent the relative position of the candidates up to their next group debate, to be on July 30 and 31 on CNN. I also made an exception by including the newest candidate, billionaire Tom Steyer. Despite not being part of the debates, I expect that with the money he is currently pouring into TV ads he will pull up to the .4% of support in a short period of time.

I have the candidates listed alphabetically rather than how they poll since their relative positions will most likely move about as they and their campaigns grow stronger or weaker. Under each of them, I have included a clip from their introductory statement on their “issues” page and the number of separate issues that they list and address. I also noted if they used two words: “middle class” and “workers”. Although just using those words does not fairly represent the depth and breadth with which they address issues affecting those groups,  their use may have provided a glimpse of how the candidate wanted to overtly recognize some targeted voters.

I would have liked to list all of the issues each candidate addresses, but that would be too overwhelming to digest for most of us. I did note which candidates did not mention two words that have come to capture the bulk of the media’s attention: climate change and migration. Again, not including those specific words is not an indication that those issues were not addressed, but it may signal a more nuanced approach that the candidate is pursuing.

Because I’m concerned with the shape that our democracy is in, I also noted if each candidate directly addressed that topic. And given that the Latino vote is a growing influence, I noted which candidates provided a Spanish translation for their website; all did with the exception of Democrats Yang and Steyer, and Republican William Weld. I included Republicans Donald Trump and William Weld’s websites because I believe one must listen to and learn from your opponent. What are they saying about the issues and who are they addressing? So, I hope both Democrats and Republicans find this issue of UP educational.

THE DEMOCRAT CANDIDATES

The website data briefly summarized after each candidate’s entry was taken between the dates of July 12 and 14, 2019. The candidates will likely update their websites as their campaign progress, but my summaries will not be updated unless specifically noted. Best to visit a candidate’s website for the most up to date information.

Bennet, Michael – United States Senator from Colorado

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Campaign Contact Form

Bennet’s Candidate’s Issues Page is titled “Vision”.  Lists his issues into 3 categories: Drive Economic Opportunity, Restore American Values, and Fix Our Broken Politics.
Lead-in statement: “America calls itself the land of opportunity. It doesn’t feel that way today. Wages are stagnant, costs are rising, and economic inequality in our country is only growing worse.”
On Middle Class & Workers: “Michael’s plan to overhaul and expand the Child Tax Credit, called the American Family Act, will help middle-class families. make it easier for workers to  bargain for better pay”
On Democracy: “Democracy cannot function with a lack of economic mobility for a majority of people.”
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Biden, Joe – Former U.S. Vice President

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Greg Shultz – Campaign Manager

Biden’s Candidate Issues Page is titled “Joe’s Vision” – 8 issues listed; Climate change & immigration identified as major issues.
Lead-in statement: “America is an idea” Ironically this was what Senator Lindsey Graham was reported to have said to President Trump during an all-Republican meeting in the White House when Trump started going down the white nationalist road.
On Middle Class & Workers: “We need to rebuild the middle class, and this time makes sure everybody—regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or disability—gets a fair shot.” Biden headlines “middle class” several times in his material.“Restoring the basic bargain for American workers.”
On Democracy: Make sure our democracy includes everyone. He refers to democracy several times.
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Booker, Cory – U.S. Senator from New Jersey 2013-Present

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Addisu Demissie – Campaign Manager

Booker’s Candidate Issues Page is titled – “Issues” – He lists 15 issues under 3 general areas: Justice, Opportunity and American Leadership, which includes immigration and climate change within them.
Lead-in statement: “Right now, people fear that the lines that divide us are stronger than the ties that bind us—but Cory is running for president to change that. The answer to our common pain is to reignite our sense of common purpose to build a more fair and just nation for everyone.”
On Middle Class & Workers: Make it easier for workers to join a union and strengthen the rights of workers. No mention of middle class  but he does use the term “hard-working Americans.”
On Democracy: “Cory will fight to protect and expand every American’s right to take part in our democracy.”
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Bullock, Steve – 24th Governor of Montana

