2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries

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2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries

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3,768 (first ballot)[a] or 4,532[b] delegate votes to the Democratic National Convention
1,885 (first ballot)[a] or 2,267[b] delegate votes needed to win

Previous Democratic nominee

Hillary Clinton



The 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses will be a series of electoral contests organized by the Democratic Party to select at least 3,768 delegates to the Democratic National Convention (number is subject to change as possible bonus delegates and penalties are not yet included) and determine the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in the 2020 U.S. presidential election.[1] The elections will take place within all fifty U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. An extra 764 unpledged delegates or superdelegates, including party leaders and elected officials, (number is subject to change due to possible deaths, resignations, accessions or selection as a pledged candidate) will be appointed by the party leadership independently of the primary's electoral process. The convention will also approve the party's platform and vice-presidential nominee.

Following the 2016 presidential elections, significant changes were proposed that would change the number and role of superdelegates in the nomination process.[2] Changes were enacted on August 25, 2018, which would allow superdelegates to vote on the first ballot at a convention only if it were uncontested.[3]

Background[edit]

After Hillary Clinton's loss in the previous election, the Democratic Party was seen as not having a clear leader.[4] There remained divisions in the party following the 2016 primaries which pitted Clinton against Bernie Sanders.[5][6] Between the 2016 election and the 2018 midterm elections, Senate Democrats have generally shifted to the political left in relation to college tuition, healthcare, and immigration.[7][8]

Soon after the 2016 general election, the division between Clinton and Sanders supporters was highlighted in the 2017 Democratic National Committee chairmanship election between Tom Perez and Keith Ellison.[9] Perez was elected Chairman and appointed Ellison as the Deputy Chair, a largely ceremonial role.[7][8] Several candidates began releasing serious policy proposals early in 2019 resulting in the "invisible primary" being more visible than in previous elections.

Reforms since 2016[edit]

On August 25, 2018, DNC members passed reforms to the Democratic Party's primary process in order to increase participation[10] and ensure transparency.[11] The reforms mandate that superdelegates refrain from voting on the first presidential nominating ballot unless a candidate has enough votes from pledged delegates (based on the outcomes of primaries and caucuses) that superdelegates wouldn’t overturn the will of the people. This does not preclude superdelegates from endorsing a candidate of their choosing. Caucuses are required to have absentee voting or to otherwise allow those who cannot participate in person to join in. State parties are encouraged to use a government-run primary and increase primaries' accessibility, including through same-day or automatic registration and same-day party switching.[10]

Candidates[edit]

Declared candidates and exploratory committees[edit]

In addition to having announced that they are running for president in 2020 or having formed exploratory committees for the 2020 presidential election, the candidates in this section have held public office, been included in a minimum of five independent national polls or have otherwise received substantial coverage.[12][13][14][15][16][17]

  Formed exploratory committee but has not officially declared candidacy
Name Born Experience State Campaign
Announcement date
Ref.
Cory Booker, official portrait, 114th Congress.jpg
Cory Booker
April 27, 1969
(age 49)
Washington, D.C.
U.S. Senator from New Jersey (2013–present)
Mayor of Newark, New Jersey (2006–2013)
Flag of New Jersey.svg
New Jersey
Cory Booker 2020 Logo.svg

Campaign
Campaign: February 1, 2019
FEC filing[18]
[19]
Pete Buttigieg in February 2019.jpg
Pete Buttigieg
January 19, 1982
(age 37)
South Bend, Indiana
Mayor of South Bend, Indiana (2012–present) Flag of Indiana.svg
Indiana
Pete Buttigieg 2020 logo.svg

Campaign
Exploratory committee:
January 23, 2019

FEC filing[20]
[21]
Julián Castro's Official HUD Portrait (cropped).jpg
Julian Castro
September 16, 1974
(age 44)
San Antonio, Texas
U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (2014–2017)
Mayor of San Antonio, Texas (2009–2014)
Flag of Texas.svg
Texas
Julian Castro 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg

Campaign
Exploratory committee:
December 12, 2018
Campaign: January 12, 2019

FEC filing[22]
[23]
John Delaney 113th Congress official photo (cropped) 2.jpg
John Delaney
April 16, 1963
(age 55)
Wood-Ridge, New Jersey
U.S. Representative from MD-06 (2013–2019) Flag of Maryland.svg
Maryland
John Delaney 2020 logo.svg

Campaign
Campaign: July 28, 2017
FEC filing[24]
[25]
Tulsi Gabbard, official portrait, 113th Congress (cropped 3).jpg
Tulsi Gabbard
April 12, 1981
(age 37)
Leloaloa, American Samoa
U.S. Representative from HI-02 (2013-present) Flag of Hawaii.svg
Hawaii
Tulsi Gabbard 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg

