After a long-fought primary ending with Bernie Sanders's exit from the race on April 8, Joe Biden is the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, and will go head-to-head against Donald Trump in November. Now that we've reached the conclusion of this process, take a look at the candidates, and at everyone who was once in the running:
The Presumptive Republican Nominee:
It's necessary to acknowledge the incumbent. Trump essentially started his 2020 reelection campaign the day he took office. According to the Washington Post, "On the same day that Donald Trump assumed his new office, he also qualified as an official candidate in the 2020 White House race, according to a letter he submitted to the Federal Election Commission." Since then, he's been regularly fundraising and speaking at campaign rallies, shoring up his base.
The Presumptive Democratic Nominee:
After much speculation, the former vice president officially announced his candidacy on April 25 with a video shared on social media.
"Everything that has made America America is at stake," he says in the clip. "That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States."
The core values of this nation… our standing in the world… our very democracy...everything that has made America -- America --is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States. #Joe2020 https://t.co/jzaQbyTEz3
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 25, 2019
After a long primary, he became the presumptive nominee when Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race on April 8, leaving Biden as the last man standing.
Out of the running
Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Bernie Sanders, who finished second in the Democratic primary in 2016, announced he was running for president again on February 19. He shared the news in an exclusive interview with CBS, and during his conversation with journalist John Dickerson, Sanders was asked about what was different this time around.
"We're gonna win," he said.
"We are gonna also launch what I think is unprecedented in modern American history and that is a grassroots movement, John. To lay the groundwork for transforming the economic and political life of this country."
#BREAKING: Senator @BernieSanders tells @CBSNews in an exclusive interview that he will run for president.
"We're gonna win. We are gonna also launch what I think is unprecedented in modern American history and that is a grassroots movement." https://t.co/b9l17Noxqa pic.twitter.com/cFO0lJdQTL
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) February 19, 2019
Sanders officially exited his campaign on April 8, leaving Joe Biden as the presumptive nominee.
After months of speculation, O'Rourke, the former representative for Texas's 16th district announced his plans to run for president in March of 2019.
"I am running to serve you as the next president," he said in a tweet accompanying his announcement. "The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us."
I am running to serve you as the next president. The challenges we face are the greatest in living memory. No one person can meet them on their own. Only this country can do that, and only if we build a movement that includes all of us. Say you're in: https://t.co/EKLdkVET2u pic.twitter.com/lainXyvG2n
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 14, 2019
In early November, he dropped out of the race, posting a thank you message to his supporters on Medium.
Though it is difficult to accept, it is clear to me now that this campaign does not have the means to move forward successfully," he wrote. "My service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee."
Ojeda, a retired Army Major, who most recently served as a state senator in West Virginia, officially shared his plans to run for the presidency in November of last year."We got a long ways to go, this is going to be a long fight, but we’re going to do this together," he said in his campaign announcement. "I’m Richard Ojeda, and I’m running for the president of the United States of America."
But on January 25, he dropped out of the race with a statement on his Facebook page.
"The indications were very positive from an overwhelming response to our videos, to thousands of volunteers, and a level of grassroots fundraising support that grew every day," he wrote. "However, the last thing I want to do is accept money from people who are struggling for a campaign that does not have the ability to compete. So today I am announcing that I am suspending this campaign."
In early April, Eric Swalwell, a congressman from northern California officially announced his plans to run for president on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. "I see a country in quicksand, unable to solve problems and threats from abroad, unable to make life better for people here at home," Swalwell said.
"I’m ready to solve these problems. I’m running for president of the United States."
In early July, he shared that he was officially dropping out of the race.
In early March, John Hickenlooper, the former governor of Colorado, announced on Good Morning America that he is running for President. "I believe that not only can I beat Donald Trump, but that I am the person that can bring people together on the other side and actually get stuff done," he said.
We need a leader who can bring people together and get stuff done. As a successful entrepreneur, Mayor, and Governor, I’ve proven that I can build and lead amazing teams of talented people- a key ingredient to effecting real progressive change. I hope you'll join me. https://t.co/BJqc1ubHn3
— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) March 4, 2019
But in August, he shared that he is dropping out of the race.
"This morning, I’m announcing that I’m no longer running for President. While this campaign didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for, every moment has been worthwhile & I’m thankful to everyone who supported this campaign and our entire team," he said in a tweet.