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Campaign Contact Form
Bullock Candidate’s Issues Page – Doesn’t have one, but he does have a page titled ‘ “One Big Plan”, which is “taking on the toxic influence of money in politics a national priority.” Climate Change is mentioned but nothing noticeable about migration.
Lead-in statement: Our nation is founded on the basic idea that every American’s voice matters.”
On Middle Class & Workers:  “We can… protect worker rights and retirement security.” The term “middle class” was not found.
On Democracy: The word “democracy” did not appear in any noticeable way.
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Buttigieg, Pete – Mayor of South Bend, Indiana 2011-Present

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Mike Schmuhl – Campaign Manager

Buttigieg Candidate’s Issues Page is titled – “Issues”  He lists 27 issues under these three categories Freedom, Security, and Democracy. Some issues support very specific legislation. Immigration and climate change are mentioned.
Lead statement: “This moment demands that our policies reflect a deep understanding of Americans’ everyday lives and embody our country’s highest values — values like Freedom, Security, and Democracy.”
On Middle Class & Workers: Pass a new Wagner Act to support the role of organized labor and defend the right of workers to organize. No mention of “middle class”
On Democracy: Pete believes in our democratic republic, but knows that our government has not been nearly democratic or accountable enough.
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Castro, Julian  –  16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Contact email
Candidate’s Issues Page is titled “issues” – 5 proposals listed
Lead statement: “there is nothing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” Both immigration and climate change are mentioned.
On Middle Class & Workers: He worked to lift people from poverty into middle-class. Did not find the term “workers”, although he talks of low-income families.
On Democracy: The word “democracy” did not appear in any noticeable way.
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Gabbard, Tulsi – U.S. House Rep from Hawaii 2013-Present

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

No Campaign Manager is known at this time.

Candidate’s Issues Page is titled – “Vision” – No listing of issues, rather she has several paragraphs that describe her vision of America. “Join me in ushering in a new century free from the fear of nuclear war. A world where there is real peace, where our people have time to pursue happiness rather than being forced to work constantly just to survive, where parents have time to spend with their children, and we build strong communities that care for each other and the planet.”
On Middle Class & Workers: Did not find mention of “middle class” or “workers”
On Democracy: The word “democracy” did not appear in any noticeable way.
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Gillibrand, Kirsten – United States Senator from New York

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

No Campaign Manager or contact form is known at this time
Candidate’s Issues Page is – “Issues”  all information placed in 6 categories
Lead statement: “Taking on big fights takes bravery.”
On Middle Class & Workers: our economy has been a tilted playing field in favor of the wealthiest Americans and corporate special interests, while middle- and working-class families struggle to make ends meet.
On Democracy: The word “democracy” did not appear in any noticeable way.
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Harris, Kamala – U.S. Senator from California 2017-Present

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Juan Rodriguez – Campaign Manager

Candidate’s Issues Page is – “Our America” – : 13 issues listed
Lead statement: “Kamala has been a fearless advocate for the voiceless and vulnerable throughout her career. As president, she will fight to restore truth and justice in America and build an economy that works for everyone.
On Middle Class & Workers: mentioned under Economic Justice, “Kamala’s first priority as president will be to give working and middle-class families an overdue income boost.”
On Democracy: The word “democracy” did not appear in any noticeable way.
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Inslee, Jay – Governor of Washington

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Aisling Kerins – Campaign Manager

Candidate’s Issues Page is  – Issues presented in 7 categories, five of which have to do with climate change
Lead statement: “As Americans, this is our moment to act on climate change and to invest in a clean energy economy that will grow millions of jobs in communities across the country.”
On Middle Class & Workers: Did not find the words “middle class” or  “workers” did not appear in any noticeable way.
On Democracy: The word “democracy” did not appear in any noticeable way.
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Klobuchar, Amy – U.S. Senator from Minnesota 2007-Present

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Justin Buoen – Campaign Manager

Candidate’s Issues Page is –  “Issues”
Lead statement: No lead in a statement, just five issues listed: Health Care, Safer World, Shared Prosperity & Economic Justice, Strong Democracy, Climate,  for a total of 18 issues, the most under Shared Prosperity & Economic Justice. She mentions both immigration and climate change.
On Middle Class & Workers: She would make “it easier — and not harder — for workers to join unions.” No mention of the middle class but she does support small business owners and entrepreneurs.
On Democracy: “The right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy,”
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

