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2020 Presidential Candidates: The Definitive List of Who’s Running for President (and Who’s Not)

The 2020 presidential race is on. Who are the top Democratic candidates, and who are the top Republican candidates? Who’s running against President Trump in the 2020 election, and who’s just angling for attention?

Here’s everything you need to know about potential Trump challengers, including who’s in, who’s out, and what moves they’ve made ahead of Election Day 2020.


Definitely Running


John K. Delaney (D)

Congressman representing Maryland’s 6th Congressional District.

In his own words:

  • “I think I’m the right person for the job, and I have the right vision, but not enough people know who I am. The way you solve that problem is by getting in early … I think I’m going to win.” (Politico, 4/22/2018)
  • “Now up to 48 [Iowa] counties visited. The march to 99!” (Twitter, 4/9/18)
  • Video: Delaney’s 2018 Super Bowl commercial, which aired locally in Iowa (Twitter, 02/04/18)
  • John Delaney: Why I’m running for president (Washington Post, 07/28/17)

From the grapevine:

  • What is John Delaney thinking? (Politico, 07/30/17)

The campaign:

  • Delaney made his 11th trip to New Hampshire in September. (WMUR, 9/12/2018)
  • In Iowa, 2020 hopeful John Delaney talks of uniting “fractured” country (The Hawkeye, 4/6/18)
  • Democratic presidential candidate Delaney talks to NH voters (WMUR, 3/5/18)
  • John Delaney has made at least 7 trips to Iowa and 5 trips to New Hampshire (The Hill, 2/19/18)
  • Campaign website (JohnKDelaney.com)

Richard Ojeda (D)

Retired U.S. Army major and former Democratic candidate for West Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District.

In his own words:

  • “I’m Richard Ojeda and I’m running for the president of the United States of America.” (CNN, 11/13/2018)

The machine:

  • Ojeda filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president. (CNN, 22/13/2018)

The campaign:


Definitely Maybe


Michael Avenatti (D)

American attorney and entrepreneur, notable for representing former porn star Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against President Donald Trump.

In his own words:

  • “If Donald Trump resigns and does not run, and if Mike Pence does not run and resigns … I will not run.” (Des Moines Register, 8/23/2018)
  • “I certainly think I’m more qualified than the existing commander in chief. I think I am more intelligent. I think I have a bigger heart. I think I have more courage. I think I would certainly command more respect,” adding he would “surround myself with the best people.” (NBC News, 8/14/2018)
  • “I think that if the Democratic Party focuses on nominating who will make the best president, that’s going to be a critical mistake … It’s going to come down to two individuals. It’s going to come down to mano a mano. And the problem is that the Democrats in the past have not had, in many instances, a fighter or someone who had a big enough personality to go up against whoever the Republican opponent was. And I think that was especially true as it relates to Donald Trump.” (NBC News, 8/14/2018)
  • Avenatti in Iowa: “I’m exploring a run for the presidency of the United States.” (Des Moines Register, 8/9/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • Avenatti launched his first political ad urging people to “Join the fight club” and vote on Nov. 6. (Politico, 11/1/2018)
  • Avenatti released a statement describing his issue positions. (Twitter, 8/14/2018)
  • Avenatti traveled to Iowa in August 2018 to meet potential caucus-goers and speak at Democratic fund-raisers. (NBC News, 8/14/2018)

The machine:

  • Michael Avenatti will launch Fight PAC to endorse and support Democratic candidates, as well as pay for his travel expenses. (BuzzFeed News, 8/24/2018)
  • Avenatti launched a 2020-themed website. (The Hill, 8/16/2018)

Stephen K. Bannon

Former chairman of Breitbart News and former White House chief strategist from January 2017 to August 2017.

From the grapevine:

  • Steve Bannon is not running for president in 2020, associates of Trump’s former chief strategist say (Newsweek, 12/21/2017)
  • Bannon reportedly called an adviser and said he would consider running for president if Trump doesn’t run for re-election in 2020. (The Hive, 12/21/17)

Joe Biden (D)

Former vice president of the United States and former senator from Delaware.

In his own words:

  • “I know that by January, I’ll have to make that decision,” Biden said. “If God Almighty himself came down today and said, ‘The nomination is yours,’ I’d say no. Where I’ll be in eight months, I don’t know.”(Vanderbilt News, 4/10/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • Friends and advisers say Biden is “convinced he can beat President Donald Trump” and will decide on a run in January. (Politico, 9/3/2018)
  • Joe Biden is the front-runner (Politico Magazine, 4/16/18)
  • Here’s how we know Joe Biden is serious about 2020 (Washington Post, 3/8/2018)
  • How happy should Joe Biden be about his lead in 2020 Democratic primary polls? (FiveThirtyEight, 2/23/18)
  • Biden, in public and private, tiptoes toward a 2020 presidential run (Chicago Tribune, 2/17/2017)
  • Why Joe Biden didn’t run … and why he’s not ruling out 2020 (Vanity Fair, December, 2017)

Testing the waters

  • Poll: Biden leads Trump by 7 points in early 2020 match-up (Politico, 8/1/2018)
  • Joe Biden visits N.H. as 2020 speculation mounts (Time, 4/30/2017)

The machine:

  • Team Biden mulls far-out options to take on Trump in 2020 (Politico, 3/9/2018)
  • Campaign to draft Joe Biden for 2020 says it’s not too early (Des Moines Register, 1/24/2018)
  • Biden launches PAC, keeping 2020 options open (Politico, 5/31/2017)

Michael Bloomberg (D)

Billionaire and former mayor of New York City.

In his own words:

  • “Thanksgiving, Christmas and then maybe a few weeks into January — that’s when you really gotta sit down, talk to your advisers and say, ‘Look, do I have a chance?’ I think I know why I would want to run. I think I know what I think this country should do and what I would do. But I just don’t know whether it’s possible.” (Associated Press, 11/13/2018)
  • “Today, I have re-registered as a Democrat … because we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs.” (Instagram, 10/10/2018)
  • “It’s impossible to conceive that I could run as a Republican — things like choice, so many of the issues, I’m just way away from where the Republican Party is today. … That’s not to say I’m with the Democratic Party on everything, but I don’t see how you could possibly run as a Republican. So if you ran, yeah, you’d have to run as a Democrat.” (New York Times, 9/17/2018) 

From the grapevine:

  • A source close to Bloomberg said Bloomberg told him he would run in 2020. “He has the money to see it through while other candidates knock themselves out.” (The Times of London, 9/13/2018)

The machine:

  • Bloomberg plans to spend $80 million to help Democrats take control of the House of Representatives in 2018. (New York Times, 6/20/2018)

Cory Booker (D)

U.S. senator from New Jersey and former mayor of Newark.