This morning, I’m announcing that I’m no longer running for President. While this campaign didn’t have the outcome we were hoping for, every moment has been worthwhile & I’m thankful to everyone who supported this campaign and our entire team.https://t.co/1ijSjkbzzd
— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) August 15, 2019
Governor Jay Inslee
On March 1, Jay Inslee launched his campaign on a platform centered around climate change. "This is our moment, our climate, our mission — together, we can defeat climate change. That's why I'm running for president," he said in a tweet.
VIDEO: This is our moment, our climate, our mission — together, we can defeat climate change. That's why I'm running for president. Join #OurClimateMoment today https://t.co/zg8ILGyk0Z pic.twitter.com/pUZVxyzfc5
— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) March 1, 2019
He announced that he was dropping out of the race on Rachel Maddow's show on August 21. In a followup thread on Twitter, he wrote:
"I know you agree that our mission to defeat climate change must continue to be central to our national discussion -- and must be the top priority for our next president. But I’ve concluded that my role in that effort will not be as a candidate to be our next president." Read his full thread here.
The congressman from Massachusetts announced his plans to run in late April, confirming his campaign on Good Morning America. In that interview, he said he's running "because I'm a patriot, because I believe in this country."
Rep. @sethmoulton tells @GStephanopoulos he is running for president "because I'm a patriot, because I believe in this country." See the interview coming up this morning on @GMA. https://t.co/WZ4Hv0pAM7 pic.twitter.com/uQNaC2XJRJ
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 22, 2019
And he got out of the race in late August.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
The New York senator made her plans to run for president known on January 15 during an appearance on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
"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.
— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) January 15, 2019
She exited the race in late August after not qualifying for the third round of debates. She has said she will endorse a candidate, and that she will get behind the eventual nominee. “I will support whoever the nominee is, and I will do whatever it takes to beat Trump,” she said.
Bill de Blasio
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio officially entered the 2020 race in May of 2017, announcing his candidacy in a YouTube video. Watch his full announcement here:
Ohio congressman Tim Ryan entered the 2020 race on Thursday, April 4, announcing his candidacy for president on The View.
"I’m a progressive who knows how to talk to working-class people," he said during the show. "At the end of the day, the progressive agenda is what’s best for working families."
— Tim Ryan (@TimRyan) April 4, 2019
He dropped out in mid-October with a statement.
"While it didn’t work out quite the way we planned, this voice will not be stifled. I will continue to advocate and fight for the working people of this country — white, black, brown, men, women," Ryan said. "There’s people who get up every day, take a shower after work sometimes, that are working really hard. And we’re going to continue to fight for making sure that those workers are treated fairly, and that they have access to good health care, that they have a solid pension to retire on."
The current mayor of Miramar, Florida officially got into the race in late March. “The promise of America belongs to all of us," he said in a video shared on social media. "That's why I'm going to be running for president. To be your champion."
The American Dream my parents sought when they came from Jamaica with just a 5th grade education is fleeting. Together, we can put the American Dream back within reach for all #ChangeCantWait pic.twitter.com/oHwrBsx5uH
— Wayne Messam (@WayneMessam) March 28, 2019
But in November, he ended his campaign. “I jumped in an already crowded field of capable candidates to change the direction of this nation caused by the dysfunction of Washington and the poor leadership of the current presidency,” he said in a post on Medium. “I knew the odds were a steep hill to climb but I have always fought for what is right and will continue to break barriers never broken.”
Governor Steve Bullock
Bullock announced his candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on May 14, and ran as a moderate candidate, hoping to appeal to swing voters. But by December, he had dropped out of the race.
“While there were many obstacles we could not have anticipated when entering this race,” Mr. Bullock said in a statement, “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.”
The former congressman from Pennsylvania announced he was running for President in June with a video on his campaign website.
"Our country desperately needs a president with a depth of global experience and an understanding of all the elements of our nation’s power, from our economy and our diplomacy to the power of our ideals and our military, including its limitation,” he said. “So that, when faced with the decision on whether to use our military, our commander in chief will know how it will end before deciding if it is wise to begin.”
But by December, his campaign was over.
"I want to thank you for the honor of running for President of the United States of America," Sestak wrote in a tweet.
