The Ultimate Guide to the Democrats Running for President in 2020


By Jenna Sundel, Senior Editor

As President Donald Trump’s controversial first term continues, many Democrats are gearing up for a takeover in 2020. The 2020 election is getting closer and the list of potential Democratic candidates continues to grow. President Donald Trump will be running for reelection, and currently 13 Democrats are fighting to be the main Democrat running against him. In addition, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg have launched an exploratory committee, which often leads to a campaign. Furthermore, even more candidates are expected to announce their campaign as the election gets nearer.

The first to announce his campaign in July 2017 was John Delaney, a former Maryland congressman. His early start gave him plenty of opportunities to visit swing states and listen to issues voters care about.

The next candidate to join, Representative Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii, did not enter the race until January 11, 2019. So far, she is emphasized criminal justice reform, climate change, and health care as some of her main issues. However, she was criticized for past anti-LGBTQ+ work and comments, which she has apologized for.

A day later, on January 12, Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor and secretary of housing and urban development under President Barack Obama, launched his campaign. One of his primary focuses is immigration, and he showed his disapproval for President Trump’s proposed border wall.

The next candidate to enter the race was California Senator Kamala Harris on January 21. Her main focuses are healthcare, climate change, and legalization of marijuana.

Former mayor of Newark and current New Jersey Senator Cory Booker announced his candidacy on February 1. This was not a surprise, as many had suspected that Booker was a presidential hopeful. He is hoping that his more centrist-leaning views and a focus on unity in a very divided nation will help him to secure the nomination.

A perfect example of an exploratory committee leading to a campaign can be seen with Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. She launched her exploratory committee on December 31, but did not make it an official campaign until February 9. Despite big turnouts at campaign events, she has been repeatedly attacked by President Trump for claiming she has Native American heritage. A DNA test revealed she is mostly European and only has one ancestor from 6 to 10 generations ago who is Native American.

One of the most memorable campaign announcements was Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who entered the race during an outdoor speech in the middle of a snowstorm on February 10. Some believe she will be a good match for President Trump since she has a reputation for being tough on Capitol Hill staff.

A familiar face joined the race on February 19, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who fought for and lost the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton back in 2016. So far, Sanders is one of the most popular candidates. One obstacle facing Sanders is his Democratic socialist views, which some traditional Democrats oppose. Sanders is also trying to focus on revealing more about his difficult childhood in order to connect to Americans and to contrast President Trump’s upbringing.

The next candidate to enter the race was a bit of a surprise, since many are not familiar with Governor Jay Inslee of Washington. He launched his campaign on March 1 with a focus on climate change as a primary issue. Inslee’s major setback, despite an incredibly long resume, is a lack of name recognition.

Another announcement came on March 4 from former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper. He hopes that his high approval rating from leading his state through natural disasters and a recession will lead to popularity in this crowded field of Democrats.

The most recent announcement was from former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke. Even though he was not able to secure a win in his campaign against Ted Cruz for senator of Texas, he has higher hopes for his presidential campaign. One of his strengths is that he is incredibly popular among young voters, which other candidates struggle with.  

“Beto is going to reunite the white majority in this country and the Democratic Party. This is the time to unite as nation and end all of the divisiveness, and I believe Beto can do that,” said senior Shivi Chauhan about her pick for the Democratic nomination.

This seemingly overwhelming list is will most likely continue to expand. Many suspect that big names, such as former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Vice President Joe Biden, will be announcing their campaigns a little closer to the primaries.