In his own words:

  • “Of course the presidency will be something I consider … it would be irresponsible not to.” (New York Magazine, 9/19/2018)
  • Booker: “I’m not going to play coy. I’m sure after the midterm elections, I’ll give it a look. But to me, my momentum, my energy, my focus is 2018 and making sure I get re-elected in 2020.” (CNN, 6/16/2018)
  • Q: Are you running? Booker: “Every morning I’m trying to get as much exercise as possible. I’m more biking.” (The Atlantic, April 2018)
  • Booker dodges 2020 question on “The View” (Uproxx, 3/19/18)

From the grapevine:

  • Cory Booker wows Democrats at an IWillVote fund-raiser billed as an early showcase of 2020 presidential hopefuls (NJ.com, 03/9/18)
  • 7 signs Cory Booker is getting ready to run for president (NJ.com, 1/19/18)

Testing the waters:

  • “After stumping in Alabama for Senator Doug Jones last year, Mr. Booker is said to be considering a fall swing through the Deep South, a conservative region where black voters have helped settle the last two Democratic nominations.” (New York Times, 7/15/2018)
  • Booker has been visiting general election battleground states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida. (Politico, 10/28/2017)

The machine:

  • The Democratic governor of New Jersey signed a law allowing Booker to run for Senate and president at the same time. (Politico, 11/1/2018)
  • Booker’s PAC, CoryPAC, has been operating since 2011 (Observer, 06/08/2011, OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/2018)

The endorsements:

  • Co-chair of Obama campaigns in N.H. says Booker has the “it factor” (Washington Times, 2/6/2018)

Sherrod Brown (D)

U.S. senator from Ohio and former representative from Ohio’s 13th District.

In his own words:

  • Brown says he’s heard “sort of a crescendo” of interest in him running for president. “We’re hearing it increase, so we’re thinking about it as a result … we’re not close to saying yes.” (The Columbus Dispatch, 11/13/2018)
  • “All of them are talking about running for president — I’m not” (The Columbus Dispatch, 5/16/18)

From the grapevine:

  • Brown’s wife, Connie Schultz, tweeted that the couple is “thinking about it.” (Twitter, 11/12/2018)
  • Top 15 Democratic presidential hopefuls for 2020, ranked (Washington Post, 03/24/2018)
  • The 2020 Democratic primary, as a March Madness bracket (CNN, 03/15/2018)
  • Sherrod Brown for president in 2020? It’s a long shot, but talk is picking up (Cleveland.com, 09/11/2017)
  • Brown-Harris 2020: A ticket to threaten Trump’s re-election (Observer, 03/01/17)

Testing the waters:

  • Sherrod Brown and other potential 2020 presidential contenders test their pitches at a big D.C. event (Crain’s Cleveland Business, 5/17/18)

The machine:

  • Sherrod Brown has had an operational leadership PAC, America Works, since the 1998 election cycle (OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/2018)

Steve Bullock (D)

Governor of Montana.

In his own words:

  • “I think I have an important voice in this [2020] conversation, both for the party and for the country … I’m the only Democrat that got re-elected in a statewide race where the President won.” (CNN, 7/21/2018)
  • “First of all I have a great job being the governor of Montana, but I’m like so many others, concerned about the direction of this country, and the direction of our Democratic party. So to get down and talk to folks to be here, I think it’s important to be part of that conversation, but 2020 is a long way off for sure.” (KTVQ, 4/6/18)

From the grapevine:

  • Steve Bullock for president? (The Montana Post, 2/7/2018)
  • Bullock included in New York Times profile of Democrats ”who can beat Trump in 2020.” (New York Times, 9/30/2017)

Testing the waters:

  • Bullock travels to Iowa as he explores possible 2020 run (Associated Press, 4/6/2018)
  • Possible 2020 POTUS candidate Steve Bullock visits Milwaukee (WTMJ, 3/7/2018)

The machine:


Pete Buttigieg (D)

Mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

In his own words:

  • “I’ve got a lot of decisions to make by the end of this calendar year. I’m focusing now on doing everything I can this fall to help build up state parties.” (Rolling Stone, 8/23/2018)
  • On people urging him to run for president: “I think it’s maybe a sign of the times. I think it’s telling you that things are kind of wide open in a way that hasn’t been true in a long time. I think it shows that there is an interest in the middle of the country. I think it shows that there’s at least curiosity, if not appetite, for what a newer generation of leaders is going to look like. And I think it reflects the fact that we’re really living in a season for cities and for mayors.” (Politico, 3/27/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • Buttigieg is one of five people “thinking hard about running against President Trump in 2020” (The Dallas Morning News, 4/4/18)
  • “The president of Nowhere, U.S.A.” (Politico, 2/16/2018)
  • “The first gay president?” (New York Times, 6/11/2016)

Testing the waters:

The machine:

  • A “Mayor Pete for America” group was launched by D.C. resident Mark Meier (South Bend Tribune, 3/16/2018)
  • Democratic mayor launches PAC aimed at “politics of the everyday” (BuzzFeed News, 6/22/2017)

Bob Casey (D)

U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.

In his own words:

  • “Obviously, when you have a huge, consequential year like 2020 coming up, there’s a lot to consider in terms of a range of candidates and possibilities. So I want to be open to all possibilities.” (Politico, 11/15/2018)

Julián Castro (D)

Former mayor of San Antonio and secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama.

In his own words:

  • “I’m likely to do it. I’ll make a final decision after November, but I’m inclined to do it.” (Rolling Stone, 10/16/2018)
  • “After November and before the end of the year I will make a decision about my own future, I’m going to think about it.” (The Hill, 5/15/2018)
  • “By the end of the year, I’ll make a decision about my own future and about running in 2020.” (New Hampshire Public Radio, 2/16/18)
  • “I have every interest in running” for president in 2020 (NBC, 2/5/18)

From the grapevine:

  • Castro is one of five people “thinking hard about running against Trump in 2020” (The Dallas Morning News, 4/4/18)

Testing the waters:

  • Castro to attend a fund-raiser in Georgia for Stacey Abrams and plans a May 12 trip to N.H. to deliver the commencement address at New England College (CNN, 04/15/18)
  • Democrat Julian Castro’s return to N.H. fuels more 2020 speculation (Concord Monitor, 04/11/18)
  • Castro headlines the New Hampshire Young Democrats 2018 Granite Slate Awards Dinner (WMUR-TV, 2/22/18)

The machine:

  • Castro gathered a group of potential donors in San Antonio to “sketch out a national bid.” (Politico, 11/13/2018)
  • Castro launched his Opportunity First PAC in 2017 (Politico, 8/10/17)

Hillary Clinton (D)

Former first lady, senator from New York, secretary of state, and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.

