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Key Takeaways from the November 2019 Election

Election night resulted in some groundbreaking shifts took place in a few carefully campaigned, closely watched and anxiously anticipated races in Virginia, Mississippi, and Kentucky on Tuesday.
Here’s what happened:

In Virginia, Democrats won majorities in both the House and Senate taking control of the state’s government for the first time in decades and making the former swing state a Democratic stronghold. This opens the door for progressive measures such as gun legislation reform and an increased minimum wage that had been blocked by the former Republican legislation. Democrat Ghazala Hashmi defeated Republican Glen Sturdivant to be the first Muslim woman to hold a seat in the Virginia General Assembly.

In Kentucky’s very close gubernatorial race, Democratic State Attorney General Andy Beshear claimed a narrow victory over Republican Governor Matt Bevin, after he had a .4% lead with all precincts reporting. Bevin refused to concede in a race he described as too close to call and has until November 12 to request a recanvass of the votes. Recanvassing consists of reprinting the receipts from voting machines. Beshear has asserted that as governor he would ease Medicaid access, overhaul education leadership, and restore voting rights to former felons. President Trump has endorsed Bevin and even stated that the race’s outcome could be a reflection on him.

In Mississippi, the GOP claimed victory as Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves defeated Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood. Despite a race filled with attack ads, Hood politely conceded, and Reeves called his fellow candidate a dedicated public servant and asked the crowd to give him a round of applause. President Trump tweeted: “Our big Rally on Friday night moved the numbers from a tie to a big win. Great reaction under pressure Tate!” A Republican win in Mississippi likely means continued pursuit of tax cuts and opposition to the expansion of Medicaid.

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Democratic Presidential Debate

Democratic presidential candidates took the stage Tuesday October 15 for the CNN/New York Times Debate in Westerville, Ohio.

Here are a few key takeaways from the debate:

  • Unlike prior debates where former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was repeatedly attacked and criticized, Tuesday night saw Senator Elizabeth Warren in the hot seat for most of the night as multiple rivals criticized her. This could signify that Warren has gained ground in the race challenging Biden’s former front-runner status.
  • Bernie Sanders pitched his Medicare for all plan and denounced billionaires while assuring concerned supporters that he was healthy and “feeling great” after suffering a heart attack two weeks ago. He fielded a jab from Senator Cory Booker re: his support of medical marijuana by responding, “I’m not on it tonight.”
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg took the gloves off to spar with former representative Beto O’Rourke on guns and Representative Tulsi Gabbard on foreign policy. He also leaned hard on Warren’s health care plans, which were called “vague.”
  • Senator Kamala Harris pressed Warren to join her call for Twitter to ban President Trump and cited the need for more discussions on women’s access to health care specifically noting that women’s advocates want more questions about abortion.
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar denounced Warren’s health care plans and called them a “pipe dream.”
  • Warren evaded answering if her “Medicare for all” plan would raise middle class taxes. She also avoided an explanation to Harris about President Trump’s remaining on Twitter. She presented a concise argument that only her ambitious ideas could sway Americans from re-electing President Trump.
  • Moderators pressed Biden about his son Hunter’s work in the Ukraine, but the topic went mostly unaddressed when fellow candidates didn’t further question his somewhat muddled explanation.
  • Biden called Warren’s health care plans vague but also meandered around many questions himself.
  • Many candidates struggled for speaking time including O’Rourke and former housing secretary Julian Castro. Billionaire investor Tom Steyer spent the majority of his time introducing himself.

The next Democratic Presidential Debate is scheduled for November 20th in Atlanta. Make sure to download The U Decide App prior to the next debate!

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2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates

As the race to White House heats up, the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates begins to narrow as the field of 20 toward one choice to face off against President Donald Trump in November of 2020.

With the primary and caucus season closing in, the following men and women are emerging as front runners to secure the Democratic nomination. 

  • Julián Castro: The only Latino contender, Castro is also one of the youngest at 44. His “People First” policy agenda offers a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. His proposed education overhaul would reinvest in public education from pre-K through college.
  • Andrew Yang: A businessman who founded Venture for America, Yang, also 44, works to revitalize struggling urban centers by training entrepreneurs in cities such as Detroit and New Orleans. Yang’s platform is a universal basic income, to counteract the effects of automation in the workforce. 
  • Amy Klobuchar:The 59-year-old Minnesota senator is known for her focus on reform. Klobuchar touts her record of enacting practical laws that have reduced the backlog of rape kits and banned lead in toys. Her understated personality is in sharp contrast to President Trump’s bravado. 
  • Beto O’Rourke: The 46-year-old former Texas congressman struggles to find his mojo. He fluctuated between immigration reform and climate policy before pivoting to a focus on veterans with a proposed “war tax” on non-military families. However, his frustration over congress’ lack of action on gun legislation may be what gives him relevance. 
  • Cory BookerThe 50-year-old former mayor of Newark, NJ, boasts a message of love and unity. He’s changed the conversation around federal cannabis legalization and would target the wealth gap by seeding “American Opportunity Accounts” allowing kids from the poorest families to enter adulthood with a nest egg of up to $46,000 to invest in education, home ownership or retirement. 
  • Pete Buttigieg: The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, IN, is plainspoken and steeped in the values of the Christian left. Featured in a Vogue photo shoot with his husband Chasten, “Mayor Pete” seeks to abolish the Electoral College. While he sprinted from dark-horse status to frontrunner in a few months, he’s lost some momentum lately and needs to reconnect to that earlier energy to be a true contender. 
  • Kamala HarrisThis fearless Howard-University-educated Californian promises executive action to punish pay disparities. She is an established politician who also seeks marijuana legislation and a Green New Deal. She has endorsements from major politicians and continues to poll well.
  • Bernie Sanders: The 77-year-old senator from Vermont gets credit for mainstreaming a $15 minimum wage and tuition-free college. His recently introduced the “For the 99.8% Act” would sharply increase the estate tax, including imposing a 77% tax on estates in excess of $1 billion, raising an estimated $315 billion over a decade. An uncompromising champion of Medicare for All, he one-upped Elizabeth Warren by calling for a complete wipeout of the nation’s $1.6 trillion in student debt. 
  • Elizabeth Warren: The 70-year-old Massachusetts senator wants to wipe out student debt for tens of millions of Americans. A capitalist at heart, Warren spent her career trying to make the system work for working people.  She intends to address American inequality with a wealth tax, imposed annually on “ultra-millionaires,” to pay for benefits, including universal free or low-cost childcare, for “yacht-less Americans.” 
  • Joe Biden: The 76-year-old former vice president touts his government experience and peerless foreign policy credentials. He believes President Trump is an anomaly to the country and the Republican party and seems to be counting on Democratic voters to fall in line with his promises to return to the Obama era.  

Want to learn more about the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates and their platforms? Participate in polls? Find out how the political system really works? Download UDecide which is a non-biased app that puts a wealth of political information in the palm of your hand.