2020 Presidential Candidates

List of Potential Contenders to Run Against Donald Trump

Trump oath
President Donald Trump takes the oath of office as his wife Melania holds the bible. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Call it the endless campaign, but 2020 presidential candidates are already beginning to woo voters, tap donors and build coalitions in what has become a nonstop race for the White House in modern politics. Their work began within weeks of Donald Trump taking the oath of office as the nation's 45th president. 

Here's an early look at the Democrats, and even members of Trump's own Republican Party, who are looking to unseat the controversial commander-in-chief.

Current Estimated Democratic Candidates Delegate Count

Facing a significant disadvantage in convention delegates after losses to Former Vice President Joe Biden in the Florida, Illinois, and Arizona primaries on March 17, Senator Bernie Sanders stated that he was reassessing the future of his campaign. 

Candidates need 1,991 delegates to secure their nomination on the first ballot at the Democratic National Convention.

Candidate Delegates
Joe Biden
(Secured first ballot nomination)
1,995
Bernie Sanders
(Withdrawn)
1,042
Others 142

Republican Donald Trump (Declared)

Donald Trump
Donald Trump financed part of his 2016 presidential campaign on his own. Scott Olson/Getty Images News

Donald Trump, the 45th and incumbent president of the United States, filed to run for re-election on January 20, 2017, the same day he took office. As in 2016, Trump’s 2020 campaign platform he calls “America First,” has focused on the economy, jobs, immigration, and foreign policy.

Along with being acquitted of impeachment charges on February 4, 2020, Trump’s first term has been highlighted by the confirmation of two conservative Supreme Court justices, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, the United States’ withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, and passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Despite being the first impeached president to run for a second term, and being opposed by fellow Republicans Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, and former U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, Trump remains virtually assured of winning his party’s nomination in August. 

The controversies Trump has endured, particularly the independent investigation into whether his campaign colluded with the Russians to influence the election, appeared to take their toll, the president's allies suggested.

Republican John Kasich

Ohio Gov. John Kasich
Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a former member of Congress, is a Republican who ran for president in 2016. Scott Olson/Getty Images News

Ohio Gov. John Kasich continues to be a thorn in Trump's side and is among the most prominent members of the president's own party to routinely criticize his behavior and his policies. 

There are plenty of other reasons to believe Kasich is planning to run in 2020. He's written and published a book, like many presidents have done before him. He's not allowed to run for another term as governor in 2018, so he'll be looking for another job. He never made peace with Trump and wrote in Sen. John McCain's name for president in 2016.

Also: his campaign committee is still alive and well. 

Even if Trump decides to run for a second term, it is entirely possible the president will face a challenge from within his own party, and Kasich has positioned himself as a sort of anti-Trump who appeals to mainstream members of the GOP and has lots of governing cred.

Republican Mark Sanford (Declared)

Color photograph of former U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford
Former U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford. Mary Ann Chastain / Getty Images

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford of South Carolina said that Republicans have "lost our way,” in announcing on September 9, that he would will launch a primary bid challenging President Trump. Sanford served in Congress from 1995 to 2001, and again from 2013 to 2019. He was also South Carolina's governor from 2003 to 2011.

Interviewed on “Fox News Sunday,” Sanford explained, “I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican.” He criticized President Trump's leadership style, suggesting the GOP should focus more on spending and the debt, warning the country is headed toward "the most significant financial storm" since the Great Depression."

“I think we need to have a conversation on humility and one's approach to politics," Sanford said. "At the end of the day, a tweet is interesting, maybe newsworthy, but it's not leadership. And we’re not gonna solve some of the profound problems that we have as Americans by tweet.”

Republican Mike Pence

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is picture here speaking in 2015.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump chose Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to be his running mate in the 2016 election. Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images Stringer

Yes, you read the right. Trump's right-hand man, his running-mate in 2016, his loyal defender in the White House, Mike Pence. The sitting vice president was reportedly "cultivating some of the party’s most prominent donors, courting conservative interest groups" and carefully enhancing his profiles as part of a "shadow campaign for 2020," The New York Times reported in the summer of 2017.

Pence was said to be preparing a campaign in the event Trump declined to run again, or was not able to run again.

