The final presidential debate of 2020 posed a substantial contrast from its predecessor and caused viewers to perform additional research once it concluded. Over the course of the evening, the trending topics varied, but Google Trends highlighted the main issues as unemployment, wages, and health care. You can see how frequently key issues are searched in real-time here.
The first 2020 presidential debate occurred on Sept. 22 and covered topics such as Trump and Biden’s records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, the integrity of the election, race and violence in cities. Pundits described it as the “worst presidential debate I’ve ever seen” and a “hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck.” The Oct. 22 debate was quite the opposite with one pundit calling Trump “much more disciplined.”
Oct. 27 is one week from Election Day and polls show Trump and Biden neck and neck in key states such as Florida and North Carolina with Biden leading. An average of recent national polls show Biden winning at 51.6 percent with Trump behind at 43.2 percent. Highlights of Biden’s stances are taken from his website. Actions that President Trump has taken during his presidency related to these issues are taken from his website.
- Provide state, local, and tribal governments with the aid they need, so educators, firefighters and other essential workers aren’t being laid off.
- Extend COVID crisis unemployment insurance to help those who are out of work.
- Provide a comeback package for Main Street businesses and entrepreneurs.
- Mobilize American manufacturing and innovation to ensure that the future is made in America, and all of America.
- Mobilize American ingenuity to build modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future.
- Mobilize American talent and heart to build a 21st-century caregiving and education workforce, which will ease the burden of care for working parents, especially women.
- Mobilize across the board to advance racial equity in America.
- Read Biden’s plan to create 5 million jobs here.
- Increase the federal minimum wage to $15.
- Invest in communities by widely applying and strictly enforcing prevailing wages.
- Stop employers from denying workers overtime pay they’ve earned.
- Ensure workers in the “gig economy” and beyond receive the legal benefits and protections they deserve.
- Eliminate non-compete clauses and no-poaching agreements that hinder employees’ ability to seek higher wages, better benefits, and working conditions by changing employers.
- Put an end to unnecessary occupational licensing requirements.
- Increase workplace safety and health.
- Ensure workers can have their day in court by ending mandatory arbitration clauses imposed by employers on workers.
- Expand protections for undocumented immigrants who report labor violations.
- Give every American access to affordable health insurance.
- Provide the peace of mind of affordable quality health care and a less complex health care system.
- Stand up to the abuse of power by prescription drug corporations.
- Ensure health care is a right for all, not a privilege for just a few.
- Click here to read the top five takeaways of Biden’s health care plan.
President Donald Trump
- Passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which provided tax relief for 82 percent of middle-class families.
- According to PolicyGenius, “high-income individuals were the most likely to see tax savings, while low-income and middle-class families saw mixed results.”
- U.S. Gross Domestic Product growth topped 3 percent in four quarters under his administration.
- Policies have generated 6 million new jobs, the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest point in 50 years and wages have grown at more than 3 percent for 10 months in a row.
- According to a press release from the Department of Labor, 65 million have filed for unemployment insurance since March 15.
- Signed an executive order that expanded federally funded apprenticeship programs and on-the-job training to provide an alternative for those looking to gain in-demand skills that lack the resources to attend four-year universities.
- Launched the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, the first-ever whole-of-government approach focused on advancing women’s full and free participation in the global economy and allocated $50 million for the fund.
- Wages grew by 2.9 percent in 2017, the largest increase in eight years.
- According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages grew 1.1 percent in Sept. 2018, .9 percent in Sept. 2019 and 3.3 percent in Sept. 2020.
- Expanded access to Association Health Plans, allowing small businesses to pool risk across states.
- Allows for Short-Term Limited Duration plans to be extended up to 12 months.
- Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed the individual mandate, which forced people to buy expensive insurance and taxed those who couldn’t afford it.
- Signed a six-year extension of CHIP to fund healthcare for 9 million people.
- Created a bipartisan opioid commission that issued 56 recommendations to help defeat the opioid crisis.
- Directed The Department of Health and Human Services to declare the opioid crisis a public health emergency, allowing grant money to be used to combat abuse.
- Signed the INTERDICT Act that would give customs agents $9 million for screening tools on the border.
- Successfully pressured China to close dangerous loopholes that allowed Chinese fentanyl manufacturers to legally ship the compound worldwide, much of which ended up in the U.S.
Other topics that stood out included crime and immigration. The candidates’ views on those remaining two topics can be found here. More information on Biden’s vision for his presidency can be found here. Additional actions that President Trump has taken during his presidency can be found here. The full debate can be viewed here. The Associated Press released a fact check of the debate, which can be read here.