Nearly two dozen 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have hit the road to workshop their vision, experiment with catchphrases and test policy ideas. On the other side, some Republicans have signaled a willingness to challenge President Trump in the Republican primary.
When do candidates usually announce?
In previous presidential election cycles, most major-party candidates announced their campaigns in the first half of the year before the election. If the 2020 cycle mirrors 2016, we can expect a flurry of announcements in the spring. The chart below does not include the intermediate step of creating an exploratory committee.
Source: Smart Politics
A traditional launching pad for the presidency, this class will have to overcome frustration with Washington.
“If we keep going down this road, we’re going to be the first generation of Americans to leave less opportunity, not more, to the next generation.”
A former Denver schools superintendent and current senator from Colorado, the champion of political moderation announced a run following a prostate cancer diagnosis and surgery.
“I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind.”
A former mayor of Newark, the senator from New Jersey speaks of love, human connection and economic renewal on the trail.
“I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own.”
A senator from New York who led the fight against sexual assault in the military and sexual harassment in government.
“The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values.”
A former prosecutor and longtime criminal justice reformer, the Californian won a Senate seat the same night Trump won the White House.
“Our nation must be governed not from chaos but from opportunity.”
After winning reelection in 2018 by 24 percentage points, the senator from Minnesota says she believes that many in the Midwest were not heard in the 2016 election.
“Our campaign is about transforming our country and creating a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice.”
A self-described Democratic socialist, the senator from Vermont won 43 percent of the popular vote in the 2016 Democratic primaries.
“If we organize together, if we fight together, if we persist together we can win. We can and we will.”
The former law professor’s work on bankruptcy regulation led her into politics, where she became a two-term senator from Massachusetts.
Each brings a perspective to the race forged in their own distinct parts of the country.
“It is time for us to rise above our broken politics and renew the spirit that enabled us to achieve the seemingly impossible.”
A former Maryland representative, he announced a presidential run in July 2017 and has stressed bipartisanship during several trips to Iowa.
“I ask you to join me, join me in putting this spirit ... of service above self at the forefront.”
One of the first female combat veterans to join Congress, the 37-year-old representative from Hawaii backed Bernie Sanders in 2016.
“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 us.”
A representative from Massachusetts and Marine Corps veteran, he dropped his opposition to Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House.
“This moment of peril produces perhaps the greatest moment of promise for this country and for everyone inside of it.”
A former House member from El Paso, he emerged as a Democratic star in 2018, raising huge sums of money during his unsuccessful Senate bid.
“We've got to find some common ground, so we can get to some higher ground.”
A U.S. representative from Ohio, he ran against Nancy Pelosi for Democratic leader in 2016. He has stressed the need for Democrats to win back working-class voters.
“Americans know that we have more in common than we do differences.”
A former House member and unsuccessful Senate candidate from Pennsylvania, the Navy veteran is running on “restoring U.S. global leadership.”
“Today ends our presidential campaign, but it is the beginning of an opportunity in Congress with a new perspective ...”
A vocal member of the House intelligence committee, he has said he wants gun control “front and center in our national policy debate.”
They bring a record of policy accomplishments and executive experience from their home states.
“I believe in an America where every child has a fair shot to do better than their parents.”
The moderate Democrat won reelection as governor in 2016 even as Trump won big in Montana. He has visited key presidential states and tacked left on gun control, signaling a play for more-liberal voters.
“Today, I’m ending my campaign for president. But I will never stop believing that America can only move forward when we work together.”
A two-term Colorado governor and former Denver mayor and pub owner, he pitched himself as nonpartisan and a business-friendly pragmatist.
“It’s become clear that I’m not going to be carrying the ball, I’m not going to be the president, so I’m withdrawing tonight from the race.”
An outgoing chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, the Washington governor made climate change a central part of his platform.
Only two mayors have ever made it to the Oval Office, but both served in other government roles before becoming president.
“It's not just about winning an election — it's about winning an era.”
A veteran of the U.S. Navy Reserve who served in the Afghanistan conflict, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., is also the only openly gay candidate in the field.
“I’m running for president because it’s time for new leadership. Because it’s time for new energy.”
A former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of Housing and Urban Development, he spent the early Trump years travelling the country to support a new generation of Democratic leaders.
“There’s plenty of money in this world. There’s plenty of money in this country. It’s just in the wrong hands.”
Bill de Blasio
The current mayor of New York City, he travelled to Iowa in 2017, where he declared, “We are at the beginning of a progressive era.”
“The promise of America belongs to all of us.”
A son of Jamaican immigrants and former Florida State University football player, he is the mayor of Miramar, Fla., a city of about 140,000.
“I never say never. But at this point in time, I don't think I'm going to do it.”
The former mayor of New Orleans, he published a book in 2018 about healing the United States' long history of racial strife.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, the paths to the presidency have broadened like never before.
“As an outsider, I’ve led grassroots efforts that have taken on big corporations and won results for people.”
A billionaire former hedge fund manager who financed a campaign to impeach President Trump. He announced in January that he would not run, but has now jumped into the contest.
“We have to fall in love again with what this country can mean.”
A spiritual author and entrepreneur who ran an unsuccessful independent campaign for the House in 2014, she announced a bid in late January.
“No one else is going to build a better world for us. We’re going to have to do it ourselves. Together.”
An entrepreneur who is advocating for a universal basic income for U.S. adults, he declared his run in February.
Several former public officials have remained a force in the party.
“[W]e are in the battle for the soul of this nation.”
The 76-year-old former vice president is one of the most well-known names in the field. He has said it is “totally legitimate” if voters think he is too old to take on Trump.
“Unfortunately, we've made the decision that we're going to end this presidential campaign.”
A brash former West Virginia state senator and retired Army paratrooper, he announced a presidential bid after an unsuccessful run for the U.S. House.
Some concerned Republicans have hinted they might challenge Trump in the primary. At least one person is looking at an independent bid.
“Our new slogan for 2020, you know what it is? Keep America Great.”
“The country deserves to have some fiscal constraint and conservatism.”
Former Mass. governor, 2016 libertarian VP nominee
“You could ... create a national conversation on what it means to be a Republican these days and that could probably be worth the endeavor.”
Former South Carolina governor and U.S. representative
“[Trump]’s a bully and he’s a coward. Somebody’s got to punch him in the face every single day.”
Former Illinois congressman and talk-radio host
“I still wouldn’t rule anything like that out. I have to use my skills, my public influence, where it serves the country best.”
Libertarian-leaning Mighigan congressman and former Republican
“We’ve got to remember what the Republican Party is.”
Former Tennessee senator
“I haven’t changed my mind and this is still the president’s party. That’s the case right now.”
Former Arizona senator
“I’m considering it.”
Former Ohio governor
“I am seriously thinking of running for president ... I will run as a centrist independent outside the two-party system.”
Former Starbucks chairman, considering an independent bid