Presidential races can be a lot to track, we know that. To help stay on top of it, this is your guide to the 2020 presidential race.
Candidates have qualified for a profile in this guide by generating at least 2% support in polling (so you know we didn’t just pick who we liked). Polling numbers have been gathered from nation-wide polls and aggregate data, rather than using a single source.
Candidate party-affiliations are based on official registry with the Federal Elections Committee (except Bernie Sanders: he is listed as an independent but is polling with Democratic candidates).
All candidate names are linked to official campaign websites, their Twitter accounts are linked in their profile as well.
This guide will be Democratic-party heavy. This is not because we love the Dems and their candidates, but because there is bound to be very few Republican challengers to Trump.
By the Numbers (as of May 13)
716: The total number of officially registered presidential candidates
244: Total number of Democratic candidates
91: Total number of Republican candidates
381: Total number of third-party candidates
38: Weeks left until Iowa’s first in the nation caucus
Most Recent News
(May 14) Steve Bullock (D), Governor of Montana, announced he is running for President.
(May 2) Michael Bennet (D), U.S. Senator from Colorado, announced he is running for President.
(April 25) Joe Biden (D), former Vice President, announced he is running for President.
Leading in Democratic Polling
Here is the most recent nation-wide polling data for Democratic candidates.
Joe Biden: Former Vice President in the Obama administration, Biden recently made his campaign official, but he’s already leading polling for Democrats and is considered a serious player in the field.
Reports surfaced at the end of March about Biden’s alleged misconduct surrounding his interactions with women dating back to the late 2000s.
Below is a video Biden released when he launched his campaign. Biden has said he is on a mission to “save America’s soul,” and speaks in the video about America “as an idea.”
Biden also announced that he plans to take the 99-county tour of idea – to visit each and every county in the state. Here is his twitter page.
Bernie Sanders: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders ran a strong campaign in 2016, gaining more traction than he was expected and nearly stealing the nomination from Hillary Clinton.
Sanders had a bold platform in 2016, focusing on the high cost of college, income inequality and environmental issues – all of which were contentious in 2016 but are now included in the platforms of most progressive Democratic candidates.
Sanders also dealt with some issues of misconduct – though not himself, but rather his staffers – when reports surfaced in January of sexual misconduct amongst a few of his staffers from the 2016 campaign.
Below is Senator Sanders’ announcement video for the 2020 presidential race. Here is his twitter account.
Kamala Harris: California Senator Kamala Harris was one of the earlier candidates to enter the Democratic field. Harris was honored with the first CNN Town Hall of the cycle, a strong showing that has led to a strong polling start.
Harris is running a campaign similar to Sanders’ 2016 campaign. However, as a woman of color, she is also putting a strong focus on building diversity across all levels of government. She has also outlined an infrastructure plan to increase teacher’s wages across the country.
Here is the link to her presidential-campaign Twitter page. Below is her campaign video.
Beto O’Rourke: Almost a Texan Senator, O’Rourke lost to Ted Cruz in the 2018 midterm elections. Whilst losing the race, however, O’Rourke raised an unprecedented $80 million to fund his race for office, sparking rumors that he could be a viable presidential candidate.
O’Rourke has one of the more vague platforms in the Democratic field so far. With no central issue he is concerned with, O’Rourke has shown a charismatic affinity for interacting with crowds of supporters and has jumped at every opportunity to contest Donald Trump when he may.
Beto has one of the more active Twitter’s of the candidates, perhaps because he isn’t currently serving as a Senator. Here’s his campaign launch video, filmed with his wife, Amy, by his side.
Elizabeth Warren: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has put herself at the front of the battle against large corporations not paying their share, corruption in Washington, the fossil fuel industry and rebuilding America’s middle class.
Warren has proposed specific legislation already in her campaign, including bills to combat the power of fossil-fuel companies, to cut down on the influence of “tech giants,” and the “Ultra-Millionare Tax” focused on taxing “excessive” wealth held by the richest 1% of families, money she claims is missing from the tax system unjustly.
Her commitment to outlining specific policy has gained her support over time, and earned her some positive, pop-culture attention on Saturday Night Live.
Warren has been in hot water for some time over claims that she identified as Native or American Indian. She released a video in October to attempt to put the issue to bed, but the whole incident left a bad taste in the mouth of many POC (people of color) voters.
Warren’s Twitter page shows her opposition to large companies, like Amazon, making billions of dollars why paying no federal taxes. Below is a video of her campaign-launching speech back in February.
Cory Booker: New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is perhaps the most moderate of the Democratic candidates, though he is still running on a progressive platform. Booker has put emphasis on criminal and social justice with campaign slogans like ‘We Can’t Wait’ and ‘Justice for All.’
Booker, a man of faith who has been unafraid to share a personal story of his family overcoming systemic racism, has drawn comparisons to Obama already.