"It has been an endeavor filled with immeasurable wisdom, passions, humor and insights to, and from, the people of America," he said.
Mark Sanford, the former congressman from South Carolina, joined the race for the Republican nomination in September.
“I am here to tell you now that I am going to get in,” he said in an interview on Fox. “I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican.” But he ended his campaign in November.
Senator Kamala Harris
The senator from California announced her candidacy on Martin Luther King Day this year, with an appearance on Good Morning America.
"I’m running for president of the United States and I’m very excited about it," she said. "I’m honored to be able to make my announcement on the day that we commemorate Dr. King."
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 21, 2019
She informed her staff that she was dropping out of the race on December 3.
The former mayor of San Antonio, who served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama, announced his presidential run in San Antonio on January 12. "I'm running for president because it's time for new leadership, it's time for new energy and it’s time for a new commitment to make sure that the opportunities that I had are available to every American," he said.
He ended his campaign on January 2. “I’ve determined that it simply isn’t our time,” he said, making the announcement. “Today it’s with a heavy heart, and profound gratitude, that I will suspend my campaign for president.”
Author and activist Marianne Williamson announced her candidacy for president on January 29.
"My campaign for the presidency is dedicated to this search for higher wisdom," she wrote on her campaign website. "Its purpose is to create a new political possibility in America — where citizens awaken, our hearts and minds are uplifted, and our democracy once more becomes a thing about which we can all feel proud."
She dropped out of the race on January 10.
With caucuses and primaries now about to begin, however, we will not be able to garner enough votes in the election to elevate our conversation any more than it is now,” she said in a statement. Per the New York Times, she also noted that she did not want to “get in the way of a progressive candidate winning.”
Senator Cory Booker
On February 1, the first day of Black History Month, Cory Booker announced his plan to run for president with a video on Twitter.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) February 1, 2019
"I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind," he says in the clip. "Together America, we will rise. I'm Cory Booker and I'm running for president of the United States of America."
He exited the campaign on January 13. “I got in this race to win, and I’ve always said I wouldn’t continue if there was no longer a path to victory,” he said in a statement to supporters.
“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.”
At one point, Trump was being challenged by former Congressman Joe Walsh, who is now a conservative talk show host. "Friends, I'm in. We can't take four more years of Donald Trump. And that's why I'm running for President," Walsh wrote on Twitter in August. "It won't be easy, but bravery is never easy. But together, we can do it."
Friends, I'm in. We can't take four more years of Donald Trump. And that's why I'm running for President.
It won't be easy, but bravery is never easy. But together, we can do it. Join me... join us: go to https://t.co/d40HA9h2Kz.
Let's show the world we're ready to be brave.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) August 25, 2019
He dropped out of the race in February.
“I am ending my candidacy for president of the United States,” Walsh said in an interview with CNN. “I got into this because I thought it was really important that there was a Republican — a Republican — out there every day calling out this president for how unfit he is.”
Former Maryland representative John Delaney's campaign strategy centers around getting into the race early. He officially announced his plans to run on July 28, 2017, with a piece in the Washington Post.
"The American people are far greater than the sum of our political parties. It is time for us to rise above our broken politics and renew the spirit that enabled us to achieve the seemingly impossible," he wrote. "This is why I am running for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States."
He dropped out of the race just a few days before the Iowa caucus, ending what the New York Times says was "one of the longest presidential campaigns in American history."
A post shared by Andrew Yang (@andrewyang2020) on Jan 12, 2019 at 9:50am PST
Yang, an entrepreneur running on the platform centered around instituting a Universal Basic Income in the US, announced his candidacy early last year.
"We are experiencing the greatest technological and economic shift in human history. We need a way to help millions of Americans transition through this period, and a universal basic income is the best and most efficient way to do that," he says in his first campaign video. "I believe I have the right vision, priorities, and values to improve the lives of millions of Americans."
He dropped out of the race on the day of the New Hampshire primary. “I am a numbers guy,” Yang said in an interview with the Washington Post. “In most of these [upcoming] states, I’m not going to be at a threshold where I get delegates, which makes sticking around not necessarily helpful or productive in terms of furthering the goals of this campaign.”
Colorado Democrat Michael Bennet entered the Democratic fray on May 2, 2019. He is currently serving as the state's senior senator. "On my first day as president, I will prioritize getting money out of politics and bringing the American people back in," Bennet has said.