Democrat Joe Biden (Declared)

Vice President Joe Biden
Vice President Joe Biden is sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in January 2013. Mark Wilson/Getty Images News

Two-term vice president under Barack Obama, former U.S. Senator Joe Biden announced his long-anticipated candidacy in a video released on April 25, 2019. “We are in a battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden states in the video, adding, “The core values of this nation … our standing in the world … our very democracy . . . everything that has made America—America—is at stake.”

Long a vocal critic of President Trump, Biden has supported legislation to address climate change, opposed Trump’s immigration policies, and supported LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage and the rights of transgender persons to serve in the military. Ideologically, Biden is viewed as a centrist whose policies reflect an emphasis on bipartisanship. 

Republican Tom Cotton

Tom Cotton
Republican U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is said to be weighing a run for president in 2020. Alex Wong/Getty Images News

Tom Cotton is a U.S. senator from Arkansas who made headlines early in 2017 when he traveled to Iowa, home to the famed Iowa Caucuses, to attend a fundraiser for a local Republican committee. In a speech to more than 100 Republicans gathered there, Cotton said: “I’m ready for that new beginning." Many political observers believe Cotton was implying he was planning to campaign for president in 2020, but he denied it to reporters, saying he was merely looking forward to his Senate re-election campaign that year.

Republican Ben Sasse

Ben Sasse
Republican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse is said to be considering a run for president in 2020. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Ben Sasse is a U.S. senator from Nebraska and one of the strongest Republican critics of Trump. Sasse, once described as an "arrogant academic," has been asked repeatedly whether he is planning a direct challenge to Trump, and he has not explicitly denied it. Sasse, too, has written a book, The Vanishing American Adult.

Republican Bill Weld (Declared)

Portrait of Bill Weld
Portrait of Bill Weld. Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Former Republican Governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld broke into presidential politics when he ran as the Libertarian Party’s nominee for vice president in the 2016 election, sharing the ticket with Gary Johnson. The pair won 4.5 million popular votes, the best showing ever for a Libertarian ticket. Once again a Republican, Weld announced that he had formed a 2020 presidential exploratory committee on February 15, 2019. Weld has been critical of President Donald Trump’s economic policy and personality, accused him of working harder on dividing the people than on reducing the federal deficit or reducing unemployment.

Democrat Jay Inslee (Declared)

Official portrait of Washington state governor Jay Inslee.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee. Public Domain

In announcing his candidacy on March 1, 2019, Washington State’s Democratic Governor, Jay Inslee stressed what he called the “existential threat” of climate change to the safety and security of the United States. As governor, Inslee emphasized climate change, education, and drug policy reform, and gained national attention for his criticism of President Trump. In 2017, he filed a lawsuit that succeeded in temporarily blocking implementation of Trump’s terrorism-related executive order banning Syrian refugees from entering the United States. 

Democrat Eric Swalwell (Withdrawn)

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell
U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell.

 United States Congress / Public Domain

California Representative Eric Swalwell withdrew from the 2020 presidential race on July 8, 2019, to focus on his bid to be re-elected to the House of Representatives. “Polling and fundraising numbers weren’t what we had hoped for and I no longer see a path forward to the nomination,” Swalwell said on his campaign website, adding, “Today ends our presidential campaign, but it is the beginning of an opportunity in Congress.” 

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California joins the ever-growing field of Democratic hopefuls as one of President Trump’s most outspoken critics in Congress. Serving in Congress since 2012, Swalwell has advocated for increasing school funding, while cutting defense spending. He has stated that as president would protect Social Security by requiring wealthier Americans would pay more into the program. Staunchly pro-choice on abortion, he also supports same-sex marriage. A vocal advocate of strict gun control, Swalwell has called for a mandatory buyback program of “military-style semi-automatic assault weapons,” with the prosecution of gun owners who fail to comply. 

