The Democratic caucuses for the 2020 election don't officially kick off until February 3 of next year, but even a year out, the race is already in full swing. Over the past few weeks, a number of politicians have officially announced their candidacies. Here's who's thrown their proverbial hat in the ring:
Before we get to the slate of Democrats running, 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.
Trump faces 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."
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.
"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."
Pete Buttigieg, a Navy veteran and the current 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?- Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) January 23, 2019
Join the team at https://t.co/Xlqn10brgH. pic.twitter.com/K6aeOeVrO7
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."
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.- Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) February 11, 2019
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
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.
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."
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"
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
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."
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 writes 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."
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."
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.
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
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."
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:
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
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."
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
After months of speculation, O'Rourke, the former representative for Texas's 16th district announced his plans to run for president.
"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 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
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
Senator Bernie Sanders
Senator Bernie Sanders, who finished second in the Democratic primary in 2016, has announced he's running for president again. He shared the news in an exclusive interview with CBS on February 19. 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.- CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) February 19, 2019
"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
Out of the running
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.
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