HOW THE CANDIDATES STACK UP

We asked the 2020 candidates how they aligned with what Indivisibles care about. We will update these scores as candidates’ positions evolve—so see the results below and push the candidates to improve where they fall short. 

GO TO THE CANDIDATE RANKINGS ➞

Social Media

Paid for by Indivisible Action. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

RankingRubricCandidate Interviews

CANDIDATE RATINGS

We’re proud to be releasing Indivisible’s candidate scorecard in the Democratic presidential primary. Scorecards are a powerful way to shape elections and say: these are the values that matter to us. In our scorecard, we’ve centered issues and priorities the Indivisible movement has told us are important. Those fall into three categories:

Stay Up to Date with the Latest Indivisible Scorecard News

We're updating this scorecard as candidates take new positions and make new commitments. Sign up below to stay up to date!

Candidates must meet two requirements to qualify for a scorecard:

  1. They must sign the We Are Indivisible pledge. This is non-negotiable: candidates must be committed to a constructive primary and rallying behind the winner to defeat Trump.
  2. They either reached the debate stage or have had a net-positive rating from our network in a post-debate web survey at some point (or both!).

Scores are based on how the candidates' policy positions and priorities align with the above values, which we assessed both through their public statements and through a comprehensive questionnaire we asked them to submit. Full credit for a section means that a candidate answered all of those questions correctly—not necessarily that they are perfect on that issue. Read our full rubric here.

These scores will be updated as candidates make new commitments on the issues that matter to Indivisibles. We’d love for every candidate to get to 100%! 

Policy Platform: Indivisibles want a candidate who is committed to enacting bold, popular, progressive policies across a range of areas, including immigration, climate, economic justice, health care, and other critical policy areas.

Day-One Democracy Agenda: None of the policy reforms we want to see in 2021 are possible without a democracy that responds to the people. Indivisibles want a candidate who is committed first and foremost to ambitious reforms to save our democracy.

Building Grassroots Power: Indivisibles know that national change won’t come from any one leader - it will take a movement. Indivisibles want a candidate who is committed to building grassroots power, as demonstrated by their fundraising, campaign strategy and management, support for other progressive candidates, and their engagement with Indivisible groups.

How this Scorecard Helps Us Beat Donald Trump

From Dukakis to Gore to Kerry there's a long history of Democratic voters trying to make a strategic, "electable" choice in the primary and then going on to lose the general. Four years ago, Republican insiders were tearing their hair out because they were convinced Trump was unelectable. Everything in our history suggests that no one really knows what makes an electable candidate.

At Indivisible, we think a progressive candidate who really reflects our Indivisible values—who’s proposing bold action on the issues that matter to voters, from healthcare to climate to immigration—is going to have the best shot at beating Trump, because they will do the most to energize the Democratic base. We need a candidate who can excite, and mobilize, a multiracial base of voters to show up and vote Donald Trump out of office because elections are won and lost on turnout.

Ultimately, though, we trust the primary process. Whoever wins, we will support them with no second thoughts. Every one of the candidates here, including those who scored poorly or who we did not score at all, would be a dramatic improvement over Trump. If one of them wins the primary, we will be first in line to knock doors and make calls for them the instant the primary is over.

Reflecting Indivisibles' Priorities and Values

This scorecard is a reflection of Indivisibles’ input, priorities, and values. In particular, we think the following principles are really important parts of why it looks the way it looks:

Transparency. Part of our ethos is pulling back the curtain on how things work. For that reason, everything about our candidate evaluations is designed to be transparent—from what questions we ask candidates to how we score them to what their ultimate scores are. The only exception is that we’ve agreed to avoid publicizing candidates’ answers to specific questions on the questionnaire, so that they can answer questions freely even if they have not yet released a plan or statement on an issue.

Objectivity. Indivisibles have lots of different candidate preferences. For that reason, it’s important that our candidate evaluation process be as objective as possible. We relied very heavily on questionnaire responses, where candidates’ campaign teams said themselves what their positions are unless we received later clarification that walked back or improved an initial answer. We’ll continue to invite candidates to clarify or change their positions to more reflect Indivisibles’ priorities, which would improve their scores. The remaining scoring information comes from publicly available sources. Read our full rubric here.

