The JR Guide to the 2020 Democratic Policy Proposals

In the lead-up to the 2020 elections, the Journalist’s Resource team is combing through the Democratic presidential candidates’ platforms and reporting what the research says about their policy proposals. We want to encourage deep coverage of these proposals — and to do our part to help deter horse race journalism, which research suggests can lead to inaccurate reporting and an uninformed electorate.

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Building border walls and barriers: What the research says
Are border walls effective at deterring migrants? Do they harm wildlife? How are indigenous groups in the area impacted? We explain the research.
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The ‘boyfriend loophole’ in federal gun law: What the research says
In some cases, an intimate partner convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense can still legally own a gun. This is what the research says about the 'boyfriend loophole.'
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Decriminalizing unauthorized border crossing: What the research says
Some presidential candidates want to repeal a federal law that makes it a crime to cross the U.S. border without permission. We look at research on the law's effectiveness and impact on migrants.
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Pay gap between men and women: What the research says
Research shows that the pay gap in the U.S. narrowed in the 1980s and 1990s as women gained work and educational experience, but the gap persists today and has not changed much in recent years.
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Carbon pricing: What the research says
Carbon pricing schemes are widely portrayed in the economic literature as an effective way to reduce carbon emissions and curb rising global temperatures.
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Gun buybacks: What the research says
Gun buybacks allow gun owners to trade their firearms to government entities -- usually law enforcement -- no questions asked. Do they reduce gun violence? Here's what the research says.
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Raising public school teacher pay: What the research says
While bigger paychecks don’t guarantee greater job satisfaction, academic studies indicate that when teacher earnings rise, school districts and students can benefit in a range of ways.
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Paid family leave: What the research says
A quarter century of research finds paid parental leave can offer physical and mental health benefits for parents and children.
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‘Free-college’ and ‘tuition-free’ programs: What the research says
While many politicians argue eliminating tuition will help more Americans go to college, studies show the results of “free college” programs differ according to their scope and structure.
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Photo illustration of 2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose in most people / DEA
Addressing the opioid epidemic: What the research says
Here's what the research says about the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates’ various proposals to address the opioid epidemic.
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Universal background checks and gun permits: What the research says
Federal law doesn't require background checks for private gun sales. Many 2020 Democrats favor background checks for all gun purchases. Can universal background checks curb gun violence? Here's what the research says.
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Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour: What the research says
Nearly every 2020 Democratic candidate polling above half a percentage point nationally supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Most research finds small job losses from minimum wage hikes.
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