Democratic Candidate Crash Course


Kate Weaver

As the Iowa caucuses and Super Tuesday approach, many voters have still not decided who they will give their vote to. It is easy to get sucked into the media on both sides and campaign advertisements, but here is a quick and simple guide to the core elements of each notable campaign (those polling over 1%*):


Joe Biden, 77

  • The Basics: Former Vice President (2009-2017), Former Senator from Delaware (1973-2009).Image result for joe biden headshot"
  • Why people like him: His persistence as a Senator after his wife and one-year-old daughter died in a car crash, his moderate and not too revolutionary policies, his commitment to end malarkey.
  • Why people dislike him: His role in the testimony that destroyed Anita Hill’s reputation in 1991 and his delayed apology for it, his clinging to Obama’s legacy, his past positions on race issues, his age and mental fitness.
  • Where he’s polling: 28.1%Image result for joe biden logo"



Bernie Sanders, 78



Elizabeth Warren, 70

  • The Basics: Senator from Massachusetts (2013-present), Former Special Advisor for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (2010-2011), Former Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel (2008-2010).Image result for elizabeth warren headshot"
  • Why people like her: She has a plan for everything, won every election she’s ever run in, tough on big business, fighting for working-class families for decades, progressive.
  • Why people dislike her: Her proposed wealth tax, the high cost of her plans, represented big business while teaching at Harvard Law, her claim of Native American heritage.
  • Where she’s polling: 14.8%Image result for elizabeth warren logo"



Michael Bloomberg, 77

Image result for bloomberg headshot"



Pete Buttigieg, 38



Andrew Yang, 45



Amy Klobuchar, 59



Tom Steyer, 62

  • The Basics: Environmentalist, Liberal activist, Philanthropist, Hedge fund manager.Image result for steyer headshot"
  • Why people like him: Funded political groups such as Need to Impeach and NextGen America, top priority is fighting climate change and has spent over $100 million to do so, took the giving pledge to give away half of his wealth.
  • Why people dislike him: No political experience, his hedge fund supported coal mines and coal-fired power plants despite his environmentalist claims, anti-billionaire sentiment in the party.
  • Where he’s polling: 1.8%Image result for steyer logo"





To learn more about each candidate, check out reputable news sites such as the New York Times, Politico, FiveThirtyEight, The Washington Post, etc., or look at each candidate’s policy platforms listed on his or her website. You can also check out this quiz which will help you find the candidate you agree with the most. And, most importantly, don’t forget to register to vote!


Upcoming primary related events on campus:

  • Vanderbilt College Democrats’ Primary Primer: Wednesday, February 5 at 5 p.m. in Buttrick 306, GME & free food
  • Vandy Loves Voting Day: free rides to the polls on February 15 and 20 for early voting days (contact [email protected] for more information)


*Polls are an aggregate of recent national polls, compiled by Real Clear Politics.