In her own words:

  • “No, I’m not going to run again.” (ABC News, 10/17/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • Former Clinton adviser Mark Penn and former Democratic Manhattan Borough President Andrew Stein co-wrote an op-ed explaining why Clinton will run again. (Wall Street Journal, 11/11/2018)
  • A former Clinton adviser says the chances she runs are “not zero.” (The Week, 10/19/2018)
  • How Hillary Clinton could win in 2020. (The Week, 10/15/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • Hillary and Bill Clinton embarked on a national speaking tour. (Facebook, 10/8/2018)

The machine:

  • Clinton launched a PAC aimed at funding “resistance” groups opposing President Trump. (CNN, 5/4/2017)

Mark Cuban (R/I)

Entrepreneur, owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and star of TV’s “Shark Tank.”

In his own words:

  • “My heart’s in the right place. And if there’s a better candidate, I’m more than happy to step aside; that’s not my dream. But if there’s a need for a fallback candidate, then I’ll have to do a lot of soul searching.” (Houston Public Media, 03/02/2018)
  • “Thinking [about it] quite a bit. Would I do it? Right now I say it is 10 percent.” (The Hill, 11/05/17)
  • Has said that if he runs for president it would “probably” be as a Republican. (Business Insider, 10/23/17)

From the grapevine:

  • Mark Cuban has little chance of becoming a third-party president (New York Magazine, 04/02/2018)
  • The bombshell allegations against Dallas Mavericks employees could stop the possible Mark Cuban presidential campaign before it even begins (Business Insider, 03/02/2018)
  • Poll: Mark Cuban would beat Trump in deep-red Texas in 2020 (The Hill, 12/28/2017)

Testing the waters:

  • Speaking at Axios political forum at Ohio State University, Cuban said that while he originally thought if he ran he would do so as a Republican, he might instead run as an independent. (WOSU Public Radio, 04/03/18)

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D)

Governor of New York, running for a third term in 2018.

In his own words:

  • Criticizing Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan and Trump’s policies, Cuomo said “We’re not going to make America great again; it was never that great.” (Conservative Review, 8/15/2018)
  • “We will make America America again.” (NBC 4, 2/21/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • New Yorkers say no to de Blasio, Cuomo, Gillibrand for 2020 (Fox News Insider, 2/14/18)
  • ‘Sex and the City’ actress threatens Cuomo’s 2020 ambitions (Politico, 3/7/2018)
  • Cuomo 2020? Four things to watch (Democrat & Chronicle, 11/21/2017)
  • Andrew Cuomo looks like he’s running for president (The New Republic, 2017)

Testing the waters:

  • Cuomo proposes free tuition at New York State colleges, adopting position made popular by Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign (The New York Times, 1/3/2017)

Bill de Blasio (D)

Mayor of New York City.

In his own words:

  • De Blasio called it a “fantasyland” to think Dems would try to make him their candidate for 2020 (NY Daily News, 11/9/17)

From the grapevine:

  • New Yorkers say no to de Blasio, Cuomo, Gillibrand for 2020 (Fox News Insider, 2/14/18)
  • De Blasio praises Bernie amid reports he’s mulling 2020 bid (Observer, 1/25/18)
  • De Blasio could emerge as the true progressive in a primary process that often rewards left-wing ideas (NBC News, 1/23/18)
  • Is NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio gearing up for a 2020 POTUS bid? (Townhall, 11/20/17)

Testing the waters

  • De Blasio embarks on five-day swing of southern states (New York Times, 3/9/18)
  • NYC police officers to protest de Blasio visit to Iowa (NTK Network, 12/19/17)
  • NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio is coming to Iowa (Des Moines Register, 11/20/17)

Bob Corker (R)

U.S. senator from Tennessee and former mayor of Chattanooga.

In his own words:

  • “I haven’t ruled it out.” (@nataliewsj, 11/13/2018)
  • “I have no idea whether the President will run for re-election nor what the field will be on the Republican side, so I think it’s way too early to weigh in on who won my support,” Corker told CNN’s “New Day” co-anchor Alisyn Camerota. (CNN, 4/19/18)
  • “You know, I don’t know what I’m doing next Sunday,” the senator responded when reporters asked about a potential presidential bid. Corker said it was “way too early” for him or any Republican to consider 2020. (AP, 9/28/17)

From the grapevine:

  • Tennessee voters speculate that Corker may run for president in 2020 (NewsChannel9, 9/5/17)
  • Does Corker challenge Trump in 2020? (Fox News, 9/9/17)

The machine:

  • Corker’s leadership PAC, Rock City PAC, has been active since the 2008 election cycle (OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/2018)

Jeff Flake (R)

U.S. senator from Arizona and former representative for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District.

In his own words:

  • “I’ve not ruled it out. I’ve not ruled it in. Just, somebody needs to run on the Republican side.” (Politico, 11/9/2018)
  • Flake, speaking in New Hampshire, said “I haven’t ruled it out,” referring to a 2020 primary challenge to Trump. (Washington Post, 3/16/2018)
  • Flake said Trump “will have a challenge from the Republican Party” in 2020. (AOL News, 3/5/2018)
  • “I didn’t vote for [Trump] last November.” — Jeff Flake. (The Hill, 10/25/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • “Weirdly, Jeff Flake could be Donald Trump’s worst nightmare.” (CNN, 3/19/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • In March 2018, Flake traveled to New Hampshire and delivered a speech criticizing President Trump. (AZCentral, 3/18/2018)
  • In 2017, Flake wrote a book titled “The Conscience of a Conservative,” exploring his opposition to President Trump. (New York Times, 7/31/2017)

The machine:

  • Flake’s leadership PAC, Fiscal Leadership & Knowing Economics (FLAKE), has been operating since the 2008 election cycle. (OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/2018)

Mayor Eric Garcetti (D)

Mayor of Los Angeles, California.