Democrat Bill de Blasio (Withdrawn)

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio withdrew from the race on September 20, 2019, after weak polling numbers prevented him from qualifying for the third Democratic debate. Nationwide polls conducted the week before the debate showed de Blasio garnering support from just 1% of the respondents. “I feel like I’ve contributed all I can to this primary election,” he said. “And it’s clearly not my time. So I’m going to end my presidential campaign.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his candidacy on May 16, 2019, via a video featuring his campaign slogan “Working People First.” Mayor de Blasio goes on to take aim at President Trump stating, “Donald Trump must be stopped. I've beaten him before and I will do it again.” Hoping to defy poor early polling numbers and limited campaign funding, believes his platform’s foundation of ending financial inequality will resonate with working-class voters. “I’m Bill de Blasio and I’m running for president because it’s time we put working people first,” he stated.

Democrat Tim Ryan (Withdrawn)

Portrait of Rep. Tim Ryan
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio). Wikimedia Commons

Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio dropped out of the presidential race on October 24, 2019. After barely qualifying for the first two Democratic debates in June and July, Ryan fell far short of reaching the higher polling and funding levels needed to take part in the debates to come. “I'm proud of this campaign because I believe we’ve done that. We’ve given voice to the forgotten communities and the forgotten people in the United States,” Ryan told his supporters. 

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, first elected to Congress in 2003, announced his presidential bid on April 4, 2019. Appearing on ABC's “The View,” Ryan described himself as a progressive “who knows how to talk to working-class people.” Believing he can win in Ohio and other key states with many working-class voters, Ryan said, “That means Donald Trump is going back to Mar-a-Lago full time.” A critic of President Trump’s immigration police and supporter of preserving Obamacare, Ryan stated, “The country is divided,” adding. “We can't get anything done because of these huge divisions that we have.” 

Democrat Seth Moulton (Withdrawn)

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass.
Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass. Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts withdrew from the race on August 23, 2019, acknowledging that his campaign had failed to gain traction. I a statement, Moulton warned his fellow Democrats that pressing for an overly liberal platform could prevent the party from defeating President Trump. “I think it’s evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren, and Sanders, and really it’s a debate about how far left the party should go,” Moulton said.

When he entered the race on April 22, Massachusetts’ Democratic Sen. Seth Moulton told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that “I’m running because I’m a patriot, because I believe in this country and because I’ve never wanted to sit on the sidelines when it comes to serving it.” Considered a moderate, Moulton has supported legalizing marijuana, same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and stronger gun control. An Iraq War veteran himself, Moulton has encouraged other veterans to run for Congress. Most recently, he released his “National Service Education” plan to encourage young Americans to serve their country and has promised, if elected, create a job-rich “Federal Green Corps.”

Democrat John Hickenlooper (Withdrawn)

John Hickenlooper during the World Economic Forum 2013
John Hickenlooper During the World Economic Forum 2013. Wikimedia Commons

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper ended his run for the 2020 presidential nomination on August 15, 2019, after failing to achieve polling and contribution levels needed to qualify for the September Democratic debate in Houston. “People want to know what comes next for me. I've heard from so many in Colorado who want me to run to the United States Senate," Hickenlooper said in a video. “I intend to give that some serious thought,” he added. 

Colorado’s two-term governor John Hickenlooper joined the sprawling field of Democratic hopefuls on March 4, 2019. As governor, the 66-year-old former brewpub owner and Denver mayor persuaded several Republican mayors to support a tax hike to fund a rail network around Denver, limited methane emissions from energy exploration, backed and signed gun control laws, and expanded the state’s Medicaid program. Since 2003, Hickenlooper has campaigned for increasing state services to the homeless. In 2006, he opposed a ballot initiative which decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use in Denver.

Democrat Beto O'Rourke (Withdrawn)

Beto O'Rourke
Beto O'Rourke speaks onstage at Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations. Jamie McCarthy / Getty Images

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke dropped out of the 2020 presidential race on November 1, 2019, citing a lack of funding and failure to gain traction in polling. “This is a campaign that has prided itself on seeing things clearly, on speaking honestly and on acting decisively,” O’Rourke told his supporters. “We have to clearly see at this point that we do not have the means to pursue this campaign successfully.” On March 2, 2020, O'Rourke endorsed Former Vice President Joe Biden.

