2020 Election: Where Donald Trump, Joe Biden stand on policy issues

With Election Day looming, the fight over the COVID-19 pandemic and the ways it’s roiled the 2020 campaign have overshadowed some of the key policy differences between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. 

The first presidential debate descended into a near-indecipherable mess of the candidates, particularly Trump, talking over each other and running past their allotted time, leaving voters with little clarity on where the candidates stood on specific policy issues. 

In lieu of the second presidential debate on October 15, Trump and Biden held competing town hall events on different networks during the same time slot, creating a split-screen effect that didn’t allow the candidates to directly debate policy matters. 

For almost a full year, Biden fought his way through a contentious Democratic presidential primary with nearly two-dozen opponents. It was largely a fight over policy, and the direction of the Democratic party after Trump. 

In the primary debates, Biden argued the merits of his agenda, like expanding access to healthcare and high-quality education. He also clashed with opponents who advocated for major progressive policies like Medicare for All and making public college free. While his plans don’t feature some of the main flagship policies embraced by the left, it still is more liberal than former President Barack Obama’s agenda.

Trump, by contrast, had the Republican nomination locked up from the beginning. He spent much of 2020 dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the criticism of his administration’s response to it.

While the Republican party did pass landmark tax reform in 2017, Trump has not delivered on some of the key policy promises he built his 2016 campaign around, like repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, building a wall on the US Southern Border, and “draining” the Washington swamp (a sweeping New York Times investigation found that instead, the Trump Organization’s properties have become hotbeds of influence-peddling by those who seek access to the administration). 

Insider created this interactive guide to show where Trump and Biden stand on 12 key policy areas:

 

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