In his own words:

  • Garcetti tells Iowans they are the same as Angelenos. “These divisions that there’s the heartland and the coast to me are B.S.” (Los Angeles Times, 4/11/2018)
  • Asked about running in 2020, he said “I am thinking about this … The majority of time goes to my work as mayor of Los Angeles, but every [citizen] should think about what our role is in these difficult times, in these dangerous times.” (Los Angeles Times, 12/22/2017)
  • “I hope, even if I never did, that we have mayors that run for president because they are ready,” Garcetti told David Axelrod. (CNN, 12/7/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • Garcetti “has made little secret of his presidential ambitions.” (The Telegraph, 10/4/2018)
  • Garcetti 2020? Experts weigh in (CNN, 12/9/2018)
  • “Democrats would be smart to run Eric Garcetti in 2020” (National Review, 4/23/2018)

Testing the waters

  • Why LA’s Mexican-American-Jewish-Italian mayor is spending time in Iowa and South Carolina (CNN, 4/21/2018)
  • Garcetti edges toward presidential run with trip to Iowa (Politico, 3/21/2018)
  • As 2020 Democratic primary warms up, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti stakes early claim to South Carolina (The Post and Courier, 2/28/2018)

The machine:

  • Garcetti PAC raises $120,000 in first few weeks (KPCC, 2/2/2018)
  • Garcetti, possible 2020 hopeful, launches innovation group (Politico, 10/30/2017)

Kirsten Gillibrand (D)

U.S. senator from New York

In her own words:

  • Gillibrand told MSNBC host Chris Hayes she’s been “thinking about it” and would run to restore the country’s lost “moral compass.” (Real Clear Politics, 11/16/2018)
  • “I’m focused entirely on running for Senate, so yes, I’m ruling it out.” (NYStateofPolitics.com, 05/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • Kirsten Gillibrand is exactly the kind of 2020 candidate Democrats need (The Hill, 2/17/18)
  • “The fact that Gillibrand is a woman — and a powerful advocate for women in politics— could be an asset if the party prioritizes breaking the glass ceiling in 2020.” (Business Insider, 1/12/18)

The machine:

  • “Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, considered a potential presidential candidate in 2020, announced Tuesday that she will no longer accept contributions from corporate political action committees.” (USA Today, 2/13/2018)
  • Gillibrand’s leadership PAC, Off The Sidelines, has been operating since the 2012 election cycle. (OpenSecrets, accessed 04/30/2018)

Luis Gutierrez (D)

Congressman representing Illinois’ 4th Congressional District.

In his own words:

  • “Gutierrez has decided against seeking the Democratic presidential nomination and instead will focus his efforts on mobilizing Latino voters in key swing states in the run-up to 2020.” (CNN, 5/10/2018)
  • “As an American, I am ashamed of this president,” Gutierrez said in a statement about Trump. (Gutierrez, 1/11/2018)
  • After announcing his retirement, Gutierrez said, “I’m not retiring, I’m not retiring. I’m going to sit down with Soraida [Gutiérrez’s wife], and we’re going to figure it out. I want to build something, I want to build something national.” (Politico, 11/29/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • Gutierrez is “at least entertaining the idea of running for president,” an anonymous source told CNN. (CNN, 12/1/2017)

The machine:

  • Gutierrez’s leadership PAC, Immigration Reform Fund, has been active since the 2012 election cycle. (OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/2018)

Nikki Haley (R)

Former governor of South Carolina and current U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

In her own words:

  • “I can’t imagine running for the White House.” (Politico, 4/14/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • Joe Scarborough fantasizes about Nikki Haley competing against Trump in 2020 (Washington Examiner, 4/20/18)

Kamala Harris (D)

U.S. senator from California and former California state attorney general.

In her own words:

  • On 2020 run: “I’m not ruling it out, no.” (NBC News, 6/24/2018)
  • Asked about her 2020 plans, Harris responded, “People don’t want us to wait until 2020 to figure out and solve some of the problems they’re experiencing.” (Interview with Al Sharpton, 4/22/18)
  • Harris dodges question about 2020 POTUS ambitions on “Ellen” (CNN, 4/5/18)

From the grapevine:

  • Female presidential candidates, like Kamala Harris, can’t be victims (New York, 4/22/18)
  • Kamala Harris’ rapid rise confounds California (Politico, 4/19/18)
  • Former L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa told Hugh Hewitt on MSNBC in 2017 that Kamala Harris will be “knocking on doors in Iowa” (YouTube, 08/20/2017)

Testing the waters

  • Harris released a tax plan. (The Sacramento Bee, 10/18/2018)
  • Harris visited Iowa Oct. 22-23 in preparation for a presidential run. (Politico, 10/13/2018)
  • Kamala Harris visits black church in Georgia (Associated Press, 10/1/2017)

The machine:

  • Harris spent $2.3 million on digital ads in the 2018 cycle despite not running for reelection. She paid $1.4 million for advertisements with Revolutions Messaging LLC, a firm that boosted Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign. (Washington Free Beacon, 9/14/2018)
  • Kamala Harris spending six figures on web ads in 2018, even though Senate election isn’t until 2022 (Free Beacon, 4/24/18)
  • Harris raises $3 million for Senate Dems (Politico, 4/15/18)
  • Kamala Harris’ leadership PAC, Fearless for the People, has ramped up fundraising for the 2018 cycle. (OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/2018)

John Hickenlooper (D)

Governor of Colorado and former mayor of Denver.

In his own words:

  • “I’ve still got a list of 16 people, I think, that I am eager to hear their sentiments and their advice” before deciding on a run for president. (Politico, 9/13/2018)
  • “This summer we’ll see how it begins to feel.” (CNN, 04/19/2018)
  • “I don’t think we [Kasich] are ever going to be on a unity ticket; we joke about it all the time.” (Politico, 04/05/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • John Hickenlooper on the future of weed, the 2020 race, and what’s happening at the Denver Post’ (Rolling Stone, 04/09/18)
  • “Asked about running on a unity ticket with his friend, Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the Democrat pretty much put any speculation to bed, saying they ‘just disagree on a lot of important core stuff.’” (CNN, 04/08/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • Kasich, Hickenlooper jab each other over trips to NH and Iowa (The Hill, 04/02/2018)
  • Behind the scenes, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper inches toward 2020 presidential race (Denver Post, 03/12/2018)

The machine:

  • Hickenlooper formed a PAC called “Giddy Up” that will help him boost his national profile. (The Colorado Sun, 9/17/2018)

Eric Holder (D)

Former attorney general of the United States under Barack Obama.