Beto O'Rourke served as a U.S. Representative from Texas from 2013 to 2019. He gained nationwide notoriety and significant support among Democrats when he almost unseated heavily-favored Republican incumbent Ted Cruz in the 2018 Texas Senate race. Saying he does not know exactly where he falls on the political spectrum, O'Rourke had been variously classified as a progressive, liberal, or centrist. In Congress, has sponsored bipartisan bills as well as broken with his party on issues like trade. He has been given an 88% rating by the American Civil Liberties Union, but only a 44% rating from the more conservative United States Chamber of Commerce.

Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand (Withdrawn)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) Announces She's a Candidate for President. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand dropped out of the race on August 28, 2019, after failing to qualify for the third Democratic primary debate, having failed to meet the donation and polling numbers required by the Democratic National Committee. Gillibrand told her supporters, “I am so proud of this team and all we've accomplished. But I think it's important to know how you can best serve. To our supporters: Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Now, let's go beat Donald Trump and win back the Senate.”

Widely known for her #MeToo social media advocacy for survivors of sexual violence, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced an exploratory committee for a run for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Announcing her candidacy on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Gillibrand stated her intention bring Democrats and Republicans together. “You have to start by restoring what’s been lost, restoring our leadership in the world,” she said. Gillibrand has state her belief that the future of the Democratic Party depends on harnessing the power of women. “I’m going to run for president of the United States because as a young mom I am going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own,’’ she said.

Democrat Steve Bullock (Withdrawn)

Montana Governor Steve Bullock
Montana Governor Steve Bullock.

Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

 

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock withdrew from the race on December 1, 2019, after failing to reach funding and popularity polling numbers required to take part in most of the Democratic party’s nationally televised debates. In a brief statement, Bullock told his supporters, “while there are many obstacles we could not have anticipated when entering this race, it has become clear that in this moment I won’t be able to break through to the top tier of this still-crowded field of candidates.”

Montana’s Democratic governor Steve Bullock declared his candidacy in a video released on May 14, 2019. In his video, Bullock suggests that as the only Democrat in the race to have won an election in a traditionally Republican state, he was particularly able to defeat President Trump in 2020. Bullock was elected to his second term as Montana’s governor on the same night in 2016 that Trump won the state in a landslide. Bullock embraces the core Democratic platform of protecting abortion rights, addressing climate change, stricter gun control laws, and LBGT rights. “We need to defeat Donald Trump in 2020 and defeat the corrupt system that lets campaign money drown out the people's voice, so we can finally make good on the promise of a fair shot for everyone,” Bullock said in his announcement. 

Democrat Kamala Harris (Withdrawn)

2020 Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris Launches Presidential Campaign. Mason Trinca / Getty Images

Senator Kamala Harris once considered a leading contender, shut down her 2020 presidential campaign on December 3, 2019. Low polling numbers and lack of money had limited her campaign in the months leading up to her withdrawal. "So, here's the truth today,” Harris said in an email to her supporters. “I've taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life.” 

U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, former Attorney General of California, would be the first African-American woman and the first Asian-American woman to win a major party presidential nomination. She joins Shirley Chisholm and Carol Moseley Braun as two African-American women who previously sought to run on the Democratic ticket. In announcing her candidacy, Harris noted her close relationship with party luminaries Sen. Dianne Feinstein and former Vice President Joe Biden. “I have the unique experience of having been a leader in local government, state government, and federal government,” she said regarding her credentials. “The American public wants a fighter ... and I’m prepared to do that.”

Democrat Julian Castro (Withdrawn)

Julian Castro picture
San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro gives the keynote address on day one of the Democratic National Convention in August 2012. Joe Raedle/Getty Images News

Julián Castro withdrew from the race on January 2, 2020, citing his campaign’s failure to gain traction in the crowded Democratic field. “Today it’s with a heavy heart, and profound gratitude, that I will suspend my campaign for president,” Castro said in a video posted on Twitter. “To all who have been inspired by our campaign, especially our young people, keep reaching for your dreams.”

Julián Castro is a Hispanic politician and rising star in the Democratic Party. He served as the mayor of San Antonio, Texas, and later earned a position in President Barack Obama's cabinet. Castro has been described as the "Latino Obama" and is often described as having the potential to become the first Latino president. Castro has launched a political action committee, “Opportunity First,” fueling speculation that he is weighing a run in 2020. 