O’Rourke, Beto – Former member of U.S. House 2013-2019

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Jen O’Malley Dillon – Campaign Manager

Candidate’s Issues Page is  – “Issues”  Lists 13 issues including immigration & climate change
Lead statement: “The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. We can only meet them if we build a movement that includes all of us.”
On Middle Class & Workers: Did not find mention of middle class or workers
On Democracy: Your contribution …ensures that our democracy is once again powered by people, and only people.
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Sanders, Bernard – U.S. Senator from Vermont 2007-Present

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Faiz Shakir – Campaign Manager

Candidate’s Issues Page – “Issues” – 24 issues listed; Climate change & immigration identified as major issues.
Lead statement: I’m running for president so that, when we are in the White House, the movement we build together can achieve economic, racial, social and environmental justice for all.
On Middle Class & Workers:
No noticeable use of the phrase “middle class”
“Fight for Fair Trade and Workers”
On Democracy: No noticeable use of the word democracy
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Steyer, Tom – American Philanthropist

  • No campaign manager or contact form to report at this time.
Candidate’s Issues Page – None Provided
Lead statement:  On the main page “There’s nothing more powerful than the unified voice of the American people.”
On Middle Class & Workers: Did not find mention of either term.
On Democracy: Did not find mention of democracy.
Use of Spanish – No translations available in Spanish

Warren, Elizabeth – U.S. Senator from Massachusetts 2013-Present

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Roger Lau – Campaign Manager

Candidate’s Issues Page – 5 Issues (Immigration and Climate Change do not receive their own section, but are mentioned within others)

Lead statement: “This is the fight of our lives. The fight to build an America that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and the well-connected. It’s time for big, structural changes to put economic power back in the hands of the American people. That means putting power back in the hands of workers and unions.”
On Middle Class & Workers: Rebuild the Middle Class / putting power back in the hands of workers
On Democracy: “Strengthen our Democracy”
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated into Spanish

Yang, Andrew – Entrepreneur

[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Zach Graumann – Campaign Manager

Candidate’s Issues Page is  – “Policy” 106 issues listed
The lead statement is: “Mr. Yang has the most detailed and comprehensive set of policy proposals we have ever seen at this stage in the campaign.” Democratic Party Leadership in Iowa
On Middle Class & Workers: No mention of “middle class” or workers
On Democracy:  He supports Democracy Dollars –“It has been used in Seattle to great effect, and we can take their program national to move towards publicly funded elections.”
Use of Spanish – No translations available in SpanishTHE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES

Trump, Donald – Current U.S. President
[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Brad Parscale – Campaign Manager

Candidate’s Issues Page – “Promises Kept” – 14 issues listed;
immigration identified as a major issue “President Trump enforced immigration laws to protect American communities and American jobs.”
No direct mention of climate change, but under his sidebar listing recent accomplishments it says: “President Trump Withdraws the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord
Lead statement: “Making America Great Again – President Donald J. Trump Accomplishments”
On Middle Class & Workers: 
“More than 4.8 million workers received increased wages or bonuses (3.7% of all private workers).”
No notifiable use of the word “middle class”.
On Democracy: No notifiable use of the word “democracy.”
Use of Spanish – The site has been translated in Spanish
Pushing signing up for SMS and Email notices.Weld, William – Former Governor of Massachusetts
[Website] [Twitter] [Facebook]

Jennifer Horn – Campaign Manager

Candidate’s Issues Page – No Issues Page; No mention of immigration or climate change, or for that matter any issue.
Lead statement: “American Has a Choice” lead statement for his website
On Middle Class & Workers: No mention
On Democracy: from his press release on Mueller report: “Confidence in our leaders and in our institutions is at the heart of our democracy.
Use of Spanish – No translations available in SpanishMy take away from reviewing the websites.

The following comments are focused on the “Issues Page” for each candidate.

