Top Issues of 2020 Elections Include Healthcare, Climate Change, and Immigration Policies


Maggee Chang, Staff Writer

The 2016 presidential elections alerted the American people just in time for the 2018 midterm elections. The Democrats’ ‘blue wave’ occupied the House of Representatives amid the Republican-dominated government. In 2018, 81% of registered voters cited healthcare as “extremely important,” according to Gallup, an independent global analytics firm. CNN released its own national poll, led by independent research firm SSRS, asking 1,007 registered voters about their top issues and the favorability of the 2020 election candidates. Climate change was deemed ‘very important’ by 96% of registered Democrat/Democrat-leaning independent voters. According to Gallup, less than 30% of Republican voters deemed climate change as a priority issue in choosing a candidate for office. With the large pool of Democratic presidential hopefuls in the next election, voters are also anticipating the candidates to promote other pressing matters such as immigration policy, voters’ rights, and gun safety.

The mitigation of climate change has only been surveyed to voters as a possible election issue one other time back in 2014. In late 2018, the United Nations released its most unsettling climate change report– a crisis caused by climate change will strike as early as 2040. Annually rising temperatures will increase poverty and drought. Food security is less likely than food insecurity in emerging nations. The United States is the second-largest, behind China, greenhouse gas emitter. Air pollution has increased risks of human health, such as increased incidents of asthma, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Many of the consequences of climate change will define the quality of life for future generations, thus its upcoming mentions in future debates.

Healthcare has been a steadily popular topic throughout the years, with 80% of voters regardless of party considering it an important issue. Specifically, voters need to know if their candidates are for or against providing government-issued healthcare, also known as “Medicare-for-all.” Previous presidential administrations have struggled with healthcare, while many nations have provided universal healthcare to their citizens for years. The Trump administration has been criticized for poorly handling this issue, making empty promises to Americans. Republicans have a bad record with healthcare, such as cutting life-saving benefits, failing to protect patients with pre-existing conditions, and its attempts to undermine women’s reproductive health. In retaliation, Democrats have prioritized keeping Planned Parenthood and sex education accessible for women and students. Black maternal health has also been mentioned by several Democratic candidates, due to the troubling reports of the increased incidents of death in pregnant Black women.

Such issues are considered to be the previous and/or current administration’s shortcomings. Regardless, American voters have given their first impression of the up-and-coming presidential hopefuls, with some familiar faces: Senators Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Kirsten Gillibrand, former Vice President Joe Biden, former Representative Beto O’Rourke, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, to name a few. A majority of candidates have pledged to refuse all corporate political action committees, also known as PACs.

It is obvious that President Donald Trump has several contenders. The first debate in June will show America what their future leaders could bring to the table. From the multifaceted issue of healthcare and diplomacy, voters need to voice their opinions. Politicians need to listen. Regardless of political party, Americans, both civilians and officials, need to actively participate at the table with open minds, ideas, and the courage to act upon them.