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Two perennial issues in U.S. politics will be on voters' minds as 2020 rolls around: animal rights and climate change. The former rarely gets any airplay in presidential elections but at least three of the Democratic party hopefuls list it near the top of their political agendas. Even so, animal rights enthusiasts rarely get any attention when other issues on the ballot include things like national security, gun control, universal medical care and the economy.

animal rights and climate change

Animal Rights

Many state and municipal elections in 2020 will feature ballot initiatives that offer voters a chance to place strong controls on animal testing, pet breeding and selling animals across state lines.

Many state and municipal elections in 2020 will feature ballot initiatives that offer voters a chance to place strong controls on animal testing, pet breeding and selling animals across state lines. Many animal rights activists have long fought for the cessation of all animal testing but have seldom won complete victories at the ballot box. However, new initiatives that seek to shut down the use of animals in the testing of cosmetics and other non-essential consumer products are showing promise of making headway in 2020 state races.

Climate Change

One issue that sets most Republicans in stark contrast to their Democratic opponents is in the form of the political climate change. The "Green New Deal," a group of related legislation and proposals that attempt to drastically reduce carbon levels within the next 12 years, is a major part of the Democrat party's policy package going into 2020. Not all the presidential candidates have endorsed the deal, but most have given at least tacit approval of major parts of it.

No matter who wins the White House in the next election, it's almost certain that parts of the Green New Deal will pass votes in the House, particularly because the deal's primary sponsors are currently House members. Whether any of the Green New Deal's components can get past a much more conservative Senate is another question.

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The 2020 Election Campaign

A robust economy in late 2020 might mean at least one major issue is not in play. Historically, good economic times are a big plus for the party in the White House, and that might be the case in this election cycle. Small businesses have done especially well during the past few years, with many micro-companies offering consumers a way to make money on the side.

But some economists say that there are already signs of trouble, pointing to sky-high stock prices, a fresh round of instability in international oil markets and major overseas job outsourcing by major manufacturers. General Motors, for example, now has about two-thirds of its entire workforce in Mexico and China, rather than in the U.S.

Some see these problems as signs that the currently strong economy is about to take a turn for the worse. If that happens before voters go to the polls in 2020, look for significant changes in local and national races. Democrats could retake the Senate, while gaining ground in the House. However, is the economy holds tough through late 2020, other issues will rise to the top of voters' minds as they head to the polls.

Justin Weinger

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