Candidate Clarification

by Celina Simmons

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Before we know it, November will be here along with the final Presidential election. Remember before the Coronavirus? When these were the news channel headlines? Welp, it’s still relevant and just as important to stay up to date with the election process even when a pandemic is underway.

As of right now, there are still four candidates in the running for presidency this year: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente, and Donald Trump. However, in my research I noticed that many sites like NYTimes and Wikipedia only report Biden, Sanders, and Trump in the running.

Rocky De La Fuente announced his candidacy in May of 2019 initially under the Democratic Party then switched to Republican shortly after. His campaign targets key issues like immigration, education, the environment, and health care. It is reported on Ballotpedia that he believes “healthcare policy should be focused on lowering costs, maintaining or improving care, and opening access.” Read more here.

Earlier this month in Bureau County, Illinois, BCR News published, “Unofficial results Tuesday evening showed Trump with 1,780 votes to De La Fuente’s 79 votes.” Read more here. However, De La Fuente’s participation in the primaries has not been consistent state-to-state.

The more popular Republican vote however has been consistent with results pointing to Donald Trump. You can learn about Trump’s values and key issues here, but what I want to focus on for the last three candidates is recent happenings around them in the media.

Donald Trump has been receiving attention and airtime now more than Biden and Sanders with his daily Coronavirus briefings which New York Post journalist described as a “rating smash.” With that, he has also been receiving criticism for sharing inaccurate information about the virus during those briefings.

Interestingly though, Americans have shown a 60% approval rating for the president’s handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic. His last highest approval rating was back in February at 49% during the height of the Senate impeachment trial according to the New York Post. Read more here.

Joe Biden has had recent trending on social media and news headlines regarding sexual assault claims that came out last year. One claim in particular, trending with the hashtags #TimesUpBiden and #IBelieveTara, has caught a lot of attention.

Tara Reade worked in Biden’s Senate office in 1993. She claimed that during her time working there, Biden would touch her in ways that made her uncomfortable. This is similar to most of the claims that came forward last year. Reade went on and shared an experience she had where Biden pinned her against a wall, put his hand down her pants, and continued to sexually assault her. 

In early April of last year, Biden made a video statement addressing the multiple claims against him. “I shake hands, I hug people, I grab men and women by the shoulders and say, ‘You can do this,’” Biden stated. He went on to acknowledge that people’s standard of personal space has changed and pledged to change his behavior accordingly. Read more here.

Other than these scandals, Biden has been rather quiet during the pandemic, limited to his home in Delaware. He has made a couple video appearances, though it is significantly less than the online appearance of his opponent, Bernie Sanders.

Sanders has reportedly been in D.C. helping negotiate further proceedings with trillions of dollars for Coronavirus relief and aid. He has also held several in-depth COVID-19 Town Halls through Facebook live.

His positioning on Medicare for all has been a huge talking point for him right now with millions of Americans either underinsured or living with no health insurance at all. So far during the pandemic, Sanders has raised $2 million towards COVID-19 relief through his mailing list, circulated a petition to support the safety of Amazon warehouse workers, and streamed video events explaining the details of the Senate’s COVID-19 Stimulus Package. Read more here.

I personally believe that it is important to pay attention to the candidates’ behaviors right now. In times of urgency like the one we find ourselves in today, it is important to have a President that can handle the situation with a clear head and precision. I urge you all to research these candidates on your own and make your own opinion on them based on what you learn. With all the craziness in the air, November will be here before we know it and the ballots will pour in. Make sure you can be confident in yours.











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