by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
For those interested in what policies the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders stand for, the most obvious source of information is often the most mysterious. Several of the candidates’ websites make their positions difficult to identify, leaving the public to scrutinize their records and public statements instead.
Candidates may be trying to avoid alienating part of the Democratic voter base while also protecting themselves from potential right-wing attacks on far-left policies.
“They are fully aware that the Trump team is keeping tabs on this insane policy race to the left,” Republican strategist and political analyst Ford O’Connell told the Washington Examiner. “They are literally trying to kowtow to the Democratic base any way possible while trying to keep their powder dry should they eventually face off against Trump.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has no issue positions page on her website, though it links to a Medium post detailing her $1 trillion plan to upgrade the country’s infrastructure. Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced proposals this weekend that aim to fight monopolies and raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021, but information on those plans and other policy positions is not accessible from his homepage.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro also lacks an issues page, but his website includes his immigration reform plan calling for a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
When confronted during a CNN town hall last week about the lack of a policy page on his website, the South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg focused on the importance of articulating values rather than the details of policy positions.