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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


Cory Booker (D)

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

Announcement:

  • “I’m Cory Booker and I’m running for president of the United States of America.” (CNN, 2/1/2019)

Endorsements:

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

Pete Buttigieg (D)

Mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Announcement:

  • “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?” (Twitter, 1/23/2019)

Julián Castro (D)

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

Announcement: 

  • Declaring President Trump has created “a crisis in leadership,” Castro officially announced he is running for president in 2020. (KSAT, 1/12/2019)

John K. Delaney (D)

Congressman representing Maryland’s 6th Congressional District.

Announcement: 

  • John Delaney: Why I’m running for president (Washington Post, 07/28/17)

Tulsi Gabbard (D)

Congresswoman representing Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District and former vice chair of the DNC.

Announcement: 

  • “I have decided to run and will be making a formal announcement within the next week.” (The Washington Post, 1/11/2019)

Kirsten Gillibrand (D)

U.S. senator from New York.

Announcement: 

  • Gillibrand launched a presidential exploratory committee, saying, “It’s an important first step, and it’s one I am taking because I am going to run.” (AP News, 1/15/2019)

Kamala Harris (D)

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

Announcement: 

  • “I’m running for president.” (Twitter, 1/21/2019)

Amy Klobuchar (D)

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

Announcement: 

  • “So today, on an island in the middle of the mighty Mississippi, in our nation’s heartland, at a time when we must heal the heart of our democracy and renew our commitment to the common good, 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.” (Twin Cities Pioneer Press, 2/10/2019)

Bernie Sanders (D)

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

Announcement: 

  • “I’m running for president. I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least 1 million people from across the country.” (Twitter, 2/19/2019)

Endorsements:

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

Donald Trump (R)

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

Announcement: 

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

Elizabeth Warren (D)

U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

In her own words:

  • Announcing her candidacy in Massachusetts: “This is the fight of our lives. The fight to build an America where dreams are possible, an America that works for everyone. I am in that fight all the way.” (Huffington Post, 2/9/2019)

Definitely Maybe


Stacey Abrams (D)

Former Georgia state House minority leader and failed candidate for governor.

In her own words:

  • “No, I haven’t thought about it. I am open to all options, and it’s too soon after the election to know exactly what I’m going to do.” (Politico, 12/3/2018)

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:

  • Biden is concerned about his age, but his advisers are suggesting a young vice presidential candidate like Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, could balance a potential Democratic ticket. (Associated Press, 12/15/2018)
  • 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

  • Biden wrote a book, “Promise Me, Dad,” about his promise to his dying son Beau to “stay engaged” with the world. (Burlington Free Press, 12/9/2018)
  • 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 Bennet (D)

U.S. senator from Colorado.

From the grapevine:

  • Three people who discussed a presidential bid with Bennet in fall 2018 told Colorado Public Radio that Bennet is “seriously thinking about running.” (Colorado Public Radio, 12/3/2018)
  • Bennet has been in contact with influential Iowa Democrats. (Associated Press, 11/20/2018)

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)

Testing the waters: 

  • Bloomberg will visit Iowa on December 4 and make a decision on running for president early next year. (Des Moines Register, 11/26/2018)

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)

Sherrod Brown (D)

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

In his own words:

  • Brown sent an email to supporters asking for opinions on whether he should run for president. (The Columbus Dispatch, 11/25/2018)
  • “My election night speech was really about the message, whether I run or not, that I’m hopeful that … honoring and respecting the dignity of work will become part of the narrative in other races. If that’s done and done well, I would be less likely to run.” (BuzzFeed News, 11/19/2018)
  • 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:

  • Brown said he might visit Iowa or New Hampshire in the near future. (BuzzFeed News, 11/19/2018)
  • 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:


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)

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)

The machine:

  • Despite ruling out a presidential bid, campaign finance records show Cuomo’s 2018 re-election campaign paid an Iowa Democratic political consultant nearly $280,000. (Times Union, 12/6/2018)

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)

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

  • bVoters 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)

The machine: 

  • Inslee’s Vision PAC raised $112,000 as he “actively” considers 2020 run. (The Daily Chronicle, 12/7/2018)

John Kasich (R)

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

In his own words:

  • Signaling a third-party candidacy: “So the question for me is what – what do I do about this? Do I run because I’ve determined that I can win or is it important for me to make such a good showing that I can send a message that can disrupt the political system in this country?” (New York Post, 11/25/2018)
  • “For the first time, there is a legitimate chance for a third-party candidate. (The Hill, 11/16/2018)
  • 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)

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 will not be allowed to run for president and Senate at the same time, but this will not impact his decision, a source close to him said. (Willamette Week, 12/8/2018)
  • “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 was slated to speak at a holiday party for Progress Iowa, a progressive group with more than 75,000 members statewide. (Politico, 12/12/2018)
  • 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)

Beto O’Rourke (D)

Former U.S. representative from Texas’ 16th Congressional District and unsuccessful candidate for U.S. Senate.