While he has not had any allegations or missteps of the sort, someone did put together an odd thread of tweets from Booker over the last ten years, alluding to his off-and-on relationships with sleeping and drinking coffee. Some people found the tweets very off-putting while others have simply laughed them off.
Booker has amassed an impressive staff for his campaign, hiring many Midwest staffers who played key roles in the 2016 and 2018 election cycles.
Other Democratic candidates drawing support
Pete Buttigieg: At 37, he is the first-ever ‘millennial’ to run for the presidency. Here’s his campaign announcement from February.
“Mayor Pete” as he’s been dubbed – formerly the Mayor of South Bend, Indiana – has made waves at times already this caucus. Most notably, thousands turned out to a rally in Iowa, showing his potential as a mobilizing candidate.
Buttigieg has also dealt with some uproar after he misspoke during a conversation regarding vaccinations, specifically regarding exemptions to vaccine requirements. His campaign has since come out to clarify their stance on the issue.
Check out Bittigieg on Twitter, as well.
Amy Klobuchar: As a Minnesota Senator, Klobuchar will look to take advantage of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus in her neighboring state. She was drawing strong support after launching her campaign, but her numbers have been slipping a bit since then, something she’ll look to turn around.
Klobuchar is another more moderate Democrat, as she has avoided making grandiose claims in regard to health care and tuition. But Klobuchar does have a long-standing history in the Senate and in D.C. She has been a big proponent of the mission to give Washington D.C. its statehood, which may earn her some D.C. endorsements.
After launching her campaign in February, Klobuchar dealt with some choppy waters when reports surfaced of former staffers accusing her of demeaning and abusive behavior, including throwing objects at staffers or making them shave her legs.
She has been involved on social media, providing her commentary on issues as they occur – check out her Twitter. Linked, is video of her campaign announcement from Minnesota during a snowstorm – very Minnesotan.
Andrew Yang: As the founder of Venture for America, Yang does not shy away from thinking big and outside the box. During his campaigning, Yang has slowly and steadily increased his support and growing the “Yang Gang” – the nickname for his group of supporters.
Yang has outlined ambitious goals for his trickle-up economics plans, including providing $1,000 to every adult over the age of 18, per month; a policy he has called the “Freedom Dividend.”
His platform is perhaps the most progressive of them all, policy-wise. With plans to legalize marijuana, make Puerto Rico a state, make D.C. a state, increase teacher pay, fund local journalism, create term limits for Supreme Court Justices and more, Yang is outlining a specific vision for the future that seems to be connecting well, despite one of the lower name-recognition rates.
Yang has been taking advantage of any time in the light he acquires, going on television shows when he can and running a very active campaign. Check his Twitter to keep up with his appearances, below is his campaign video, “Humanity First.”
Kirsten Gillibrand: As a ten-year Senator from New York, Gillibrand has been one of Trump’s toughest opponents in the legislature. FiveThirtyEight reported that Gillibrand has voted in line with Trump the least frequently of any elected official during his presidency.
Gillibrand has been an advocate against sexual assault, a leader in the fight for women’s reproductive rights, co-sponsored Medicare for All, has voiced support for the Green New Deal and was the first 2020 presidential candidate to release their tax return.
Her campaign has had some minor sticking points for more progressive voters; she had a relatively conservative track record as a representative, something that has very much changed since she joined the Senate. Now a major voice in the gun-control discussion, Gillibrand was rated highly by the NRA during her time as a representative – receiving an A on their grading scale.
Gillibrand is active on Twitter, and documents her travels while also commenting on issues of the day. Below is her official campaign video.
Donald Trump: He’s the President. By now, everyone should be aware of him and what he stands for. Trump has an unprecedented amount of money collected to run his re-election campaign, thanks to the fact that he’s been fundraising for it since the day he was inaugurated. It will be a tough challenge for any Republican who tries to challenge him.
President Trump does have a verified Youtube page, which is incredibly active.
Bill Weld: Weld seems to be the one conservative willing to stand up to Trump and challenge him on a spread of issues.
Weld is a former Governor of Massachusetts, where he served from 1991 to 1997. He was also the running mate for Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson, in the 2016 election cycle.
Weld recently made his official announcement, which has left his campaign finances in a tight spot compared to Trump; only adding to the difficulty of challenging him.
In mid-May, The Hill released a video of him talking about Trump’s shortcomings as President, notably calling him out for his stance and inaction on climate change and the national deficit.
In regard to policy, Weld’s biggest goal has been to balance the budget and get rid of the deficit mentioned above. He also stands out in the Republican field as a supporter of LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriage, and for his pro-choice stance.
Weld has recently created a website for his campaign (linked to his name in blue) and has stepped up his social media presence, becoming much more active on Twitter.
Bill Weld has described himself as a “classic conservative” and hopes to return the party to some normalcy with his campaign. With a tough road ahead of him, he will assuredly need a plethora of endorsements from Republicans if he is to pose any serious threat to Trump in 2020.
Flag picture by jnn1776 via Flickr. All photos and videos are from official campaign material.