Odyssey's 2020 Presidential Election Guide For The Undecided Voter
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Politics and Activism

Odyssey's 2020 Presidential Election Guide For The Undecided Voter

Donald Trump or Joe Biden? The country will decide on November 3 — but if you haven't decided yet, keep reading.

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Odyssey's 2020 Presidential Election Guide For The Undecided Voter

With just days left until Election Day 2020, millions of Americans have already voted in a historic early voting turnout. But if you're waiting until Election Day to cast your vote and haven't decided who will get your vote, this is the guide for you.

To help highlight the issues that you care about most, Odyssey, in partnership with VoteSmart, asked creators and readers via a ranked-choice survey to rank the issues which they cared about most. We've highlighted the top three issues — civil rights, healthcare, and women's rights, based on creator and reader feedback — and used VoteSmart's database to present President Donald Trump and challenger former Vice President Joe Biden's record on the issues.

SEE ALSO: How To Write About The 2020 Election

The following information is based on the political records of both candidates throughout their careers in politics. Joe Biden served in the U.S. Senate from 1972 to 2008 and then as vice president from 2009–2017. Donald Trump has never served in a legislative body and has been president since 2017. Since many organizations issue rankings based solely on legislative votes, there are some issues on which Trump has no rankings.

Civil Rights

2020 has been a huge year in terms of civil rights. The country has experienced national Black Lives Matter protests, mail-in voting has broken records, and civil rights icons Elijah Cummings and John Lewis passed away in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Here's a roundup of Trump and Biden's statements and rankings on key civil rights issues.

Donald Trump

View Trump's public statements on civil rights issues here.

View Trump's public statements on criminal justice issues here.

Trump ran for president in 2016 and has been president since 2017. View his ratings from civil rights organizations based on his time campaigning and in office below. Find links to each organization's profile on VoteSmart at the bottom of the page.

Joe Biden

View Biden's public statements on civil rights issues here.

View Biden's public statements on criminal justice issues here.

View Biden's ratings from civil rights organizations based mostly on his voting record in the Senate below. Find links to each organization's profile on VoteSmart at the bottom of the page.

Healthcare

This year, America has dealt with the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, infected millions more, and has drastically impacted the country's hospitals and healthcare systems. At the same time, the Trump administration continues to argue in court that America's main healthcare law — The Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare" — is unconstitutional and should be struck down.

Here's a roundup of Trump and Biden's statements and rankings on key healthcare and health insurance issues:

Donald Trump

View Trump's public statements on health and healthcare issues here.

View Trump's public statements on health insurance issues here.

VoteSmart does not have any records of healthcare or health insurance organizations rating Trump.

Joe Biden

View Biden's public statements on health and healthcare issues here.

View Biden's public statements on health insurance issues here.

View Biden's ratings from healthcare and health insurance organizations based mostly on his voting record in the Senate below. Find links to each organization's profile on VoteSmart at the bottom of the page.

Women's Rights

From the #MeToo movement to ongoing debates surrounding reproductive issues, women's rights have defined the 2020 election cycle. Both candidates for president have faced accusations of sexual harassment or assault. Biden's running mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, would be the country's first-ever woman vice president and vice president of color if elected. 2020 saw the passing of feminist icon Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — only the second woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court — and the nomination and confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, the fifth woman ever to become a Supreme Court justice and who is in many ways Ginsburg's ideological opposite.

Here's a roundup of both Trump and Biden's views on women's rights:

Donald Trump

View Trump's public statements on women's rights and issues here.

View Trump's public statements on abortion and reproductive rights here and here.

Trump ran for president in 2016 and has been president since 2017. View his ratings from pro-life organizations based on his time campaigning and in office below. Find links to each organization's profile on VoteSmart at the bottom of the page.

Joe Biden

View Biden's public statements on women's rights and issues here.

View Biden's public statements on abortion and reproductive rights here and here.

View Biden's ratings from women's rights and reproductive rights organizations based mostly on his voting record in the Senate below. Find links to each organization's profile on VoteSmart at the bottom of the page.

Appendix

Follow the links below for VoteSmart's database of organizations and their ratings for each candidate on each topic:

Trump / Civil Rights

Liberty Guard 41% 2016

RAICES Action Fund 0% 2020

Biden / Civil Rights

American Civil Liberties Union 91% 2007-2008

Americans for Democratic Action 80% 2008

Common Cause 100% 2001

Drum Major Institute 0% 2009

Global Exchange 100% 2006-2012

Home School Legal Defense Association 20% 1997-1998

Human Rights Campaign 95% 2007-2008

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights 89 2007-2008

League of United Latin American Citizens 100% 2003-2004

League of Women Voters 100% 2007

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) 100% 2005-2006

National LGBTQ Task Force 64% 1991-1992

National Organization for Women 100% 2007-2008

People for the American Way 85% 2001-2002

RAICES Action Fund 50% 2020

The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans 100% 2005-2006

UnidosUS 100% 2005

United To End Genocide (formerly known as the Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network) A+ 2007

Biden / Healthcare

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare 100% 2001-2002

National Council of Senior Citizens 90% 2000

Partnership for America 0% 2005-2006

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 100% 2008

AIDS United 100% 2007-2008

Academy of General Dentistry 100% 2008

Alliance For Headache Disorders Advocacy 0% 2007

American Academy of Emergency Medicine 0% 2003-2004

American Academy of Family Physicians 100% 2007

American College of Emergency Physicians 0% 2004

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 100% 2003

American Hospital Association 100% 2007-2008

American Medical Association PAC 100% 2001

American Nurses Association 100% 2005-2006

American Public Health Association 100% 2008

American Society for Radiation Oncology 100% 2008

American Society of Anesthesiologists 33% 2003

Association of University Centers on Disabilities 100% 2007

Citizens for Health 25% 2004

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance 0 2007

Global AIDS Alliance 80% 2003

League of Women Voters 100% 2007

National Association for Addiction Professionals (formerly National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors) 100% 2005-2006

National Association of Social Workers 100% 2008

National Breast Cancer Coalition 80% 2005-2006

National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association 93% 2005-2006

National Right to Life Committee 0% 2007-2008

Parkinsons Action Network 100% 2006

Pennsylvania State Nurses Association 100% 2002

Planned Parenthood Action Fund 100% 2008

Protect Patients Now! 0% 1995-2004

Smokefree Action 100% 1995-1996

St. Joseph Health System 100% 2007-2008

The American Counseling Association 100% 2008

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) 100% 2001

Trump / Women's Rights

Illinois Right to Life Action 100% 2020

Biden / Women's Rights

American Association of University Women 60% 2007-2008

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 100% 2003

Business and Professional Women USA 83% 2005-2006

Concerned Women for America 9% 2007-2008

Federally Employed Women 60% 2007-2008

League of Women Voters 100% 2007

NARAL Pro-Choice America 75% 2007

National Organization for Women 100% 2007-2008

National Women's Political Caucus 81% 1989-1990

The Woman Activist 60% 1995

Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) 66% 2005

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