Update: Eric Swalwell dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary on July 8, 2019.
Who is Eric Swalwell?
Current job: US representative from California’s 15th congressional district.
Family: Swalwell and his wife Brittany Watts have been married since 2016. They have an almost 2-year-old son named Nelson, a six-month-old daughter Kathryn, nicknamed “Cricket,” and a dog named Penny.
Hometown: Sac City, Iowa
Political party: Democratic
Previous jobs: Member of the Dublin, California City Council, member of the Dublin Arts & Heritage and Planning Commissions, assistant district attorney.
Who is Eric Swalwell’s direct competition for the nomination?
Based on a recurring series of national surveys we conduct, we can figure out who the other candidates competing in Eric Swalwell‘s lane are, and who the broader opponents are within the party.
- Due to his low-recognition, Swalwell’s competition consists of the usual suspects, such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
- His fellow Californian Kamala Harris does disproportionately well among his supporters, indicating perhaps a lot of his interest is regionally-based.
INSIDER has been conducting a recurring poll through SurveyMonkey Audience on a national sample to find out how different candidate’s constituencies overlap. We ask people whether they are familiar with a candidate, whether they would be satisfied or unsatisfied with that candidate as the nominee, and sometimes we also ask whether they think that person would win or lose in a general election against President Donald Trump.
What are Eric Swalwell’s policy positions?
- Swalwell supports a “Medicare for All” system that wouldn’t eliminate private insurance altogether but would offer a public option that would guarantee government healthcare coverage to those who want it.
- “Americans need a healthcare guarantee: If you’re sick, you’ll be seen by a doctor, and if you’re seen, you’ll never go broke because of it,” Swalwell writes on his campaign website.
- Swalwell’s platform also includes more federal funding to research cures for diseases like ALS and cancer.
- On his House website, Swalwell writes that America’s immigration system is “fundamentally broken and needs comprehensive reform to be brought into the 21st century.”
- Swalwell has co-sponsored the DREAM Act of 2017, which would formalise legal protections for undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children who qualify for DACA.
- He’s also sponsored legislation that would block federal funds from going towards enforcing the Trump administration’s ban on immigrants from majority-Muslim nations, or towards building a wall on the Southern border.
On climate change:
- Swalwell has been vocal about the need to address climate change, transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy, and protect public lands, calling climate change“an urgent crisis threatening our environment, our public health and safety, and future economic well-being.”
- In Congress, Swalwell has cosponsored legislation to further regulate hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” fund clean energy research and development, ban offshore drilling in California, and protect parts of the Alaskan wilderness from drilling.
On campaign finance/election reform:
- Swalwell has co-sponsored HR 1, House Democrats’ sweeping government reform and anti-corruption package.
- He’s also co-sponsored multiple items of legislation to increase transparency in campaign finance, expand public funding of elections, bolster the Voting Rights Act, and require states to use independent commissions to draw congressional districts.
- Swalwell is a strong proponent of reproductive health access and a member of the House pro-choice caucus.
- He’s also co-sponsored legislation to repeal the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal healthcare programs like Medicaid and Title X to directly fund abortion procedures, and laws to increase access to affordable contraceptive coverage for military service members.
On LGBTQ rights:
- During his entire congressional career, Swalwell has been a strong voice for equal rights.
- He’s co-sponsored the Equality Act, which would extend federal civil rights protections to members of the LGBTQ community, as well as legislation to ensure equal rights for LGBT service members and veterans.
- The first in his family to attend college, increasing access to high-quality education for students of all ages is one of the key tenants of Swalwell’s campaign platform.
- Swalwell has been open about the impact of his own student loan debt on his life. He wants to enact interest-free federal student loans, programs that would allow employers to help pay off their employees’ loans, and introducing loan-free public college for students who do work-study and/or go into public service.
- Swalwell is running as the 2020’s field’s gun control candidate, with his campaign mainly centered around reducing gun violence in America.
- Swalwell supports universal background checks, banning sales of assault weapons, and institute a federal buyback program to actively remove such weapons from their current owners.
On criminal justice reform:
- Swalwell, a former prosecutor, has supported legislation in Congress that would prevent the Department of Justice from interfering in commercial marijuana businesses in states that have legalised the drug.
- In 2015, Rep. Swalwell voted against giving the president fast-track trade authority, which shifted the power to make international trade deal and conduct overseas commerce away from Congress to the executive.
On foreign policy:
- Swalwell sits on the House Intelligence Committee, which is involved in national security investigations and oversight.
- As the ranking member and now the chair of the Committee’s subcommittee on the CIA, and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, Swalwell has been heavily involved in those committees’ probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
- His House website emphasises his support for the US helping bolster human rights around the world, fighting terrorism, and a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
- Swalwell recently told CNBC he supports tax incentives to encourage investment in low-income communities.
- “I’m ok with reducing corporate taxes if you see profit sharing and equity sharing,” Swalwell told Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman in a February interview. “Especially for small businesses, reducing the corporate tax if it’s tied to employees sharing in the benefit,” he added.
On jobs and the economy:
- Swalwell has co-sponsored legislation allowing new small businesses in economically underdeveloped areas to put off paying payroll taxes for their first year of operation.
- He’s also cosponsored legislation to raise the federal minimum wage to $US15/hour.
- Swalwell recently told CNBC he also supports bolstering federal workforce training and development, expanding job opportunities in technology, and increasing economic mobility for low and middle-class Americans.
- Swalwell’s district, located in San Francisco’s East Bay, is right next door to Silicon Valley. Swalwell also serves on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee
- Swalwell has co-sponsored legislation to expand STEM education and workforce training.
- He’s also introduced legislation to advance technological innovation and new testing in the medical field.
What are Eric Swalwell’s political successes?
- Swalwell was first elected to Congress at the age of 31 after winning an upset primary contest against a 40-year Democratic incumbent who had been redistricted into his area.
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi put him in charge of the Future Forum, a bipartisan group of young and millennial lawmakers seeking solutions to common problems.
- Swalwell has made himself a national voice on the issue of gun control, and has travelled the country and conducted town halls with student activists from the March for our Lives.
How much money has Eric Swalwell raised?
Since Swalwell only entered the race on April 8, he hasn’t disclosed any fundraising numbers yet. His campaign will be required to file their first official quarterly fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission on July 15.
How is Eric Swalwell viewed by voters compared to the competition?
INSIDER has conducted a number of other polls to check in on how these candidates are perceived in comparison to one another. When we asked respondents to one poll to rank how far to the left or to the right they considered the candidates, Swalwell was generally considered to be one of the most centrist candidates in the field, but that may be the result of low sample size.Swalwell is in the middle of the pack when we asked respondents to rank the candidates based on how prepared they are for the rigors of the presidency given what they knew about their history of public service and experience with government. And when asked how likable or personable respondents perceived the candidates to be, Swalwell emerged in the top half of the group.
Could Eric Swalwell beat President Trump?
Swalwell is a more recent addition to our surveys and at this time has a low sample size to draw conclusions with, but generally he is seen as more likely to lose to President Trump than other candidates in the race.
Read more of our stories on Eric Swalwell:
- Long-shot Democratic presidential candidate Eric Swalwell’s campaign will test whether gun violence can mobilize voters in 2020.
- California Congressman Eric Swalwell is running for president in 2020 on the issue of reducing gun violence.
- The Trump campaign is trying to force hostile pundits off the air in revenge for their Mueller report commentary.
- California moved up its presidential primary and it could be the biggest factor in 2020 and beyond.
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