In his own words:

  • “I’m thinking about it and what I’ve said is that I’d make a determination sometime early next year.” (Politico, 7/24/2018)
  • “I’m thinking about” running for president (MSNBC via YouTube, 04/17/18)
  • Eric Holder says he’s considering presidential bid (The Hill, 3/29/18)

From the grapevine:

  • Eric Holder is totally running for president in 2020 (Washington Examiner, 4/18/18)
  • Another sign Eric Holder might run for president (NY Post, 04/18/18)

Testing the waters

  • Voters lukewarm about Eric Holder for president (Morning Consult, 6/20/2018)
  • Visiting New Hampshire, Holder signed eggs. (Dan Merica, 6/1/2018)
  • Holder to visit N.H. in June 2018 (WMUR, 4/18/18)
  • Eric Holder to campaign for Rebecca Dallet in Wisconsin high court race (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 3/13/18)

The machine:

  • Obama-tied group partners with Holder redistricting committee (The Hill, 10/23/17)
  • Obama and Holder join forces with OFA and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (DemocraticRedistricting.com)

Jay Inslee (D)

Governor of Washington and former representative for Washington’s 4th Congressional District.

In his own words:

  • “I love this job. It’s really not in the stars. I am focused on [being governor of Washington].” (The Seattle Times, 2/21/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • Inslee is one of two governors who successfully defended their states’ legalization of marijuana, a potential litmus test in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. (CNN, 04/20/20118)
  • Inslee for president? Rumors circulate amid governors association announcement (Q13fox.com, 12/08/17)

Senator Tim Kaine (D)

U.S. senator from Virginia and Hillary Clinton’s running mate in 2016.

In his own words:

From the grapevine:

  • Rising stars collide in shadow 2020 primary (Politico, 1/29/2018)
  • The pros and cons of nominating Tim Kaine for president in 2020 (Soapboxie, 10/25/2017)

The machine:

  • Kaine’s leadership PAC, Common Ground PAC, has been active since the 2012 election cycle. (OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/2018)

Jason Kander (D)

Former secretary of state in Missouri.

In his own words:

  • Kander is not running for president. He announced on Twitter he will instead run for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri. (Twitter, 6/25/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • President Jason Kander? He’s making all the early moves (McClatchy DC, 6/26/17)

Testing the waters:

  • Kander addresses N.H. Democratic Party fund-raiser (C-SPAN, 4/14/18)
  • Kander has made at least ten trips to Iowa and seven trips to New Hampshire, the first two states in the nation to vote in caucuses and primaries. (The Hill, 2/19/18)

The machine:

  • Kander’s Let America Vote group has funded his travel to key states and has allowed him to build out staff in anticipation of a 2020 run. (Politico, 3/18/2018)
  • Jason Kander PAC website (JasonKander.com)

John Kasich (R)

Term-limited governor of Ohio, former representative for Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, failed 2016 presidential candidate.

In his own words:

  • In New Hampshire, Kasich said “all options are on the table.” “If I determine that I can (run for president) and it would heal, then I’m likely to do it. If I look at it and think, ‘Well, the cards aren’t in it,’ then I won’t.” (WMUR, 11/15/2018)
  • Kasich told CNN: “I didn’t leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me … I can bring that party back.” (CNN, 4/29/2018)
  • Promoting his book, “Two Paths: America Divided or United,” Kasich said it is “very unlikely” he will run for president in 2020. (CNN, 4/24/2018)
  • Kasich is “not taking any options off the table” about an independent run for president. (Weekly Standard, 3/23/2018)
  • On whether Trump should be primaried in 2020: “I don’t have any plans to do anything like that. I’m rooting for him to get it together.” (Politico, 8/20/2017)
  • “I’m not really interested in running for political office again,” Kasich said. “I don’t see it. I just don’t see it.” (CNN, 3/26/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • Why John Kasich changed his mind on gun control (News 5 Cleveland, 4/19/2018)
  • John Kasich wants to be the candidate of Millennials (BuzzFeed News, 4/4/2018)
  • Kasich and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) eye joint 2020 bid (Axios, 8/25//2017)
  • “John Kasich doth protest too much.” (Vanity Fair, 4/5/2017)
  • Kasich published “Two Paths,” a book offering a contrast to Trump’s America (NPR, 4/26/2017)

Testing the waters:

  • Kasich met privately with a billionaire Democratic donor as he considers 2020 run (CNBC,4/26/2018)
  • Kasich went to New Hampshire, the first-in-the-nation primary state, to speak at New England College (Fox News, 4/3/2018)
  • Kasich to rumored running mate Hickenlooper: “I see my friend @HickForCO is headed to Iowa. They say no one goes there by accident …” (Twitter, 4/2/2018)
  • Kasich return to New Hampshire fuels 2020 speculation (Concord Monitor, 1/25/2018)

The machine:

  • Close allies of John Kasich have contacted GOP donors to see if there’s interest in backing Kasich against Trump (NBC News, 4/19/2018)
  • Super PAC spends $200,000 in bid to keep Kasich a national player (Columbus Dispatch, 7/31/2017)
  • Kasich associates launch “Two Paths America,” a non-profit organization focused on national security and fiscal issues (Cleveland.com, 2/10/2017)

The endorsements:

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger: “John, get back to Washington and kick some butt and take care of this mess, once and for all. We can’t take it anymore.” (CNN, 3/22/2018)

Joseph Kennedy III (D)

Congressman representing Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional District.

In his own words:

  • “That might do it. If I could sail in as Oprah’s VP. So, Oprah, if you’re listening, go for it … Short of that, I’m not holding my breath.” Kennedy to Politico. (Politico, 2/6/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • Kennedy could be the Democrats’ best hope (but may not want to be) (Politico, 2/6/2018)
  • Joe Kennedy III’s 2020 trap (Vanity Fair, 2/13/18)

Testing the waters:

  • Kennedy traveled to Chicago to campaign for his uncle Chris Kennedy’s bid for governor (NBC Chicago, 2/20/18)
  • Kennedy gave the response to the 2018 State of the Union speech (YouTube, 1/30/18)

The machine:

  • Kennedy’s leadership PAC, 4MA Pac, has been active since the 2014 election cycle. (OpenSecrets, accessed 05/15/18)

John Kerry (D)

John Kerry is a former U.S. secretary of state, former U.S. senator from Massachusetts, and unsuccessful 2004 presidential candidate.

In his own words:

  • “I’m not ruling anything out, but I’m not sitting around actively laying the groundwork or making any plans,” (Newsmax, 10/7/2018)
  • Kerry reportedly told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas he is seriously considering running for president in 2020. (Jerusalem Post, 1/24/2018)
  • “I don’t have any plans right now, honestly.” (The Hill, 09/20/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • John Kerry considering presidential run in 2020: report (The Hill, 01/24/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • Speaking in Iowa, Kerry described the current U.S. national political climate as “toxic,” implied that’s because of Trump, and urged unity and the need to find the “road to compromise.” (KCCI.com, 12/21/2017)

Amy Klobuchar (D)

U.S. senator from Minnesota and former prosecutor for Hennepin County.

