Joe Biden — Democrat (Kamala Harris — VP nominee)
Donald Trump — Republican Incumbent President (Mike Pence — Incumbent VP)
Biden held national office for more than 35 years before serving two terms as Barack Obama’s vice president. Biden chose Kamala Harris, a senator from California, as his vice presidential running mate.
Trump is a billionaire businessman, who headed The Trump Organization and appeared as a reality television star prior to running for and winning the presidency in 2016 as a newcomer to political office. Mike Pence works as his vice president.
Biden blames the United States’ 8.7 million COVID cases and 225,000 COVID-related deaths on Trump for what the Democratic nominee sees as not taking the virus seriously. Biden seeks a vaccine as soon as possible and said, via his website, he will “listen to science.” He wants to widen the availability of free testing, which Trump signed a bill for in health centers and select pharmacies across the nation in March. According to Biden’s website, he “believes we must spend whatever it takes, without delay, to meet public health needs and deal with the mounting economic consequences.” He also preaches preparation for future public health crises.
Trump said “we’re rounding the corner” on COVID-19. During the final presidential debate on Oct. 22, Trump went against the words of Dr. Anthony Fauci who said a vaccine wouldn’t be ready until well into 2021. Trump claimed a vaccine is “ready” and will “be announced within weeks.” He said the military will distribute it. He has attacked his opponent, saying Biden will lock down the entire country due to the virus, which Biden refutes. On his campaign website, Trump promises a return to normal next year.
Biden helped Obama pass the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Biden plans to expand the act, working to bump the percentage of insured Americans up to an estimated 97%, according to his website. He plans to lower costs by increasing the value of tax credits to lower premiums and stopping “surprise billing.” He plans to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60. Biden wants to expand access to contraceptives, keep abortion rights in place and restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
Trump supports the ending of the Affordable Care Act. That mindset carries over from the 2016 election. Since then, he has removed only one component of the law as part of a tax-cut package in 2017. In this election, Trump agrees with Biden on lowering health insurance premiums and ending surprise billing. The current president has not released a replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act, saying he is waiting for its repeal before doing so. The American Health Care Act of 2017, a House of Representatives-generated bill geared toward repealing multiple aspects of the Affordable Care Act, advanced to the Senate but was shot down. During his first term, Trump declared the opioid crisis a nationwide public health emergency, pushing his administration to address it.
Biden’s website states he believes in the Green New Deal as a frame for meeting current climate challenges. His plan is not a carbon copy of the Green New Deal, though. Biden’s $2 trillion plan, which was released last summer, emphasized energy-efficient infrastructure projects and cutting fossil fuel emissions. Biden wants the United States to “own the electric car market of the future.” He does not oppose fracking.
In the past, Trump has falsely labeled climate change a hoax multiple times. During his presidency, he’s issued 99 total rollbacks to environmental regulations. He supports fracking. He announced a 10-year presidential moratorium on offshore drilling in several southern states last month. Also last month, Trump called himself “a great environmentalist” during a speech in Florida.
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Biden’s economic plan centers around the pandemic. He plans to provide aid to local governments to ensure educators, firefighters and other essential workers are not being laid off. He also plans to enlist people currently out of work to help fight the pandemic, including through a Public Health Jobs Corps. Biden strives to continue bringing jobs back to the United States from outside the country. His tax plan calls for an increase in tax rate from 37% to the pre-Trump rate of 39.6% The corporate rate would rise seven points to 28%, and individuals earning $400,000 or more would have to pay increased taxes. Biden supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15.
Trump, with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, enacted the largest overhaul of the tax code in three decades. The corporate tax rate was lowered to 21%, and individual rates were chopped or kept the same for every bracket. The individual changes are temporarily, though, as they are in law only through 2025. Trump also favors returning and keeping jobs in America. According to his website, his goals for a potential second term include creating 10 million new jobs in 10 months and creating one million new small businesses. In his first term, the unemployment rate reached the lowest point in 50 years, though the rate was already trending downward at the end of the Obama/Biden administration.
Last month, Biden said he doesn’t anticipate any major reductions in military spending. He won’t propose a full withdrawal of troops from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq in the near future.
In the last four years, Trump has steadily increased military spending, from less than $600 billion to more than $700 billion, and decreased the number of troops overseas, albeit slightly.
Biden and his campaign team have said they support parts of Trump’s policy on China. They pledge to pressure China on trade and human rights but have also discussed working with the country to deal with large-scale international issues, like climate change. He has not said whether he’d look to repeal Trump-installed tariffs. Biden looks to restore NATO after Trump spent his first term being highly critical of the organization.
Trump continues to preach an “America First” foreign policy. According to his website, Trump wants to “end our reliance on China,” aiming to bring back one million manufacturing jobs from there during a potential second term as president. Although his rhetoric has, at points, raised tensions with foreign countries, he has avoided new major military conflict during his first term, the first president in decades to do so. He cut the North American Free Trade Agreement, choosing to renegotiate the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which governs more than $1.1 trillion in trade between the three nations.
Biden will stop the construction of Trump’s border wall and eliminate the practice of separating immigrant families at the U.S. border. Biden supports immediate citizenship for Dreamers — undocumented residents brought to the U.S. as children — and development of a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented people currently in the country.
Infamous for his plan of a border wall between Mexico and the United States in the leadup to the 2016 election, Trump has managed to spearhead more than 215 miles of wall being built since his election, though only a few of those miles lacked any sort of barrier before. Despite Trump’s insistence during his 2016 campaign, Mexico has not paid for the wall. He opposes sanctuary cities.
Racial Justice and Policing
Biden supports the Black Lives Matter movement and believes institutional racism is a problem in the United States today. He does not want to defund the police but would commit $300 million to supplement police departments with community-oriented policing services. He emphasized the need to hold police departments accountable for racism and other misconduct.
Trump believes Black Lives Matter is a symbol of further divide, and during the summer, criticized protesters. He wants to expand police funding but signed an executive order to track misconduct by police officers. Despite doing it in the past, Trump did not rebuke white supremacy when given the opportunity in the first presidential debate this year.
Notable Candidate Races on the Butler County Ballot
House of Representatives (Eight District)
Repubican Incumbent Warren Davidson vs. Democrat Vanessa Enoch
Ohio Supreme Court Justices
Incumbent Judith French vs. Jennifer Brunner
Incumbent Sharon Kennedy vs. John O’Donnell
Ohio Senate (Fourth District)
Democrat Kathy Wyenandt vs. Republican George Lang
Ohio House of Representatives (51st District)
Incumbent Republican Sara Carruthers
Ohio House of Representatives (52nd District)
Incumbent Republican Jennifer Gross vs. Democrat Chuck Horn
Ohio House of Representatives (53rd District — Oxford)
Democrat Michelle Novak vs. Republican Thomas Hall
Ohio House of Representatives (54th District)
Incumbent Republican Paul Zeltwanger vs. Democrat Morgan ShowenThe information above was gathered from candidates' campaign websites, Politico, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other reputable sources.