Reflecting Indivisible leaders. Every stage of the process—from the questionnaire we sent candidates to the scorecard rubric itself—has been shared with Indivisible leaders for input and feedback. Additionally, Indivisible’s organizational priorities—particularly our focus on a day-one democracy agenda—come from surveying Indivisibles on what issues they think are most important.

Solidarity and partnership. A core part of being Indivisible is showing up for issues that impact not just us but also our neighbors, and working in partnership across the progressive movement to do it. The scorecard design and questions reflect the input of partner organizations that are leading the charge on key issues.

0%

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is antithetical to every value of the Indivisible movement. He has actively worked to undermine our democracy since the day he declared his candidacy, and since taking office he has accelerated the corruption of our public institutions through his constant abuses of power for personal gain. The central organizing tenet of his presidency is white supremacy; since the day he took office, he has used every tool available to him (and many that are not available to him) to launch attacks on immigrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, naturalized citizens, and communities of color. His policies have enriched the wealthy at the expense of poor and working people, endangered our planet by accelerating climate change, destabilized our health care system, and undermined our national security and foreign policy goals. We will do everything we can to defeat him in 2020.

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor Buttigieg’s high marks for a strong day-one democracy agenda are counterbalanced by lower grades for his policy platform, including on Indivisibles’ top issues like immigration and climate. He continues to participate in high-dollar fundraisers, and declined to commit to not appoint his major donors to positions of power.

SEE FULL SCORECARD

Indivisible Action is a Hybrid Political Action Committee fueled by the grassroots movement to win elections and build local, independent progressive power nationwide.

Bernie Sanders

Senator Sanders receives very strong scores in the policy platform section. He has not committed to enacting democracy reform as his top legislative priority in 2021, or to eliminating the filibuster. Although he plans to attempt an alternative strategy using budget reconciliation, this omission poses a significant barrier to enacting his legislative agenda.

SEE FULL SCORECARD

Tulsi Gabbard currently does not meet our requirements to receive a scorecard and does not have a credible path to the Democratic nomination, but we will support whoever becomes the Democratic nominee.

Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer met our requirements to receive a scorecard, but subsequently suspended their campaigns. Their scorecards can be found linked below.

Cory Booker

Senator Booker has a robust, progressive policy platform that scored near the top of the pack. He has not committed to enacting democracy reform as his top legislative priority in 2021, or to eliminating the filibuster to pass progressive legislation—which we believe will make his platform difficult, or even impossible, to enact.

SEE FULL SCORECARD

Secretary Castro receives strong all-around scores; we particularly appreciate his leadership on immigration and racial justice. He has taken many pro-democracy policy positions, but has not committed to making safeguarding our democracy his top priority in 2021.

SEE FULL SCORECARD

Tom Steyer

Tom Steyer’s scores are buoyed by a strong day-one democracy agenda, as well as a commitment to eliminating the filibuster in order to pass his legislative priorities. This is counterbalanced by mixed scores on his policy platform and comparatively low scores for building grassroots power.

SEE FULL SCORECARD

Amy Klobuchar

Sen. Klobuchar submitted a partially completed questionnaire after the deadline. She scored below 50% in the policy platform section since she did not offer bold, transformative policy solutions that match the scope of the problems we face. However, she scored slightly higher for her day-one democracy agenda and for her support for building grassroots power.

SEE FULL SCORECARD

Joe Biden

Because Vice President Biden declined to complete Indivisible’s questionnaire or participate in a candidate interview, his scorecard is based on research into his public record. We will update his scorecard if he makes new public policy commitments or if his campaign completes Indivisible's questionnaire. 

SEE FULL SCORECARD

Elizabeth Warren

Senator Warren is the top-scoring candidate on the scorecard because she’s got both a bold progressive vision for our country and the day-one democracy agenda we need to make that vision a reality. She also earns the top score for building grassroots power.

SEE FULL SCORECARD