Over the past few weeks, social media and news outlets have tried to predict who will vote on November 3. Also, the discussion about absentee and mail-in voting has received more attention during this election cycle than any other in recent history. When looking at how voters identify according to political parties, 29% say they are Republicans, 40% say they are Democrats, and 27% identify as independent (Ballotpedia, 2017).
A natural inclination is to believe the independent voter will swing to either the left or the right. However, that is a very difficult prediction to make considering that independent voters usually vote Democrat or Republican, they just prefer not to share their true party preference. The undecided voter is the voter each party should be concerned about and focused on winning over. Due to the nature of the social, economic, and political climate, I believe undecided voters at this time simply will not vote. They have no incentive because each candidate does not have clearly defined policies and ineffectively articulates how they plan to move the country forward and help others.
After the first presidential debate, these are thoughts shared from undecided voters with NPR:
Javon McMillan, an undecided voter, stated “I feel kind of scared about Election Day honestly. don’t feel like either party has Black people or poor people’s best interests at heart because one side, I feel like, wants to keep people poor, and the other side doesn’t even care.” Another undecided voter, Zoey Shisler, stated “the problem is there’s just constant conversation about the overall – like, GDP or the stock market. Is that really a good economy if people are not getting the wages that they used to and they don’t have job security and they don’t have health care? Shisler feels there is a general lack of substance to help her decide. “All Biden has to do is convince me that he has policies that are going to replace Trump when he gets into office, and he hasn’t convinced me of that.” These sentiments reflect the essence of what voters want to know: how are you going to help me? What are you going to do to change my professional trajectory, help improve my community, and ensure safety for my loved ones?
Sometimes, policy issues focus more on facts instead of appealing to the hearts of voters. Below are the published list of policy issues each candidate supports.
- Grant tax credits to companies that move manufacturing back to United States, tariffs on those that don’t.
- Continue improving trade deals after USMCA, China Phase 1, South Korea, and Japan deals.
- Continue to cut regulations for businesses.
- Fund on-the-job training, apprenticeships.
- Make major investment in infrastructure.
- Increase the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
- Strengthen worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions.
- Make major investment in infrastructure focused on reducing carbon emissions.
- Make racial equity part of the mandate of the Federal Reserve.
- Signed tax cut legislation.
- Cut capital gains tax to 15 percent.
- Increased the estate tax basic exemption amount from $5 million to $10 million.
- Proposes a cut to payroll tax.
- Greatly increase capital gains tax to same rate as income tax.
- Increase taxes by $4 trillion over 10 years, including raising taxes on people making over $400,000 a year.
- Directed federal agencies to move out of D.C. to opportunity zones.
- Rescinded the individual mandate in Affordable Care Act and supports repealing the entire act.
- Protect those with pre-existing conditions.
- Supports health care price transparency.
- Stop “surprise billing” by banning out-of-network charges when the patient doesn’t have control over provider choice.
- Introduce “public option” health insurance plans run by the federal government.
- Protect and expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- Increase tax credits toward health coverage. Give the tax credits to higher-income people who currently aren’t eligible
- Provide free health care to illegal aliens.
- Expand Medicaid in states that rejected expansion offered by ACA.
- Support school choice—homeschooling, career and technical education, private or parochial schools, magnet schools, charter schools, online learning, and early-college high schools.
- Wants funding to follow child (currently an average of $12,000 per student per year in public school).
- Ensure First Amendment protections for students on campus.
- Sue colleges for discriminating against Asians and whites.
- Triple the funding for Title I schools, increase teacher wages.
- Double the number of psychologists, guidance counselors, nurses, and social workers in schools.
- Increase federal funding for public school infrastructure.
- Provide universal Pre-K for all 3- and 4-year-olds.
- Double funding for home visiting programs for parents of young children.
- Make public colleges and universities tuition-free for all students whose family incomes are below $125,000.
- Forgive student debt for low-income and middle-class individuals who have attended public colleges and universities.
- Halt the diversity visa lottery program that randomly gives out 50,000 green cards annually.
- Clarify birthright citizenship to exclude illegal immigrant children and “birth tourism.”
- Possibly resubmit DACA repeal to Supreme Court.
- Increase merit-based immigration from 12 percent to 57 percent, and possibly higher.
- Provide a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States, including Deferred Action to Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status recipients.
- Rescind travel bans from terror-prone countries.
- Stop workplace enforcement of illegal workers and promote union organization.
- Decrease detention and Immigration and Customs Enforcement interior enforcement efforts.
- Focus on clean air and water, not carbon emissions.
- Expedited environmental assessments.
- Fund national parks cleanup.
- Rejects U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of U.S. sovereignty, and opposes any form of global tax.
- Invest $1.7 trillion over 10 years for “climate and environmental justice.”
- Implement Green New Deal; move away from fossil fuels and fracking.
- Promises 100 percent clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050.
- Require aggressive methane pollution limits for new and existing oil and gas operations.
November 3, 2020 is election day: Be sure to exercise your RIGHT & VOTE!