Democrat Marianne Williamson (Withdrawn)

Photograph of Marianne Williamson
Marianne Williamson. Wikimedia Commons

Self-help author and spiritual guru Marianne Williamson withdrew from the presidential race on January 10, 2020, citing a general lack of voter support. In a post on her website, Williamson stated that, “with caucuses and primaries now about to begin ... we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now. The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don’t want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them.”

As the well-known author of more than a dozen self-help and spirituality books, Marianne Williamson of California has campaigned for the rights of gay men with AIDS and created a charity that now supplies meals to people with serious illnesses. In 2014, then an Independent, Williamson ran unsuccessfully for the House of Representatives. As a presidential candidate, Williamson has proposed paying $100 billion in reparations for slavery, with $10 billion to be distributed annually over a decade for economic and education projects. On her campaign website, she states: “We need a moral and spiritual awakening in the country … Nothing short of that is adequate to fundamentally change the patterns of our political dysfunction.”

Democrat Cory Booker (Withdrawn)

Cory Booker
Democratic U.S. Sen. Cory Booker is said to be on the short list of potential challengers to Donald Trump in 2020. Drew Angered/Getty Images

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker announced his withdrawal from the race on January 13, 2020, blaming a lack of campaign funding. “Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win—money we don't have, and money that is harder to raise because I won't be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington,” Booker said in an email to his supporters. Booker stated that he would concentrate running for reelection to the Senate.

Cory Booker, a U.S. senator from New Jersey, is a former mayor of Newark, New Jersey, who many believe began laying the groundwork for a 2020 candidacy when he testidied against a colleague in the U.S. Senate, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, who was nominated for attorney general by Trump in 2017. Booker's speech in opposition to his colleague was likened to former President Barack Obama's soaring rhetoric.

Said Booker:


“If confirmed, Senator Sessions will be required to pursue justice for women, but his record indicates that he won’t. He will be expected to defend the equal rights of gay and lesbian and transgender Americans, but his record indicates that he won’t. He will be expected to defend voting rights, but his record indicates that he won’t. He will be expected to defend the rights of immigrants and affirm their human dignity, but the record indicates that he won’t.”

Democrat John Delaney (Withdrawn)

John K. Delaney, U.S. Representative from Maryland
John K. Delaney, U.S. Representative from Maryland. United States Congress / Public Domain

Former U.S. Representative John Delaney withdrew his candidacy on January 31, 2020, just two days before the Iowa Democratic caucus. “At this moment in time, this is not the purpose God has for me,” Delaney said in a CNN interview. “We’ve clearly shaped the debate in a very positive way.” Despite having been in the race since July 2017, Delaney had failed to gain any ground on frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. In his farewell announcement, Delaney pledged to “campaign incredibly hard” for whoever won the Democratic nomination.

A U.S. Representative from Maryland, John K. Delaney calls himself a “solutions-oriented moderate” who received the top score of 100 from the Human Rights Campaign for his support of equality-related legislation. “No one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love,” he stated of the rating. Delaney has stated that if elected, he would support an increase the corporate tax rate from 21% to 23% “to raise about $200 billion for infrastructure.”

Republican Joe Walsh (Withdrawn)

Photograph of former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Illinois)
Former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Illinois). Wikimedia Commons

Former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh ended his Republican primary challenge to President Trump on February 7, 2020. Facing long odds against an incumbent president, as well as campaign funding shortages, Walsh said in a tweet, “I’m suspending my campaign, but our fight against the Cult of Trump is just getting started. I’m committed to doing everything I can to defeat Trump and his enablers this November.”

Once one of Trump’s strongest supporters, Walsh came to describe him as ““nuts," “cruel” and “incompetent,” and apologized for having helped “create” Trump in the first place.

Former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Illinois) announced on August 25 that he would challenge President Trump and if what he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos is any indication, it will be a fiery confrontation. “He (Trump) lies every time he opens his mouth,” Walsh said. “I'm running because he’s unfit, somebody needs to step up, and there needs to be an alternative.”

