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Democratic debate: What do presidential candidates plan for healthcare, guns, immigration and climate?

Democratic debate candidates in Los Angeles.
Clockwise from top left; Former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; entrepreneur Andrew Yang; former hedge-fund manager Tom Steyer; Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.
(Associated Press; AFP/Getty Images; Getty Images)
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The Democrats vying to take on President Trump agree on many prescriptions for the country’s problems, including undoing many of Trump’s policies. But on a wide range of issues, their ideas diverge in ways large and small.

Medicare for all” has been a flash point for the party’s competing factions, bringing heated exchanges on debate stages and accusations of naivete and foot-dragging. Beyond that issue, the candidates have also differed to one degree or another on immigration, environmental policy, gun control and how to solve persistent homelessness.

The more progressive candidates, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, call for sweeping structural changes and say bold approaches will help mobilize young people and minority voters who will propel a Democrat to victory.

More moderate candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, say more incremental approaches will best move the country toward progressive goals and avoid alienating voters Democrats will need in the general election.

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Entrepreneur Andrew Yang says his “freedom dividend” of $1,000 a month to every adult American would go far toward solving many issues. Billionaire Tom Steyer, who’s long put his money toward environmental activism, is positioning himself as a progressive outsider who believes “the system is broken.”

Those seven candidates are scheduled to take the stage in Los Angeles on Thursday for the December Democratic primary debate. Follow the links to find out where they stand on five issues important to Californians.


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The Times Staff