In her own words:

  • “I am happy where I am right now, focused on the needs of Minnesotans,” Klobuchar said in response to a question about whether or not she was running in 2020 for POTUS. (Cosmopolitan, 9/6/2017))

From the grapevine:

  • “If experience and effectiveness will account for anything, Klobuchar might have a shot. Of the Big Four, she has the longest tenure in the Senate, and in the last congressional session, she sponsored the most legislation that actually became law.” (Politico Magazine, 11/24/17)
  • Amy Klobuchar is not (currently) running for president (Cosmopolitan, 9/6/17)
  • Meet Amy Klobuchar, one of four Dem senators telling donors they’re in for 2020 (GOP.com, 8/16/17)

Testing the waters

  • Klobuchar attends AIPAC (Washington Post, 3/5/2018)
  • Klobuchar swings through Iowa amid 2020 speculation (Star Tribune, 4/8/17)
  • Klobuchar visited Iowa State University in the fall of 2017 (iastate.edu, Fall 2017)
  • Klobuchar speaks to the Women’s Convention in Detroit (Time, 10/28/2017)

The machine:

  • Klobuchar’s leadership PAC, Follow the North Star Fund, has been active since the  2008 election cycle. (OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/2018)

Mitch Landrieu (D)

Former mayor of New Orleans.

In his own words:

  • “I kind of doubt it,” Landrieu said in response to 2020 speculation (Free Beacon, 3/21/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • The southern Democrat who could shake up the 2020 field (Politico, 3/21/2018)
  • “Landrieu, 57, seems clearly interested, despite saying he’ll take time off after leaving office in May.” (Axios, 11/6/17)
  • Democrats deserve better than Mitch Landrieu (The New Republic, 8/24/2017)
  • Meet Mitch Landrieu, the 2020 dark-horse Dem (The Hill, 6/16/17)

Testing the waters

  • Landrieu wrote a book released in 2018, “In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History.” (Axios, 3/20/18)

Susana Martinez (R)

Governor of New Mexico and former chair of the Republican Governors Association (RGA).

From the grapevine:

  • Martinez was mentioned as one of “five Republicans who could primary Trump in 2020.” (The Hill, 12/27/17)

Jeff Merkley (D)

U.S. senator from Oregon and former member of the Oregon House of Representatives.

In his own words:

  • “I’ve been in the early primary states and been well-received.” (Eugene Weekly, 8/30/18)
  • Merkley is “exploring the possibility” of a 2020 presidential bid. (New York Times, 6/22/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • “Merkley is 60, and people who’ve been talking to him say he knows that this might be a run now or don’t run at all moment in his career.” (Politico, 9/17/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • Merkley has visited the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. (The Hill, 8/30/2018)
  • Merkley visited the southern border to tour immigration detention centers and highlight his opposition to President Trump’s policies. (CNN, 6/17/2018)
  • Merkley’s office hosts biweekly meetings between progressive senators and outside progressive groups. (The Hill, 4/118/18)

The machine:

  • Merkley’s Blue Wave Project PAC issued endorsements and cut checks to Democratic candidates in early primary states Iowa and Nevada. (Politico, 9/11/2018)

Chris Murphy (D)

U.S. senator from Connecticut and former representative for Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District.

In his own words:

  • “I am not running for president. I am running for re-election to the Senate … Am I ruling it out? Here we go, I’ll rule it out for you.” (CNN, 10/11/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • Murphy hedges on 2020 White House bid, says he has “no plans to run” (The Free Beacon, 03/05/18)

The machine:

  • Sen. Chris Murphy raises more than $10M for re-election campaign (Hartford Courant, 01/09/2018)
  • Murphy’s leadership PAC, MURPHPAC, has been active since the 2010 election cycle. (OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/2018)

Martin O’Malley (D)

Former governor of Maryland and unsuccessful 2016 Democratic presidential primary candidate.

In his own words:

  • O’Malley says gun control is a winning issue for Democrats in 2020 (New Hampshire Journal, 4/3/2018)
  • O’Malley is “keeping an open heart and an open mind about running again.” (Washington Examiner, 4/3/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • Martin O’Malley won’t let resounding public indifference stop him from mulling a 2020 run (Splinter, 4/3/2018)
  • Take Martin O’Malley at least somewhat seriously in 2020 … seriously (FiveThirtyEight, November 2, 2017)

Testing the waters:

  • O’Malley’s leadership PAC commissioned an Iowa caucus poll gauging his support against nine other Democrats for 2020 (Politico, 3/15/2018)
  • Martin O’Malley visits New Hampshire amid 2020 speculation (Washington Examiner, 4/12/2017)
  • Martin O’Malley has made at least 5 trip to Iowa and 3 trips to New Hampshire (The Hill, 2/19/18)

The machine:

  • Martin O’Malley’s new PAC aims to help down-ballot Democrats (Politico, 11/16/2017)

Deval Patrick (D)

Former governor of Massachusetts and former board member of subprime lender ACC Capital Holdings, which owned Ameriquest.

In his own words:

  • Deval Patrick: 2020 bid “on my radar” (The Hill, 3/6/18)

From the grapevine:

  • A Deval Patrick run in 2020 is a gift for the GOP (New Boston Post, 3/10/2018)
  • Deval Patrick: The Democrats could do worse (Washington Post, 3/7/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • Patrick hit the stump for Democratic candidates in Mississippi and Texas, fueling speculation about a 2020 bid. (Boston Herald, 10/3/2018)

The machine:

  • Campaign operatives for Patrick started a new PAC called “Reason to Believe.” (Boston Herald, 9/18/2018)
  • Obama’s inner circle is urging Deval Patrick to run (Politico Magazine, 8/1/2017)
  • Donors are pushing Patrick to run in 2020 (CNBC, 5/9/2018

Gina Raimondo (D)

Governor of Rhode Island who is up for re-election in 2018.

From the grapevine:

  • Raimondo and McCauliffe are “unapologetic, business-friendly pragmatists with a focus on economic development” which may be at odds with where primary voters are. (New York Times, 7/17/17)
  • The Raimondo brand: Nation’s top Democrats tout Rhode Island governor as icon of party’s ideals (Providence Journal, 4/8/2017)

Paul Ryan (R)

Former speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican candidate for vice president in 2012, and congressman representing Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District.

