What Voters Care About Most in 2020

As the nation gets closer to the 2020 presidential election, candidates are starting to focus on the issues that matter most to voters. But not all voters have the same priorities. In fact, polls suggest that Democrats and Republicans are more divided than ever on what issues matter most in the next presidential election.

While President Donald Trump is focusing on trade relations with China, the economy and immigration, the 2020 presidential candidates on the left are talking about health care, climate change and who has the best chance to defeat Trump.

There are dozens of issues that influence voters in any given election cycle, but just a handful of topics are at the forefront this year. However, with more than a year to go before voters cast their ballots for the next presidential election, there is still time for priorities to change. Below are some key issues that Americans are currently focusing on when considering who to vote for in the 2020 elections.

What Democrats Care About

By far the top priority for most Democrats in 2020 is electing Trump out of office. A recent Monmouth University poll found that only 3 percent of Democrats approve of Trump’s performance thus far, making him highly unpopular on the left.

Many Democrats evaluating the Democratic presidential candidates are making their choice based on who they believe has the best chance of defeating the president in the general elections. However, there are a few other issues that Democrats care about this election.

Senate Races

Along with picking the right Democratic nominee for 2020, Democrats are also concerned about 2020 Senate races. Many are calling for some candidates in the crowded presidential field to drop out of the race and focus on senate runs instead.

Defeating Republican Senators up for reelection in 2020 would allow Democrats to accomplish more even if they fail to secure the presidency. Some candidates have already begun doing just that — in mid-August, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced that he would drop out of the 2020 presidential election. He is making a run for Colorado senator instead, with some polls indicating he would be a strong candidate to defeat Republican Sen. Cory Gardner.

Climate Change

Another top issue for Democrats in 2020 is climate change and the environment. As President Trump rolls back more environmental regulations, Democrats are getting increasingly concerned about the health of the planet.

Numerous Democratic candidates have endorsed the Green New Deal, a proposal to create more environmentally friendly jobs and make major commitments toward reducing carbon emissions. Former Vice President Joe Biden has proposed a goal of becoming a clean-energy economy by 2050. Former Democratic candidate Jay Inslee, who has since dropped out of the race, made climate change central to his campaign.

Campaign Finance Reform

Although it is a less pressing issue overall, many Democratic candidates have expressed a desire for campaign finance reform. The Federal Election Commission (FEC), which governs campaign finance laws, has too few members to meet the quorum required to take most actions, and President Trump is unlikely to rush to fill the empty seats. As a result, there will be little financial oversight during the 2020 presidential elections.

What Republicans Care About

Unlike Democrats, Republicans are generally happy with Trump’s performance in office, with approval rates well above 80 percent for the party overall. As a result, Republicans are primarily united behind the goal of ensuring Trump remains the president in 2020.

Although there are a handful of Republican primary challengers, Republican polls indicate that Trump has nothing to worry about in terms of a primary race. His attention is focused on the Democratic primaries and who will challenge him in the general elections.

Immigration

Along with keeping Trump in office, Republicans are also highly concerned with immigration laws — specifically, limiting immigration into the country. Trump has already taken steps while in office to reduce immigration. He has also taken steps to reduce the opportunities for citizenship among immigrants, including challenging birthright citizenship and paths to citizenship through service.

National Defense

Republicans are also concerned with foreign and domestic threats ahead of the 2020 presidential elections. Along with foreign threats from Iran, China and North Korea, several Republicans have moved to pass domestic anti-terrorism laws in the United States. Some Republicans are calling for anti-fascist activists to be labeled a dangerous group as well.

What Everyone Cares About

On some issues, voters are united across party lines. For example, virtually everyone is concerned about job creation for the next presidential election, although voters on the left and right disagree about tactics and threats.

The Economy

Democratic candidates and the president have leaned into populist messages addressing the lower and middle classes, although they have taken different tactics to send their messages. Candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have focused on targeting corporations and big businesses, as well as increasing taxes on the wealthy.

President Trump has focused on cutting taxes across the board, arguing that it will stimulate the economy and create new opportunities. However, the trade war with China and the threat of an impending recession has both consumers and investors worried about the future of the economy.

Health Care Reform

Candidates across the board are debating health care reform ahead of the 2020 presidential election. From passing universal single-payer health care to repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), virtually everything has been suggested.

Small business owners across the spectrum are concerned about the cost of providing health insurance to employees. Likewise, individual consumers are worried about the cost of medications. Additionally, as insurance rates skyrocket, families worry that more reform is needed to keep Americans healthy.

The president has proposed policies to clamp down on medication prices and allow shoppers to purchase cheaper drugs imported from Canada, but many on the left argue that those moves are a bandage rather than a long-term solution.

Register to Vote

Regardless of priority, non-registered individuals of voting age should begin to register to vote online, in person or by mail. Even individuals who will not be in the country for primaries or the general election can cast a mail in ballot. No matter what issues you prioritize, make sure to update your voter registrations before November 2020 rolls around.

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