Campaign
Campaign: January 11, 2019
FEC filing[26]
[27]
Kirsten Gillibrand, official portrait, 112th Congress (cropped).jpg
Kirsten Gillibrand
December 9, 1966
(age 52)
Albany, New York
U.S. Senator from New York (2009–present)
U.S. Representative from NY-20 (2007–2009)
Flag of New York.svg
New York
Gillibrand2020Logo.png

Campaign
Exploratory committee:
January 15, 2019
Campaign: March 17, 2019

FEC filing[28]
[29][30]
Mike Gravel by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Mike Gravel
May 13, 1930
(age 88)
Springfield, Massachusetts
U.S. Senator from Alaska (1969–1981)
Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives (1965–1967)
Democratic and Libertarian candidate for President in 2008
Flag of Alaska.svg
Alaska
P-ZxynH1iTDzdpKPr qzTzXP9OoAeLnmi0ks0m2uJSY.png

Campaign
Exploratory committee:
March 19, 2019

Scheduled announcement:
April 8, 2019
[31]
FEC filing[32]
[32]
Kamala Harris official photo (cropped).jpg
Kamala Harris
October 20, 1964
(age 54)
Oakland, California
U.S. Senator from California (2017–present)
Attorney General of California (2011–2017)
Flag of California.svg
California
Kamala Harris 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg

Campaign
Campaign: January 21, 2019
FEC filing[33]
[34]
Governor John Hickenlooper 2015.jpg
John Hickenlooper
February 7, 1952
(age 67)
Narberth, Pennsylvania
Governor of Colorado (2011–2019)
Mayor of Denver, Colorado (2003–2011)
Flag of Colorado.svg
Colorado
John Hickenlooper 2020 presidential campaign logo.png

Campaign
Campaign: March 4, 2019
FEC filing[35]
[36]
Jay Inslee official portrait crop.jpg
Jay Inslee
February 9, 1951
(age 68)
Seattle, Washington
Governor of Washington (2013–present)
U.S. Representative from WA-01 (1999–2012)
U.S. Representative from WA-04 (1993–1995)
Flag of Washington.svg
Washington
Jay Inslee 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg

Campaign
Campaign: March 1, 2019
FEC filing[37]
[38]
Amy Klobuchar, official portrait, 113th Congress (cropped 2).jpg
Amy Klobuchar
May 25, 1960
(age 58)
Plymouth, Minnesota
U.S. Senator from Minnesota (2007–present) Flag of Minnesota.svg
Minnesota
Amy Klobuchar 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg

Campaign
Campaign: February 10, 2019
FEC filing[39]
[40]
Mayor Messam.jpg
Wayne Messam
June 7, 1974
(age 44)
South Bay, Florida
Mayor of Miramar, Florida (2015–present) Flag of Florida.svg
Florida
Wayne Messam 2020 presidential campaign logo.png

Campaign
Exploratory committee:
March 13, 2019

Scheduled announcement:
March 30, 2019
[41]
FEC filing[42]
[43]
Beto O'Rourke crop.jpg
Beto O'Rourke
September 26, 1972
(age 46)
El Paso, Texas
U.S. Representative from TX-16 (2013–2019)
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate from Texas in 2018
Flag of Texas.svg
Texas
Beto O'Rourke 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg

Campaign
Campaign: March 14, 2019
FEC filing[44]
[45]
Bernie Sanders.jpg
Bernie Sanders
September 8, 1941
(age 77)
Brooklyn, New York
U.S. Senator from Vermont (2007–present)
U.S. Representative from VT-AL (1991–2007)
Mayor of Burlington, Vermont (1981–1989)
Democratic candidate for President in 2016
Flag of Vermont.svg
Vermont
Bernie Sanders 2020 logo.svg

Campaign
Campaign: February 19, 2019
FEC filing[46]
[47]
Elizabeth Warren, official portrait, 114th Congress (cropped)(2).jpg
Elizabeth Warren
June 22, 1949
(age 69)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (2013–present)
Flag of Massachusetts.svg
Massachusetts
Elizabeth Warren 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg

Campaign
Exploratory committee:
December 31, 2018
Campaign: February 9, 2019

FEC filing[48]
[49]
Marianne Williamson (cropped).jpg
Marianne Williamson
July 8, 1952
(age 66)
Houston, Texas
Spiritual teacher, author, lecturer, entrepreneur, and activist
Independent candidate for U.S. Representative from CA-33 in 2014
Flag of California.svg
California
Marianne 2020 logo 51007580.jpg