In his own words:

  • “I’m not going to run for president. That is not my plan. I’m not going to do that.” (Washington Examiner, 4/11/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • Paul Ryan “makes perfect sense” as an establishment candidate to primary Trump if Republicans lose the House in 2018. (Washington Times, 4/11/2018)

Tim Ryan (D)

Congressman representing Ohio’s 13th Congressional District and former state senator.

In his own words:

  • Ohio Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan is telling people he will run for president in 2020, hoping to win ‘yoga vote.’ (The Intercept, 7/23/2018)
  • “I don’t know if I am [running for president].” (Dayton Daily News, 12/25/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • In New Hampshire, the 2020 presidential race is already well underway; Tim Ryan swings through the state. (NBC News, 04/07/2018)
  • House Democrats are talking about a Rep. Tim Ryan presidential run (Washington Examiner, 12/20/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • Ryan has made at least 2 trips to Iowa and 3 trips to New Hampshire (The Hill, 2/19/18)
  • Tim Ryan makes appearances in Iowa, signaling the possibility of a run. (Washington Post, 10/09/2017)

The machine:

  • Ryan’s leadership PAC, Penguin PAC, has been active since the 2006 election cycle. (OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/2018

Ben Sasse (R)

U.S. senator from Nebraska and former president of Midland College.

In his own words:

  • Sasse said his July 2017 trip to Iowa was because he “lost a bet.” (Politico, 7/2/2017)
  • During the 2016 Republican primary, Sasse said that if Donald Trump were the nominee, “conservatives will need to find a third option.” (Facebook, 2/28/2016)

Testing the waters:

  • Sasse made his second trip to Iowa to speak to the Iowa Family Leader in Des Moines (Des Moines Register, 11/18/2017)

The machine:

  • Sasse launched a tax-exempt political group, America 101 (Politico, 7/9/2018)
  • Sasse’s leadership PAC, Sensible American Solutions Supporting Everyone, has been active since the 2016 election cycle. (OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/18)

Bernie Sanders (D/I)

U.S. senator from Vermont and unsuccessful 2016 Democratic presidential primary candidate.

In his own words:

From the grapevine:

  • University of New Hampshire poll lists Bernie Sanders as the top choice for likely Democrat voters with 28 percent (FiveThirtyEight, 04/27/2018)
  • Large majorities of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents also say they are likely to support Bernie Sanders (75%) (CNN, 03/29/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • Sanders met with former President Barack Obama to discuss the future of the Democratic Party (Burlington Free Press, 6/13/2018)
  • Bernie is stumping in the South and winning over some black voters (Vox, 04/20/2018)
  • Since the end of the 2016 election season, Sanders has made at least three trips to Iowa and two trips to New Hampshire. (The Hill, 2/19/18)

The machine:

  • Bernie Sanders has begun talking to top advisers about a possible 2020 run (Vox, 01/25/2018)

The endorsements:

  • Sanders gets first endorsement from Calif. Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna for 2020 presidential race (Roll Call, 06/12/2017)

Howard Schultz (D/I)

The executive chairman of Starbucks and former owner of the Seattle SuperSonics.

In his own words:

  • Schultz stepped down as the executive chairman of Starbucks, saying he will consider a “range of options” for his future “from philanthropy to public service.” (CNBC, 6/4/2018)
  • “No, I’m not” running for president. (CNN, 2/27/2018)
  • “I have no plans to run for office. I am very consistent on that,” Schultz said. (Reuters, 10/9/2017)
  • “We have a president that is creating episodic chaos every day, and that is no doubt affecting consumer behavior.” (Business Insider, 5/30/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • Starbucks’ Howard Schultz has been dogged by rumors about a presidential run for years — here’s what baristas and other Starbucks workers think. (Business Insider, 10/13/2017)
  • Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz sure sounds like a 2020 presidential candidate (Washington Post, 9/21/2017)

Testing the waters:

  • Schultz will travel the country for a nationwide book tour, stopping in early primary states. (Axios, 10/2/2018)

Tom Steyer (D)

Hedge fund billionaire and major progressive donor.

In his own words:

  • Tom Steyer, California billionaire, says he won’t run for office in 2018 (Variety, 01/08/2018)
  • “The idea that people are looking past November of 2018 seems to me to be a disservice to the rest of us.” (San Diego Times, 02/24/2018)
  • “ 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, 09/23/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • “He will likely run” if Democrats flip the House and some Senate seats, according to six people close to Steyer. (CNBC, 8/23/2018)
  • “Steyer has long been seen as having political ambition, and he’s considered running for California governor or the Senate this year or president in 2020.” (CNN, 01/05/2018)

Testing the waters:

The machine:

  • Tom Steyer’s impeachment campaign is building him a political Death Star (The Daily Beast, 03/29/2018)
  • 2020 watch: Tom Steyer has hired 50 political and communications operatives (NTK, 02/08/2018)
  • Started the “Need to Impeach” campaign against President Trump (CNN, 11/27/2017)

Eric Swalwell (D)

Three-term congressman representing California’s 15th Congressional District.

In his own words:

  • After trip to Iowa: “Very well received there. They want new energy, new ideas, and a new confidence, and that really emboldened me to make a decision soon.” (Washington Examiner, 11/12/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • A person close to Swalwell told Politico, “He’s definitely running.” (Politico, 11/8/2018)
  • A Democratic party operative in New Hampshire said “people were extremely impressed by him” after Swalwell visited an event there. “People walked away from that dinner with just a ‘wow [e]ffect’ and he worked the room like someone who was running for president.” (Politico, 11/8/2018)

Donald Trump (R)

Forty-fifth president of the United States and real estate tycoon.