Now a conservative radio host, Walsh was elected to the House in 2010 and served one term. Then a part of the ultra-right Tea Party wave, Walsh admitted he had been a strong supporter of President Trump. "I regret that. And I’m sorry for that,” he said. “The country is sick of this guy's tantrum. He's a child. Again, the litany. He lies every time he opens his mouth.”

In a tweet announcing his campaign, Walsh said the U.S. “can't take four more years of Donald Trump,” adding, “"It won't be easy, but bravery is never easy."

Democrat Andrew Yang (Withdrawn)

Portrait of Andrew Yang
Portrait of Andrew Yang. Wikimedia Commons

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang suspended his campaign on February 11, 2020, after a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary. “While there is great work left to be done, you know I am the math guy. And it is clear tonight from these numbers that we are not going to win this race,” Yang told his supporters gathered in the Puritan Conference Center in Manchester.

Yang had centered his campaign on a proposal to give a $1,000 monthly payment to every adult as a safety net against financial hardship and to stimulate the economy. Stating that he would support the eventual Democratic nominee, Yang declined to immediately support any of the remaining candidates. 

An entrepreneur known for his nonprofit Venture for America, Andrew Yang’s platform includes giving all adult U.S. citizens $1,000 month in a universal basic income he calls a “Freedom Dividend.” His campaign website states, “Every U.S. citizen over the age of 18 would receive $1,000 a month, regardless of income or employment status, free and clear.” He also proposes regulating the addictive nature of media, adding a White House Psychologist, and making Tax Day a national holiday. His campaign slogan is “Humanity First.”

Democrat Michael Bennet (Withdrawn)

Photo of US Senator Michael Bennet
US Senator Michael Bennet. United States Senate / Public Domain

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet folded his presidential campaign tent on February 11, 2020, after finishing dead-last in the New Hampshire primary. “We weren’t able to get much in the way of name identification in the state,” Bennet said in a post-primary statement. “We didn’t have the resources to compete. I’m frustrated because I think we did have something to contribute in terms of the agenda.” Running on what called a “Real Deal” centrist platform, Bennet had proposed free college and a “Medicare for All” healthcare plan. 

Colorado’s Democratic U.S. Senator Michael Bennet would join Governor John Hickenlooper as the second Colorado Democrat in the 2020 race for president. Bennet gained national exposure for his stinging rebuke of Texas’ Democratic Sen. Ted Cruz on the Senate floor during the record-setting government shutdown driven by President Trump’s border wall funding demand. While he opposes Bernie Sanders’ “Medicare for All” plan, Bennet has proposed “Medicare X,” which would “create a public option modeled after Medicare alongside private options on the ObamaCare marketplaces.” A cosponsor of the Dream Act of 2017, Bennet is a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform.

Democrat Deval Patrick (Withdrawn)

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick speaking from a podium
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick attends the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal Ceremony. Paul Marotta / Contributor / Getty Images

Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, a late entry in the Democratic presidential nomination race ended his run on February 12, 2020, the day after finishing a distant ninth in the New Hampshire primary. “The vote in New Hampshire last night was not enough for us to create the practical wind at the campaign's back to go on to the next round of voting. So I have decided to suspend the campaign, effective immediately,” he said in a statement. Admitting his candidacy had been a “Hail Mary from two stadiums over,” Deval had contended that his experience as one only two African American men ever elected a state’s governor made him a leader who could unify opposing factions in both the Democratic Party and the Nation.

Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts announced his candidacy on November 14, 2019. A late-comer to the race, Patrick was the first black governor of Massachusetts, and was one of President Barack Obama’s biggest supporters and political advisers.

"I've had the chance to live my American dream," he said in announcement video Thursday morning. "But over the years, I've seen the path to that dream closing off bit by bit. The anxiety and even anger that I saw in my neighbors on the South Side, the sense that the government and the economy were letting us down, were no longer about us, is what folks feel all over America today in all kinds of communities."

Of the 2020 election, Patrick stated, “This time is about more than removing an unpopular and divisive leader—as important as that is—but about delivering instead for you,” he said, while recognizing the difficulty of that task. “We will build as we climb ... this won't be easy.”