Campaign
Exploratory committee:
November 15, 2018
Campaign: January 28, 2019

FEC filing[50]
[51]
Andrew Yang talking about urban entrepreneurship at Techonomy Conference 2015 in Detroit, MI (cropped).jpg
Andrew Yang
January 13, 1975
(age 44)
Schenectady, New York
Entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America Flag of New York.svg
New York
Andrew Yang 2020 logo.png

Campaign
Campaign: November 6, 2017
FEC filing[52]
[53]

Including the 17 candidates above, 212 individuals have filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in the Democratic Party primary, as of March 20, 2019.[54] The additional candidates include the following notable persons:

  • Michael E. Arth, artist, builder, architectural and urban designer, and political scientist
  • Harry Braun, renewable energy consultant and researcher
  • Ken Nwadike Jr., documentary filmmaker, motivational speaker, and peace activist
  • Robby Wells, former college football coach

Withdrawn candidates[edit]

The candidates in this section have withdrawn or suspended their campaigns.

Candidate Born Experience State Campaign Ref
MAJ Richard Ojeda.jpg
Richard Ojeda
September 25, 1970
(age 48)
Rochester, Minnesota
West Virginia State Senator (2016–2019)
Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative from WV-03 in 2018
Flag of West Virginia.svg
West Virginia

Campaign
Announced: November 11, 2018
Suspended: January 25, 2019

[55][56]

Individuals who have publicly expressed interest[edit]

Individuals in this section have expressed an interest in running for president within the last six months, as of March 2019. Some already have leadership PACs that function as campaign committees.[57]

Declined to be candidates[edit]

The individuals in this section have been the subject of speculation about their possible candidacy, but have publicly denied interest in running.

Debates[edit]

On December 20, 2018, Tom Perez, the chairman for the Democratic National Committee, announced the preliminary schedule for a series of official debates, set to begin in June 2019.[196] In order to qualify, debate entrants must either attain 1% in three polls (conducted by unique organizations if within the same region; i.e., without double-counting) — at the national level or the first four primary states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina) — or by meeting a fundraising threshold, in which a candidate must receive donations from 65,000 unique donors, with at least 200 unique donors per state in at least 20 states.[197]

The polling threshold will be determined using polls published after January 1, 2019 up until two weeks for the scheduled debate among polls commissioned or conducted by a limited set of organizations: the Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, The Des Moines Register, Fox News, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Monmouth University, NBC News, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Quinnipiac University, Reuters, the University of New Hampshire, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and Winthrop University.[198]

Candidates who wish to qualify using the fundraising threshold must present evidence to the DNC of their eligibility using donor data collected by ActBlue or NGP VAN.[198]

Should more than 20 candidates meet these criteria, the 20 debate entrants will be winnowed with "a methodology that gives primacy to candidates meeting both thresholds, followed by the highest polling average, followed by the most unique donors."[198]

On March 6, 2019, the Democratic National Committee announced that it would not partner with Fox News for any debates.[199] Fox News had last held a Democratic debate in 2003.[200]

Democratic primary debate schedule[201]
No. Date Time Place Sponsor(s)
1 June 2019 TBD TBD NBC News, MSNBC, Telemundo
2 July 2019 TBD TBD CNN
3 August 2019 TBD TBD TBD
4 September 2019 TBD TBD TBD
5 October 2019 TBD TBD TBD
6 November/December 2019 TBD TBD TBD
7 January 2020 TBD TBD TBD
8 January/February 2020 TBD TBD TBD
9 February 2020 TBD TBD TBD
10 February 2020 TBD TBD TBD
11 March 2020 TBD TBD TBD
12 April 2020 TBD TBD TBD

Forums[edit]

The Heartland Forum in Storm Lake, Iowa will be held on March 30, 2019. This forum will center on the debate of America's monopoly problem, with the candidates offering solutions. The forum will be sponsored by Open Markets Institute Action, HuffPost, The Storm Lake Times and the Iowa Farmers Union. Every declared and potential Democratic presidential candidate is invited to the forum, though so far only Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Elizabeth Warren, former Congressman John Delaney, and former HUD secretary Julian Castro, are scheduled to take part in the forum.[202]

The "We The People Membership Summit" forum will be held at the Warner Theater in the District of Columbia on April 1, 2019. The forum will center on the debate of "democracy reform". So far, the candidates scheduled to attend are Senator Cory Booker, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor Jay Inslee, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Senator Elizabeth Warren.[203]

A Democratic presidential candidate forum will be hosted by The Human Rights Campaign Foundation and UCLA on October 10, 2019 in Los Angeles.[204]

