Student-friendly guide for the 2020 White House race

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Photo Credit: Steph Sonik | Daily Texan Staff

Bombarded by tweets about policy and selfies of candidates on the campaign trail, it can be difficult for students to keep up with this election cycle’s horde of candidates.

The Daily Texan has compiled some of the most accessible, concise and useful tools to help college students stay informed and get involved in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.

1. Podcasts

The emergence of new age podcasting with on-the-clock political reporting and expedited production gives listeners a flexible way to consume news throughout the election. Podcasts are particularly helpful for on-the-go students, enabling them to keep up with fast-paced debates and breaking news in between classes and homework. “NPR News Now” offers hour-by-hour updates of all current events, while other podcasts such as “The Daily” from The New York Times or “Pod Save America” produced by Crooked Media offer less frequent but more in-depth updates on political and current events alike.

Most podcasts are accessible through streaming services such as Spotify and Google, which offer student subscriptions at a discounted price.

2. Social Media

Twitter provides a direct line to view all candidates’ platforms and learn more about their personalities and policies. Students can utilize Twitter Lists to keep political news separate from their main feed. Twitter also provides an easy way to view multiple news sources. Each major outlet tweets out articles published that day and retweets other relevant political information.

Snapchat is gearing up a “Democratic Primary Debate Channel” that will cover the 2020 debates. The platform is preparing to be more involved in the news cycle, and candidates are preparing by launching their own Snapchat accounts. According to Axios, Snapchat wants to be the next hub for younger audiences to receive any and all political updates.

3. Websites

With so many candidates in the running, keeping their names and policies straight can be confusing and difficult. For a low-stress introduction to the 2020 presidential race, websites that organize this information in a user-friendly way, such as Vote.orgISideWith.com, Congress.gov and ProCon.org, can be helpful. These sites are free to use and designed to help sift through the many candidates with questionnaires, quizzes and reliable information.

With RockTheVote.org, students are able to engage with the election by registering to vote, contacting their elected officials and sharing their own stories. VoteSmart.org lays out extensive profiles of the politicians you may be voting for in the future. The site showcases their positions and where they stand on issues most important to college students. The same information on the website is also one phone call away.

4. Debates/streaming

In America, some of the most crucial times for a candidate are during the nationally televised debates. Not all college students have cable TV, but accessible livestreaming options such as YouTube, Hulu, and even the CNN and MSNBC apps are great options to watch the debate. Comprehensive post-debate analyses can be watched on CNN.com, the network’s mobile apps for iOS and Android and apps for Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Roku and Android TV.