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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

Michael Bennet (D)

U.S. senator from Colorado.


Joe Biden (D)

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


  • “If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. Who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.” (YouTube, 4/25/2019)


  • 23 Democratic state legislators from Florida endorsed Biden for president. (Politico, 5/2/2019)
  • Sens. Christopher Coons, D-Del., Bob Casey, D-Penn., and Tom Carper, D-Del., were among first congressional Democrats to back Biden. (The Hill, 4/25/2019)

Cory Booker (D)

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


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


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


Steve Bullock (D)

Governor of Montana.


  • “I’m Steve Bullock, and I’m running for President.” (YouTube, 5/14/2019)

Pete Buttigieg (D)

Mayor of South Bend, Indiana.


  • “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.


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

Bill de Blasio (D)

Mayor of New York City.


  • “I’m Bill de Blasio, and I’m running for president because it’s time we put working people first.” (YouTube, 5/16/2019)

John K. Delaney (D)

Congressman representing Maryland’s 6th Congressional District.


  • 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.


  • “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.


  • Gillibrand made her campaign for president official with video titled, “Brave Wins.” (YouTube, 3/17/2019)
  • 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.


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

John Hickenlooper (D)

Governor of Colorado and former mayor of Denver.


  • “I’m running for president because we’re facing a crisis that threatens everything we stand for.” (YouTube, 3/4/2019)

Jay Inslee (D)

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


  • “This is our moment, our climate, our mission — together, we can defeat climate change. That’s why I’m running for president.” (Twitter, 3/1/2019)

Amy Klobuchar (D)

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


  • “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)

Seth Moulton (D)

U.S. representative from Massachusetts’ 6th Congressional District and former Marine.


  • “I’m running because we have to beat Donald Trump, and I want us to beat Donald Trump because I love this country. We’ve never been a country that gets everything right. But we’re a country that, at our best, thinks that we might.” (Politico, 4/22/2019)

Beto O’Rourke (D)

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


  • “Amy and I are happy to share with you that I’m running to serve you as the next president of the United States of America.” (Texas Tribune, 3/13/2019)

The campaign:

  • Beto O’Rourke breaks presidential fundraising record with $6.1 million haul (Roll Call, 3.18/2019)

Tim Ryan (D)

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


  • Ryan announced he is running for president on “The View” (RealClearPolitics, 4/4/2019)

Bernie Sanders (D)

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


  • “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)


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

Eric Swalwell (D)

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


  • Swalwell announced his candidacy for president on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” (ABC News, 4/10/2019)

Donald Trump (R)

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


  • 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)

Andrew Yang (D)

Former tech entrepreneur who started a nonprofit to promote startup companies.


  • Yang announced his campaign for president focusing on the single issue of universal basic income. (YouTube, 2/2/2018)

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)

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)

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 is fundraising off speculation that he’ll run in 2020. (The Hill, 2/26/2019)
  • 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 don’t think I’m going to do it.” (Politico, 2/6/2019)
  • “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)

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)

Howard Schultz (D/I)

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

In his own words:

  • Shultz said more than 40 states will be up for grabs if he runs for president. (RealClearPolitics, 4/12/2019)
  • 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:

  • Schultz has reportedly delayed his decision on running to wait and see if Joe Biden will win the Democratic nomination for president. (Fox Business, 5/15/2019)
  • 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)

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)

Michael Bloomberg (D)

Billionaire and former mayor of New York City.

In his own words:

  • “I’m not running for president, but I am launching a new campaign: Beyond Carbon.” (Bloomberg, 3/5/2019)

Sherrod Brown (D)

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

In his own words:

  • “I will keep fighting for all workers across the country. And I will do everything I can to elect a Democratic President and a Democratic Senate in 2020. The best place for me to make that fight is in the United States Senate.” (Twitter, 3/7/2019)

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)

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)

Bob Corker (R)

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

In his own words:

  • Corker said a run for president against Trump in the GOP primary is not “practical.” (Knox News, 4/29/2019)

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)

Eric Holder (D)

Former attorney general of the United States under Barack Obama.

In his own words:

  • “Though I will not run for president in 2020, I will continue to fight for the future of our country through the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and its affiliates.” (Washington Post, 3/4/2019)
  • “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)

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)

Jeff Merkley (D)

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

In his own words:

  • “Over the last year, I’ve weighed whether I can contribute more to the battle by running for president or by running for reelection to the Senate. Today, I am announcing that I am not running for president.” (CNN, 3/5/2019)

Chris Murphy (D)

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

In his own words:

  • “Let me be 100% clear: I’m not running in 2020. I love the job I have now.” (Twitter, 1/23/2019)

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)

Martin O’Malley (D)

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

In his own words:

  • “I believe we need new leadership to make that future a reality. And, I believe the new leader who can best bring us together and turn us around to create that better American future, is Beto O’Rourke.” (CNN, 1/3/2019)

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)

Ben Sasse (R)

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

In his own words:

  • Sasse said it’s unlikely he’ll run for president: “I honestly spent 16 months cleaning up then two-year old baby vomit off the floor of a campaign bus, and the thought of doing that in 50 states instead of just 93 counties sounds absolutely terrible. So I think noxious weed control board of Dodge County, Nebraska, is the far more probable scenario for me.” (Roll Call, 10/31/2018)

Tom Steyer (D)

Hedge fund billionaire and major progressive donor.

In his own words:

  • Steyer will not run for president, focusing on his campaign to impeach Trump instead. (Politico, 1/9/2019)
  • Tom Steyer, California billionaire, says he won’t run for office in 2018 (Variety, 01/08/2018)

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)

[Last updated on May 22, 2019]

Author: editor