Timeline[edit]

Overview[edit]

Active campaign
Exploratory committee
Withdrawn candidate
Midterm elections
Iowa caucuses
Super Tuesday
Democratic convention
Richard Ojeda 2020 presidential campaignAndrew Yang 2020 presidential campaignMarianne Williamson 2020 presidential campaignElizabeth Warren 2020 presidential campaignBernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaignBeto O'Rourke 2020 presidential campaignWayne Messam 2020 presidential campaignAmy Klobuchar 2020 presidential campaignJay Inslee 2020 presidential campaignJohn Hickenlooper 2020 presidential campaignKamala Harris 2020 presidential campaignMike Gravel#2020 presidential electionKirsten Gillibrand 2020 presidential campaignTulsi Gabbard 2020 presidential campaignJohn Delaney 2020 presidential campaignJulian Castro 2020 presidential campaignPete Buttigieg 2020 presidential campaignCory Booker 2020 presidential campaign

2017[edit]

John Delaney was the first major candidate to announce his campaign, two and a half years before the 2020 Iowa caucus.

2018[edit]

Julian Castro's formation of an exploratory committee in December 2018 was seen as the start of the campaign in earnest.[207]
  • August 25: Democratic Party officials and television networks begin discussions as to the nature and scheduling of the following year's debates and the nomination process.[208] Changes were made to the role of superdelegates, deciding to only allow them to vote on the first ballot if the nomination is uncontested.[2]
  • November 6: The 2018 midterm elections are held.
  • November 11: West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda announces his candidacy.[209]
  • November 15: Spiritual teacher and author Marianne Williamson forms an exploratory committee.[210]
  • November 19: Ojeda holds a campaign launch rally in Louisville, Kentucky.[211]
  • December 12: Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro forms an exploratory committee.[212]
  • December 31: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts forms an exploratory committee.[213]

2019[edit]

Sen. Kamala Harris launched her bid on January 21, 2019.
Bernie Sanders launched his second campaign on February 19, 2019.
Beto O'Rourke launched his bid on March 14, 2019.

2020[edit]

The following anticipated primary and caucus dates may change depending on legislation passed before the scheduled primary dates.[229]

  • February 3: Iowa caucus[229]
  • February 4: New York primary (see below)[229]
  • February 11: New Hampshire primary[229]
  • February 22: Nevada caucus[229]
  • February 29: South Carolina primary[229]
  • March 3: Super Tuesday (Alabama, Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia primaries; Democrats Abroad preference vote through March 10)[229]
  • March 7: Louisiana primary[229]
  • March 10: Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Washington (format TBD) primaries; North Dakota firehouse caucus[229]
  • March 17: Arizona, Florida, and Illinois primaries[229]
  • March 21: Washington (format TBD) caucus[229]
  • To be determined: Colorado primary (March 3, 10 or 17)[229]
  • April 7: Wisconsin primary[229]
  • April 28: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island primaries[229]
  • May 5: Indiana primary[229]
  • May 12: West Virginia primary[229]
  • May 19: Kentucky and Oregon primaries[229]
  • June 2: Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota primaries[229]
  • June 7: Puerto Rico primary[229]
  • June 16: District of Columbia primary[229]

As of March 2019, primaries and caucuses for the following states are not yet scheduled; 2016 dates are listed in parentheses: American Samoa (March 1), Kansas (March 5), Maine (March 6), Northern Mariana Islands (March 12), Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming (April 9), Guam (May 7), and Virgin Islands (June 4) caucuses, and Georgia (March 1), Nebraska (March 5), Idaho (March 22), and New York (April 19) primaries; Utah (March 22) has a presidential caucus, but a primary option if funded; New York primary is scheduled for February 4 for procedural reasons, but date is expected to be amended.[229]

National convention[edit]

The 2020 Democratic National Convention is scheduled to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 13–16, 2020.[230][231][232]

In addition to Milwaukee, the DNC also considered bids from three other cities: Houston, Texas;[233] Miami Beach, Florida[234] (hosted the 1972 convention); and Denver, Colorado. Denver, though, was immediately withdrawn from consideration by representatives for the city, citing scheduling conflicts.[235]

Endorsements[edit]

Primary election polling[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Number is subject to change as possible bonus delegates and penalties are not yet included.
  2. ^ a b Number is subject to change due to possible deaths, resignations, accessions or selection as a pledged candidate.
  3. ^ a b c d This individual is not a member of the Democratic Party, but has been the subject of speculation or expressed interest in running under this party.
  4. ^ Schultz is considering running for president as an Independent candidate.

References[edit]

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