Pete Buttigieg. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg's high college debt — $130,000, between him and his husband, Chasten — has helped make student loans a major 2020 issue, AP's Michelle Smith writes.

The big picture: Several candidates have made major proposals to address the crisis, including wiping away debt, lowering interest rates, expanding programs that tie repayment terms to income, and making college free or debt-free.

The data: Student loan debt is often discussed in terms of millennials, but it cuts across age groups: 7.8 million people age 50 and older owe a combined $291.9 billion in student loans, federal statistics show.

Go deeper: Where all the 2020 candidates stand on debt-free college

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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

8 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been highly influential in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.