Democrat Tom Steyer (Withdrawn)

Photo of Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer seated in a classroom
Democratic Presidential Candidate Tom Steyer. Wikimedia Commons

Former hedge-fund executive and self-financed candidate Tom Steyer dropped out of the race on February 29, 2020, after finishing no better than third in the South Carolina primary. “We live in a country that is deeply unjust economically where rich people have been profiting at the expense of everybody else,” Steyer told supporters, “And I didn’t get in this race and start talking about things to get votes. I was in this race to talk about things that I cared the most about.” Despite a $191 million nationwide ad campaign, Steyer had failed to win any convention delegates. While he did not endorse any of the remaining Democratic hopefuls, Steyer stated that any of them would be “a million times better than Trump. Trump is a disaster.”

Best known for his self-financed nationwide campaign to impeach President Trump, billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer launched his presidential campaign on July 9, 2019. In his announcement video, Steyer echoed the message shared by Democratic candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, as well as President Trump, that too many Americans feel the government deck is stacked against them. “Really, what we're doing is trying to make democracy work by pushing power down to the people,” he said before listing corruption and family cronyism in politics, along with climate change as his main issues.

Democrat Pete Buttigieg (Withdrawn)

Portrait of Pete Buttigieg
Portrait of Pete Buttigieg. Wikimedia Commons

Former Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg ended his campaign on March 1, 2020, moments after Joe Biden easily won the South Carolina primary. “The truth is the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy if not for our cause,” Buttigieg told his supporters. “We must recognize that at this point in the race, the best way to keep faith with those goals and ideals is to step aside and help bring our party and country together.” On March 2, the 38-year old, and first openly gay presidential candidate endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden. “And that was always a goal that was much bigger than me becoming president and it is in the name of that very same goal that I am delighted to endorse and support Joe Biden for President,” he said.

Describing himself as “a millennial Mayor, Afghanistan war veteran, and husband,” Pete Buttigieg is also the first openly gay, and at just 37, the youngest candidate to ever run for president. Serving as the 32nd mayor of South Bend, Indiana since 2012, the Washington Post has called him “the most interesting Mayor you’ve never heard of” and President Obama named him one of four Democrats who best represented the future of the Democratic Party.

Democrat Amy Klobuchar (Withdrawn)

US Senator Amy Klobuchar
Sen. Klobuchar addresses Pro-Equality Members of 116th Congress. Getty Images Entertainment

Senator Amy Klobuchar ended her campaign on Monday, March 2, 2020, while endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden for president. “It is up to us, all of us, to put our country back together, to heal this country and then to build something even greater,” Klobuchar told the crowd at a Biden rally in Dallas, Texas. “I believe we can do this together, and that is why today I am ending my campaign and endorsing Joe Biden for president.” Suggesting that Biden could unify the nation and the Democratic Party. "He (Biden) can bring our country together and build that coalition of our fired-up Democratic base, and it is fired up, as well as Independents and moderate Republicans, because we do not in our party want to just eek by a victory. We want to win big. And Joe Biden can do that.”

First elected in 2006, Amy Klobuchar is the Senior U.S. Senator and first female Senator from Minnesota. Considered a “rising star” of the Democratic Party, her political positions have generally been along liberal lines. She supports LGBT rights and the full restoration of Obamacare, and is strongly pro-choice on abortion. Due to her staunch support of Roe v. Wade, Klobuchar opposed President Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Democrat Michael Bloomberg (Withdrawn)

Photograph of Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg attends the 2019 Hudson River Park Gala at Cipriani South Street. Jim Spellman / Contributor / Getty Images

After spending an estimated $558 million of his own money on TV ads, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg ended his candidacy on March 3, 2020. “I’m a believer in using data to inform decisions. After yesterday’s results, the delegate math has become virtually impossible—and a viable path to the nomination no longer exists," Bloomberg said in press statement. “But I remain clear-eyed about my overriding objective: victory in November. Not for me, but for our country.” Bloomberg asked his followers to support Former Vice President Joe Biden, who had just scored major victories in the Super Tuesday primaries. “I’ve always believed that defeating Donald Trump starts with uniting behind the candidate with the best shot to do it,” Bloomberg said. “After yesterday’s vote, it is clear that candidate is my friend and a great American, Joe Biden.”