In his own words:

  • “Amy and I made a decision not to rule anything out. The best advice I received from people who’ve run for, and won — and run for, and lost — elections like this, is: Don’t make any decisions about anything until you’ve had some time to hang with your family and just be human. And so I am following that advice.” (Texas Tribune, 11/26/2018)
  • “It’s been a little bit more than a week since we lost the election and ran this race and I’m still taking that in and trying to figure out just where I am and where my family is.” (TMZ, 11/16/2018)
  • “I will not be a candidate for president in 2020.” (MSNBC, 11/5/2018)
  • “No … our children are eleven, they’re ten, and they’re seven years old. We’ve told them we’re going to take these almost two years out of our life to run [for Senate] and then we’re devoted and committed to being a family again.” (CNN, 10/19/2018)

From the grapevine:

  • Joe Biden’s team is reportedly considering O’Rourke for vice president as Biden mulls a 2020 run. (Associated Press, 12/15/2018)
  • Democratic strategist Chris Kofinis noted a strength of Beto’s potential campaign is that he has “nothing to lose” by running. (The Hill, 12/3/2018)
  • Democratic donors are waiting to see if O’Rourke runs before throwing support behind other candidates. (Politico, 11/19/2018)
  • Democratic strategists say O’Rourke has the name recognition, fundraising operation, and ‘thrilling’ persona to run for president. (The Hill, 11/11/2018)
  • Donors and supporters want O’Rourke to run for president or Senate against Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in 2020. (CNBC, 11/19/2018)
  • -elect Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, said O’Rourke should run, calling him the kind of “credible public servant that our country has been longing for.” (Washington Post, 11/19/2018)

Testing the waters:

  • O’Rourke spoke with Al Sharpton, a heavyweight in Democratic primary politics. (BuzzFeed News, 12/10/2018)b
  • A poll of Democratic and independent voters about possible 2020 candidates showed Beto O’Rourke in third place, with seven percent. (The Hill, 12/3/2018)

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)

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)

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:

  • Steyer spent six figures on web ads on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, revamped his website TomSteyer.com, and announced five town halls across the country beginning in South Carolina. (Politico, 11/19/2018)
  • Call him Mr. Impeachment: Tom Steyer’s war against Donald Trump (Bloomberg Businessweek, 04/25/2018)

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)

Testing the waters:

  • Swalwell was slated to speak at a holiday party for Progress Iowa, a progressive group with more than 75,000 members statewide. (Politico, 12/12/2018)

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


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:

  • “After consultation with my family and at their request, I have decided not to seek the presidency of the United States in 2020.” (Twitter, 12/4/2018)

Bob Casey (D)

U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.

In his own words:

  • “After two months of considering it, I have concluded that the best way for me to fight for the America that so many of us believe in is to stay in the U.S. Senate and not run for the presidency in 2020.” (AP News, 1/18/2019)

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)

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D)

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

In his own words:

  • “I am ruling it out. I ran for governor, I have a full plate, I have many projects. I’m going to be here doing the job of governor.” (NEWS12, 11/27/2018)

Mayor Eric Garcetti (D)

Mayor of Los Angeles, California.

In his own words:

  • “I have decided not to throw my hat into the ring to run for president in 2020. This was not an easy decision given the extraordinary times that we live in.” (CNN, 1/29/2019)

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)

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)

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)

Senator Tim Kaine (D)

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

In his own words:


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)

Jeff Flake (R)

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

In his own words:

  • “I’ve always said thatI do hope that there is a Republican who challenges the president in the primary. I still hope that somebody does, but that somebody won’t be me. I will not be a candidate.” (AZ Central, 1/29/2019)

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)

Richard Ojeda (D)

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

In his own words:

  • Ojeda dropped out: “I don’t want to see people send money to a campaign that’s probably not going to get off the ground.” (The Hill, 1/25/2019)
  • “I’m Richard Ojeda and I’m running for the president of the United States of America.” (CNN, 11/13/2018)

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:

  • Patrick is calling close allies and informing them he is not running for president in 2020. (Politico, 12/5/2018)

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)

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)

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)

[Last updated on February 19, 2019]

Author: editor