He ended his bid for the White House on February 11.
"I love our country. I love the idea of democracy. And I want to pass it on to the next generation. I feel nothing but joy tonight as we conclude this campaign and this chapter," he wrote on Twitter. "Tonight wasn’t our night. But New Hampshire, you may see me once again."
Patrick was a latecomer to the race, throwing his name in the ring back in November of 2019, but his run was a short one. He dropped out in February of 2020. "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.
On July 9, Tom Steyer announced his plans to run by posting a video on Twitter.
It’s true. I’m running for president. pic.twitter.com/u8x2lZah7Z
— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) July 9, 2019
The clip came with several accompanying Tweets, one of which read, "When we come together, we can never be defeated. We can fix our democracy, and make sure it works for ALL Americans. We can elect new leaders at the local, state, and federal level. We can take back the Senate. But we can only do it together."
But he ended his presidential race after the South Carolina primary. "Honestly, I can't see a path where I can win the presidency," he said.
Pete Buttigieg, a Navy veteran and the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced the launch of a presidential exploratory committee on January 23 by posting a video on Twitter.
I launched a presidential exploratory committee because it is a season for boldness and it is time to focus on the future. Are you ready to walk away from the politics of the past?
Join the team at https://t.co/Xlqn10brgH. pic.twitter.com/K6aeOeVrO7
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 23, 2019
When asked about his qualifications to run for President, Buttigieg said, "I have more government experience than Trump, more executive experience than VP Pence, and more military experience than the two put together."
He is announced the end of his campaign on March 1. Per NBC's Katy Tur, an aide said "they didn’t see a clear path to the nomination."
Senator Amy Klobuchar
Minnesota's Senator Amy Klobuchar officially announced her candidacy in a snowstorm on February 10.
"I stand before you as the granddaughter of an iron ore miner, the daughter of a teacher and a newspaperman, the first woman elected to the United States Senate from the State of Minnesota, to announce my candidacy for President of the United States," she later tweeted. Watch a clip from her announcement here:
Watch this excerpt from Amy's epic speech.
The cold didn't stop us. The snow didn't stop us. This is how we win.
And follow this link to watch the whole speech: https://t.co/xBdHBJzXjo pic.twitter.com/558WCu2OL5
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) February 11, 2019
She is announced the suspension of her campaign in Dallas as she endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden.
A late entrant into the race, Michael Bloomberg officially announced his candidacy on November 24.
"I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America," he wrote on Twitter. "I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government, and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead."
Following an unimpressive showing on Super Tuesday, Bloomberg dropped out of the race and endorsed Joe Biden.
Senator Elizabeth Warren
On December 31, 2018, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren became the first major Democratic candidate to announce that she was forming an exploratory committee. "Every person in America should be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules, & take care of themselves & the people they love," she wrote on Twitter in a post accompanied by a video. "That’s what I’m fighting for, & that’s why I’m launching an exploratory committee for president."
Every person in America should be able to work hard, play by the same set of rules, & take care of themselves & the people they love. That’s what I’m fighting for, & that’s why I’m launching an exploratory committee for president. I need you with me: https://t.co/BNl2I1m8OX pic.twitter.com/uXXtp94EvY
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) December 31, 2018
She is ended her campaign today, following disappointing results on Super Tuesday. It's unclear, at this point, if she plans to endorse another candidate.
Trump faced opposition from his own party in the form of former Massachusetts Governor William F. Weld. He officially announced he was challenging Trump for the GOP nomination in mid-April. "It is time for patriotic men and women across our great nation to stand and plant a flag. It is time to return to the principles of Lincoln -- equality, dignity, and opportunity for all," he has said of his campaign. "There is no greater cause on earth than to preserve what truly makes America great. I am ready to lead that fight."
He got out of the race in mid-March.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard
Tulsi Gabbard, a House Democrat from Hawaii, announced her plan to run on January 11, "I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week," she told CNN in a clip that premiered on January 11.
That day, she also tweeted a link to her campaign website along with the message, "When we stand together, united by our love for each other and for our country, there is no challenge we cannot overcome. Will you join me? #TULSI2020"
She suspended her campaign in mid-March with a video statement and an endorsement of Joe Biden. Watch it below:
— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 19, 2020
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