Former New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg announced his candidacy on November 24, 2019. "I offer myself as a doer and a problem solver – not a talker. And as someone who is ready to take on the tough fights – and win," Bloomberg says in a statement on his website. "Defeating Trump – and rebuilding America – is the most urgent and important fight of our lives. And I’m going all in.”

With a net worth estimated at $58 billion, Bloomberg promised to make one of his top presidential priorities, “Raising taxes on wealthy individuals like me.” Other main planks of his platform include creating jobs, universal health care, curbing gun violence, and fighting climate change. "We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions," he stated.

Bloomberg had been a lifelong Democrat until 2001, when he was elected mayor as a Republican. He won a second term in 2005, and left the Republican Party in 2007. In 2017, he endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, and changed his political party affiliation back to the Democrats in October 2018.

Democrat Elizabeth Warren (Withdrawn)

Elizabeth Warren
Democratic U.S. Sen Elizabeth Warren is considered to be a strong choice for the presidential nomination in 2020. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Onetime front-runner U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren withdrew from the race on March 5, 2020, after failing to win a single state in the Super Tuesday primaries, including her own state of Massachusetts. “I refuse to let disappointment blind me—or you—to what we've accomplished,” Warren told her campaign staff. “We didn't reach our goal, but what we have done together—what you have done—has made a lasting difference. It's not the scale of the difference we wanted to make, but it matters.” Warren, who had exited progressives with her “plan for everything” economic platform, declined to immediately endorse any if her former rivals. “I need some space and I need a little time right now,” she said, her voice cracking often from emotion. 

Elizabeth Warren is a U.S. senator from Massachusetts who was rumored to have been on Hillary Clinton's short list of potential running mates in the 2016 election. She has earned a reputation as a consumer advocate and advocate for the middle class because of her expertise in bankruptcy and the economic pressures facing many Americans. She, like Sanders, has taken a tough stance against Wall Street. Sen. Warren officially announced her candidacy on February 9, 2019, after a contentious week of dodging flack over her disputed claim of Native American ancestry.

Democrat Tulsi Gabbard (Withdrawn)

US Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Tulsi Gabbard speaks at Bernie Sanders 'A future to believe in San Francisco. Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii ended her presidential campaign on March 19, 2020, after weak finishes in the Super Tuesday and following primaries left her ineligible to participate in the most recent series of Democratic National Committee sponsored debates. Gabbard told her supporters that voters had chosen Joe Biden as president and would support him going forward. “After Tuesday’s primary results, it is clear that Democratic Primary voters have chosen Vice President Joe Biden to be the person who will take on President Trump in the general election," she stated. “Although I may not agree with the Vice President on every issue, I know that he has a good heart and is motivated by his love for our country and the American people.” 

Tulsi Gabbard, a U.S. Representative from Hawaii, strongly opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and led protests against it arguing that it would largely benefit multinational corporations at the expense of American workers while actively contributing to threats to the environment, such as global warming. Gabbard supports universal health care, making community college tuition-free for all Americans, and increasing the hourly federal minimum wage to $15 nationwide. 

Democrat Bernie Sanders (Withdrawn)

Sen. Bernie Sanders
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Phil Roeder/Flickr.com

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, seen as the standard-bearer of American liberalism, withdrew from the campaign on April 8, 2020, after a string of primary losses crippled his chances. In a live-streamed speech, Sanders acknowledged that “the path toward victory is virtually impossible,” adding that because of his campaign, the progressive movement has taken “a major step forward in the never-ending struggle for economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice.” Sanders stated that he would endorse the presumptive Democratic nominee, Senator Joseph Biden, who he called “a very decent man, who I will work with to move our progressive ideas forward. However, Sanders said that he planned to stay on the ballot, hoping to collect delegates for the nominating convention, “where we will be able to exert significant influence over the party platform.”

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has a strong following, particularly among younger, more liberal members of the Democratic Party. He gave Hillary Clinton a run for her money during the intraparty battle for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination by drawing large crowds with his passionate speeches about income inequality in the corrupting influence of money in the American political system.

Updated by Robert Longley