William Weld and Tom Steyer do not have an issues page, which is surprising in that Weld could have an open field in the Republican primary to tap into any party members who are dissatisfied with Trump. And, Steyer could afford a very robust website identifying the various issues that he has or could talk about on his info-commercials which have been running for months. This lack of an issues page on their websites could indicate a poorly organized campaign, a hesitancy to detail any solutions or just not pursuing a serious campaign effort.

Two other candidates, Steve Bullock, and Tulsi Gabbard have avoided listing issues and have chosen to present a broader statement on their beliefs. Bullock presents One Big Plan and Gabbard writes about her Vision for America.

If there was enough time available and a broadly accessible platform, the breadth and depth of issues covered by the Democratic candidates could really contribute to a greater national dialogue on various solutions that our country faces. Unfortunately, these efforts are pushed aside by all the mainline media’s focus on a candidate’s image and their highlighted talking points. However, there are a number of some interesting proposals buried in the various issue pages.

Andrew Yang gets the prize for the largest number of suggested innovative solutions, which includes providing Free Marriage Counseling for All, the use of Democracy Dollars and his most known proposal to provide a Universal Basic Income, a proposal first brought up in a presidential campaign by Republican Barry Goldwater in 1964.

William Weld, the Republican primary challenger to Donald Trump, gets the prize on the opposite end of the scale for not even having an issues page. Any issues he brings up must be picked up through his various TV interviews which he has posted on his website. Does he consider himself to even be a serious challenge to Trump?

Pete Buttigieg, to his credit, identifies some issues that the other candidates have either ignored or not directly addressed. He was the only candidate to mention domestic terrorism and link it to white supremacist violence and the need to increase federal resources for countering domestic terrorism. He also proposes passing a new Wagner Act to defend the right of workers to organize.

There are other candidates who also have identified unique or overlooked issues, too many to cover here. At this point in time, probably Warren and Sanders are seen by the public and democrats as addressing the most issues, partly because of how much media attention they have received and how long they have been covered by the media in the pre-campaign season talking about their differences from Trump.

Evaluating Candidates Websites’ Front-Page Message

In taking a glance at the democrat’s websites opening page and comparing it to Trump’s, I believe a subtle difference appears. Keep in mind that a statistically significant portion of viewers never gets beyond that first page.

Of the five leading Democrats in the polls, two of them ( Biden and Harris) just ask for money. There is no mention of joining them on any mission by submitting your email address.

Both Sanders and Warren, have a highlighted donation button but also ask for emails. Sanders message is that there is only one way to win against Trump “and the billionaire class” and that is being together, “tell Bernie you’re in.”
Presumably, that person will be part of something bigger.

Warren has a less motivational message, “Stay In Touch – Get the latest from the team straight to your inbox.” She will provide you with information.

Buttigieg has a modest donation button, but his page is dominated by the slogan: A fresh start for America” Solicitation for the email is “Join Team Pete”. You would be joining Pete to do something, but it’s not clear exactly what.

Trump is unique from all of the Democratic challengers. Although there is a highlighted contribution button, the only message on the first page is publicizing his campaign rallies and to register folks for free tickets (two per email address).  As president, he can travel to places on the public dollar. The question that needs to be asked and investigated is whether he is using public dollars to pay for his campaign events through covering travel costs if nothing else.

The Democratic candidates do not have the funds to fly around the country holding rallies and as individuals, with perhaps 3 exceptions, they are not likely to attract crowds that are consistently larger than Trumps. If they did try to hold a rally as an individual candidate and the crowd size was smaller than Trumps, he or she would be identified as a weaker figure than Trump.

The Democrats Need a Leader Who Places the Need for Unity Above Their Own Desire to Win

The way around this dilemma would be to have the democratic candidates working as a team, to hold rallies around national issues that they all agree on, such as overturning voter suppression legislation or gerrymandering. It would present a united democratic show of force and it is most likely that the crowds would be larger than any single candidate could attract. This strategy could succeed if the candidates work as a group and not as individuals.

The democratic party needs a leader to emerge from the pack of candidates who could say that they must unite now around some issues and use that cooperation to turn out people to rallies to both support and learn about how these issues are affecting their lives. Without such leadership, the democrats will continue to focus too narrowly on how each can win the primary, which will result in an ever-greater emphasis on the core body of democrat supporters and not on building a broader national movement!