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.

border wall barrier research democratic presidential candidates
Are border walls effective at deterring migrants? Do they harm wildlife? How are indigenous groups in the area impacted? We explain the research.
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.'
decriminalize border crossing immigration research democratic presidential candidates
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.
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.
Carbon pricing schemes are widely portrayed in the economic literature as an effective way to reduce carbon emissions and curb rising global temperatures.
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.
school teacher pay raise research
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.
A quarter century of research finds paid parental leave can offer physical and mental health benefits for parents and children.
free community college research Democrat presidential candidates campaign policy
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.
Photo illustration of 2 milligrams of fentanyl, a lethal dose in most people / DEA
Here's what the research says about the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates’ various proposals to address the opioid epidemic.
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.
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.