In his own words:

  • Trump announces re-election campaign and Brad Parscale as campaign manager (CBS News, 2/27/18)
  • Official campaign website (DonaldJTrump.com)

From the grapevine:

  • Ex-wife Ivana Trump says President Trump shouldn’t run for re-election in 2020 (Washington Post, 4/22/18)
  • Joe Scarborough: Will Donald Trump run for re-election in 2020? (Washington Post, 4/23/18)
  • Thomas Frank: Trump could win the 2020 election: But we can also stop him (The Nation, 4/20/18)

The Machine:

  • Trump has stockpiled $33 million for his re-election campaign (Politico, 7/15/2018)
  • Trump campaign ramps up 2020 re-election fundraising (The Center for Public Integrity, 10/15/17)
  • Inside Trump’s 2020 startup, an in-depth look at Trump’s campaign for re-election (Axios, 5/15/18)

Elizabeth Warren (D)

U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

In her own words:

  • She will take a “hard look at running for president” after the November elections. (AP News, 9/29/2018)
  • Warren has said she isn’t running. (CNN, 03/29/2018)
  • “I am not running for president in 2020.” (CNN, 3/12/18)

From the grapevine:

  • Warren’s early moves suggest “a well-designed strategy to compete across the spectrum of the Democratic Party without risking her viability in a general election.” (Daily Intelligencer, 9/12/2018)
  • If Trump is itching for a fight, Elizabeth Warren is happy to give it to him (The Washington Post, 7/16/2018)
  • SSRS Poll: 68% of Democrats “very or somewhat likely to support her potential nomination,” making her the 4th-ranked person on the list. (CNN, 04/01/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • Warren took a two-day swing through Ohio and Wisconsin in support of Democratic candidates for Congress. (The Atlantic, 11/6/2018)
  • Warren released a DNA test purporting to prove she has Native American heritage and refute claims she lied about her ancestry to advance her career. (ElizabethWarren.com, 10/15/2018)
  • Warren has reached out to key Democratic officeholders in early primary states of Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina (New York Times, 7/15/2018)
  • Warren positions herself for potential 2020 run (Politico, 01/02/2018)

The machine:

  • Warren’s leadership PAC, PAC for a Level Playing Field, has been active since the 2014 election cycle. (OpenSecrets, accessed 8/20/2018)

Sally Yates (D)

Former acting attorney general, fired by President Trump.

From the grapevine:

  • “Someone Trump would have no idea what to do with, and who’d win women with authenticity and Southern charm: Sally Yates, the acting attorney general fired by Trump.” (Axios, 09/01/2017)

Nope, Not Running


Ted Cruz (R)

U.S. senator from Texas and unsuccessful 2016 Republican presidential primary candidate.

In his own words:

  • Cruz on whether he’d support Trump in 2020, “I certainly assume so. I was supportive of and campaigned for President Trump in 2016, and I am very encouraged with the substantive policy victories we are getting …” (Breitbart, 4/25/18)

From the grapevine:

  • Cruz could challenge Donald Trump from the right (The Hill, 12/27/17)

The machine:

  • Cruz’s leadership PAC, Jobs Growth & Freedom Fund, has been active since the 2014 election cycle (OpenSecrets, accessed 4/30/2018)

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (I)

Actor, producer, singer, musician, and semi-retired professional wrestler.

In his own words:

  • Johnson reiterated he would not run in 2020: “Unfortunately I don’t see it happening in 2020. It’s a position that requires years of hard work and experience to learn the skills. 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, 7/11/2018)
  • Johnson says he is not running in 2020: “People are very excited, and it’s so flattering that they’re excited. I think it’s also a function of being very unsatisfied with our current president. But this is a skill set that requires years and years of experience. On a local level, on a state level and then on a national level. I have the utmost respect for our country and that position, and I’m not delusioned in any way to think, ‘Oh, absolutely, if Trump can do it, I can do it, and I’ll see you in 20-whatever, get ready.’ Not at all.” (Rolling Stone, 4/4/2018)
  • On why he would run: “To serve the people and create a better environment for them … I can tell you with all honesty that the consideration comes at the desire from a large amount of people that would like to see this happen.” (CNBC, 12/19/2017)
  • Johnson said there was a “real possibility” he could run for president in 2020. (Conservative Review, 5/19/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • Why The Rock’s 2020 play isn’t as nuts as it sounds (Vanity Fair, 1/28/2018)

Michelle Obama (D)

Former first lady of the United States.

In her own words:

  • “The reason why I don’t want to run for president — and I can’t speak for Oprah — but my sense is that, first of all, you have to want the job.” (Today, 4/6/2018)
  • “I’m not going to run for president, because I think it’s a better investment to invest in creating thousands of ‘me’s.’” (AOL News, 3/2/2018)

From the grapevine:

The machine:

  • “Ready for Michelle” PACs urge Obama to run (The Hill, 11/29/2016)

The endorsements:

  • Doug Schoen: Michelle Obama is the only candidate who can unite Democrats in 2020 (The Hill, 9/8/2017)

Sheryl Sandberg (D/I)

Chief operating officer of Facebook and founder of left-wing women’s leadership nonprofit LeanIn.org.

In her own words:

  • “I have said no, and [I’m] going to continue to say no,” (Politico, 2/1/2017)

From the grapevine:

  • Why Oprah, Mark Cuban, and Sheryl Sandberg won’t run for president (Observer, 1/17/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • Sandberg made a $1 million donation to Planned Parenthood (Refinery29, 2/1/2017)

The endorsements:

  • “There’s only one person for the presidency after Donald Trump and that’s Sheryl Sandberg.” (Independent, 8/22/2017)

Brad Thor (R)

American thriller novelist.

In his own words:

  • “No. I’m not going to run for president. In fact, I don’t even consider myself a member of the Republican Party anymore, so I can’t primary him. I don’t see a home for me in the Republican Party.” (Smashing Interview Magazine, 7/5/2018)
  • “In fact, let’s make it official. I’m in.” (Brad Thor, 4/21/2018)
  • “If no conservative steps up, I will absolutely challenge Donald Trump in 2020. America deserves better leadership.” (Brad Thor, 4/21/2018)

The endorsements:

  • “I’d vote for @BradThor for President.” (Erick Erickson, 4/21/2018)

Oprah Winfrey (D)

Billionaire media personality.

In her own words:

  • On why she won’t run for president: “In that political structure – all the non-truths, the bullshit, 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.” (Vogue, 7/2/2018)
  • “I am definitely not running for president,” Oprah Winfrey to Jimmy Kimmel (The Guardian, 2/23/2018)
  • Oprah Winfrey says she does not “have the DNA for it [POTUS run]” (NPR, 1/25/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • Why Michelle Obama and Oprah aren’t going to run for president (InStyle, 4/5/2018)
  • Colbert asked “God” to ask Oprah to run for president in 2020 (The Hill, 3/7/18)
  • Stelter: The “Oprah 2020” story isn’t going away (CNN, 2/19/2018)
  • The serious case for Oprah 2020 (Politico, 3/1/2017)

The endorsements:

  • Meryl Streep: I want Oprah to run for president (Harper’s Bazaar, 1/8/2018)
  • Rosie O’Donnell endorses Oprah for President (NTK, 1/8/2018)
  • Lady Gaga has endorsed Oprah for president (PinkNews, 1/9/2018)

[Last updated on November 16, 2018]

Author: editor