WHO WILL RUN FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?
Though the New Hampshire presidential primary is more a year away, the list of potential 2020 presidential candidates continues to grow. Our analysts are watching who's visiting the Granite State, hiring political consultants, and forming PACs. Here's a summary of possible Democratic 2020 presidential candidates hoping for a shot at challenging President Donald Trump:
Senators and Representatives
Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey)
Booker, a first-term Senator, is widely regarded as a rising star in the Democratic Party. He gained even more attention by sponsoring a bill to decriminalize marijuana nationwide.
“We in America, we forget the power that we have to make change. We didn't get civil rights legislation because Strom Thurmond sat there and said, 'OK, yeah, I'm going to do that, I'm going to give equal rights to folks.' No, it was Americans demanding it, fighting for it, getting up every single day.”
- Late Night with Seth Meyers
Rep. John Delaney (D-Maryland)
Delaney became the first elected official to declare he is running for president, in 2017. The third-term Congressman and wealthy businessman is hoping an early declaration will help him with name recognition. In a Washington Post editorial he wrote:
“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. This is why I am running for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States.”
- Washington Post
Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona)
Sen. Jeff Flake is a frequent critic of President Trump, and announced in October 2017 that he will not seek re-election. Now he has scheduled trips to New Hampshire, fueling speculation that he is gearing up for a Republican challenge to Trump.
"We must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal.”
- Floor speech in October 2017
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York)
Gillibrand occupies Hillary Clinton's former Senate seat, and she campaigned for Hillary in 2016. However, she also gained a lot of attention last November for saying Bill Clinton should have resigned during the Monica Lewinsky investigation, so not everyone in the Democratic Party is a Gillibrand fan right now. When asked if she was thinking about 2020, she said:
"I’m entirely focused on 2018. Some of the worst ideas Trump has can be better blocked if we have a majority in the House or Senate or both.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California)
California is considering moving up its presidential primary, which would give first-term Senator Harris an early bump in the race. She’s been meeting with big Democratic donors and campaigning for colleagues in battleground states. When asked about a presidential run in June 2018, Harris said:
“I don't know. I'm not ruling it out.”
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)
In 2016 the Democrats lost most of the Midwest to Trump – is a Senator from Minnesota the answer to winning it back? Klobuchar has fueled presidential speculation by visiting Iowa and talking about winning over rural voters.
“We make sure it isn’t just famous people who are heard. We protect the shift worker at the factory, the teacher at the school, the nurse at the hospital, all women deserve to be safe wherever they work and wherever they are.”
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon)
First elected in 2008, Merkley is known as one of the most liberal members of the U.S. Senate. He was also the only U.S. Senator to endorse Bernie Sanders for president. At a town hall in January Merkley answered a question about a run for president in 2020:
“I haven’t ruled out the possibility.”
- The Banks Post
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)
Ryan gained a national spotlight after he challenged Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House. Although he lost that contest, he’s used the attention to book speaking gigs around the country – including New Hampshire.
“Shaping the national debate is on my radar, and using the bullhorn that I have and that got bigger after I ran against leader Pelosi. The country needs a voice from a place like Youngstown, and our party needs to figure out how to get working-class voters back.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts)
President Trump has already suggested he may face off against Warren in 2020. Although the first-term Senator fiercely battled Trump on Twitter during the 2016 election, so far Warren has focused on working progressive issues in the U.S. Senate, not running for president. In September 2018 she said:
“After November 6, I will take a hard look at running for president.”
- The Hill
Governors, Mayors, and other Elected Officials
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D)
Bullock has made multiple trips to Iowa and New Hampshire since winning election in 2016 - a notable feat as a Democratic in a state that chose Donald Trump as its presidential nominee. He is also chairman of the National Governors Association. In August 2018 he said:
“Right now, really, what I’m doing is, I have been listening. I have been traveling the country quite a bit, listening probably more than I have been talking. I have shared what we have done in Montana. But, for now, that’s as far as it goes.”
- Washington Post
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro (D)
Castro gained national attention after his 2012 speech at the Democratic National Convention. He was also on Hillary Clinton’s shortlist for vice president. He has said he will make a decision about a presidential campaign by the end of 2018.
“Whoever becomes the Democratic nominee has to stand for the future. They have to stand for everything that Trump is not.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D)
Garcetti visited New Hampshire in August 2017 to campaign for Manchester mayoral candidate Joyce Craig. Many believe Garcetti wanted the chance to introduce himself to New Hampshire voters. No mayor has ever won a presidential race, but Garcetti doesn’t think that is a problem.
