Florida primaries: Everything you need to know
On March 15, Florida voters will have the opportunity to do what the voters of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada have done already – vote for their party’s presidential candidate. Each of the 50 states will have the opportunity to nominate their preferred candidates between now and July, leading up to the Republican National Convention July 18 and the Democratic National Convention July 25. After peaking at 23 candidates in 2015, the presidential field has fallen to seven:
Senator Bernie Sanders (D)
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York
Student loans: Sanders would like to pay for students to attend public colleges and universities by taxing people who make risky investments on the stock market.
Abortion rights: Sanders is pro-choice.
Gun control: Sanders would like to ban the purchase of semi-automatic assault weapons, strengthen the instant background check system and increase funding to the mental health system.
Immigration: Sanders has said that as president, he would use his executive power to create a path to citizenship for all immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally.
Healthcare: Sanders supports a universal single-payer healthcare system and wants to expand Medicaid, Medicare and nutrition education.
Hillary Clinton (D)
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Student loans: Clinton wants to reduce future student debt by requiring states to increase investment in higher education by providing grants from the federal government and instituting an income-based plan as the default repayment plan.
Abortion rights: Clinton believes there can be restrictions in the very end of the third trimester, but they have to take into account the life and health of the mother.
Gun control: Clinton wants to strengthen background check and change legislation in order to reduce the amount of gun ownership in the country.
Immigration: Clinton wants to waive fees for more immigrants in order to facilitate the process for them to gain citizenship.
Healthcare: Clinton wants to build on the Affordable Care Act to reduce out-of-pocket and drug costs.
Governor John Kasich (R)
Hometown: McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
Student loans: Kasich has proposed downsizing the U.S. Department of Education and giving its power to individual states. Kasich has said he would like to help universities lower their own costs to avoid increases in the price of tuition.
Abortion rights: Kasich only supports abortion in the case of incest, rape or a life-threatening pregnancy.
Gun control: Kasich has said he opposes gun restrictions and supports the rights of U.S. citizens to bear arms, and expanded gun rights in Ohio as governor.
Immigration: Kasich supported President Barack Obama’s executive action that protected immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally from deportation, and supports a pathway to citizenship for those immigrants in the U.S. He also supports the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Healthcare: Kasich has said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act as president. He would like to create a system that would reward healthcare providers for keeping costs low for procedures, and promote long term good health.
Senator Marco Rubio (R)
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Student loans: Rubio wants to provide more information to students to enable them to make well-informed decisions about which majors at which institutions are likely to yield the best return on investment.
Abortion rights: Rubio has said he is against abortion regardless of rape or when a mother’s life is in danger.
Gun control: Rubio is opposed to gun control laws, but wants to deal with gun violence without undermining the Second Amendment.
Immigration: Rubio wants to secure the U.S. border by hiring more Border Patrol agents and finishing the walls in the Southern border, enforce immigration laws in the workplace and implement visa tracking systems.
Healthcare: Rubio has said he will cut back the role of the government by repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with consumer-centered health reforms that expand coverage and lower costs.
Senator Ted Cruz (R)
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Student loans: Cruz frequently cites his own student debt payments but has repeatedly shut down bills that could alleviate the debt burden.
Abortion rights: Cruz is anti-abortion and thinks the government should defund Planned Parenthood.
Gun control: Cruz is against any restrictions of the Second Amendment.
Immigration: Cruz has said he will oppose any effort to allow immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally to gain legal status or remain in the country.
Healthcare: Cruz wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and reform health care by allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines.
Donald Trump (R)
Hometown: Queens, New York
Student loans: Although Trump has not revealed any student loan plans, he has spoken out against the government making money off of student loans.
Abortion rights: Trump has said he approves of abortions when the mother’s life is in danger or when the pregnancy is a result of incest or rape.
Gun control: Trump is against banning any type of firearm and has said that a concealed carry permit that is valid in one state should be valid in all states. He has said that he would like criminal and mental health records to be available through background checks.
Immigration: Trump has said he would like to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico, increase the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, return all immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally to their home countries and defund sanctuary cities.
Healthcare: Trump would like to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but has also endorsed an individual mandate for healthcare, which would require all citizens to buy it.
Ben Carson (R)
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Student loans: Carson has said that students should consider working before attending college to avoid student loans. He has also said that the high interest rates of student loans are a problem and that universities should pay the interest charges, not the students.
Abortion rights: Carson is anti-abortion under all circumstances.
Gun control: Carson is against restricting gun rights, but has said that he doesn’t think people living in highly populated areas should own semi-automatic weapons.
Immigration: Carson has said he would like to install a double fence between the U.S. and Mexico, and increase surveillance methods to decrease the number of immigrants who are undocumented crossing into the U.S. He has said that immigrants in the U.S. who are undocumented should begin paying taxes within six months of entering the country, and should not earn citizenship or voting rights.
Healthcare: Carson would like to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with Health Empowerment Accounts, which would offer people on Medicare and Medicaid to receive the same insurance coverage as people who are not on it.