“I think it’s important to show people who happen to be Democrats, but people who, run things like, for me, the biggest port in America, the biggest airport, the utility that’s the largest in the country – people want folks that are very practical-minded.”
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D)
Inslee may be a long shot, but in a crowded field he might make a name for himself as a progresive leader - particularly on climate change policy.
“I’m not ruling out a run. I think our country needs a Democratic Party to produce a nominee who’s going to really be committed to climate change and defeating climate change and creating a clean energy economic message and clean energy jobs.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D)
Insiders have reported that former Obama administration officials are urging Patrick to run in 2020, and he has helped campaign for many Democratic candidates in 2018.
“I think it’s all hands on deck right now and there’s lots and lots of different ways to serve. Looking ahead to 2020, there’s a lot of great people in that field and I’m watching that too, watching to see who’s in and how I can be helpful.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden (D)
Biden declined to run in 2016, due in part to the death of his son in 2015. He’s made no secret that he thinks he could have beat Clinton and Trump.
“I regret it every day, but it was the right decision for my family and for me, and I plan on staying deeply involved.”
Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio)
Kasich came in second in the 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary, and there were rumors he would challenge Trump at the Republican National Convention. Many believe that the Republican moderate will mount an independent challenge to Trump in 2020.
“You know, I will tell you this: The other day, with all the chaos going on, my wife said to me one morning, she said, ‘You know, John, I wish you were president.’ That’s how I knew the country was in trouble.”
- NBC Meet the Press
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D)
O’Malley is another failed 2016 candidate considering a rerun. O’Malley has visited the Granite State several times since the last presidential election.
“When I’m asked whether I’ll run again, I say ‘I just might. I very well might.’”
- Concord Monitor
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont)
Even though Sanders lost the presidential primary in 2016, he has stayed in the spotlight fighting against Trump’s policies and proposing universal health insurance. Sanders says it’s too early to decide about 2020, but he’s not ruling out another run.
“Our job right now is to not only fight against this disastrous health care proposal. It is to take on all of Trump’s reactionary proposals. He is a representative of the billionaire class. He's at war against the working class.”
- USA Today
Howard Schultz (D)
Schultz resigned as CEO of Starbucks after Trump's win, sparking a flurry of speculation he was preparing to run for president. Schultz says he’s not running, but he’s also a vocal critic of Trump.
“The worst thing that we all, whether we be businesspeople or private citizens — we should not be embracing indifference right now. We have to be engaged, we’ve got to speak out, we’ve got to be involved, we gotta stand up for the things that we know are true. And I think the country, in many ways, is in need of a moral, a cultural and an economic transformation.”
- Washington Post
Tom Steyer (D)
Steyer is a former hedge-fund manager and major donor for Democratic candidates. He recently called on all Democrats to support the impeachment of Donald Trump. When asked if he was considering a run, Steyer said:
“I will do whatever I think is the most impactful thing that I can do to push what I believe in terms of values and vision.”
- The Atlantic
Michael Avenatti (D)
The attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels is openly exploring a run for president, and published a policy platform in August 2018.
“I think that if the Democratic Party focuses on nominating who will make the best president, that’s going to be a critical mistake. There’s only one question at the end of the day, and that question is: Can the potential nominee beat Donald Trump?”
Mark Cuban (R)
The businessman and “Shark Tank” TV personality says he is “actively considering” a run for President. He has criticized Donald Trump for everything from his management style to his decision not to disclose his tax returns.
“Based off what's happening in the White House, based off what's happening in the country and the world, we need better leadership. And I think I could do a better job.”
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (I)
After rumors about Johnson's interest in running for president, a group of citizens formed a PAC named "Run the Rock 2020." While the PAC has no relationship with the actor, Johnson says a campaign isn't out of the question - but probably not in 2020.
“There’s a lot of ground to cover, and due to my schedule, it’s not possible in 2020. I have so much respect for the position. It’s something that I seriously considered. What I need is time to go out and learn.”
- Vanity Fair
Oprah Winfrey (D)
The media mogul fueled speculation when she re-tweeted an article titled, “Democrats’ best hope for 2020: Oprah.” However, Oprah denies she is seriously considering a run. In August 2018 she said:
“In that political structure – all the non-truths, the bull****, the crap, the nastiness, the backhanded backroom stuff that goes on – I feel like I could not exist,. I would not be able to do it. It's not a clean business. It would kill me.”
- British Vogue