Senator from Colorado
54 years old
Announced candidacy on May 2, 2019
The Colorado senator grabbed attention this year with a fiery floor speech during the government shutdown. He blasted Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas for his proposal to fund the Coast Guard while the government was shut down. This rankled Bennet who was annoyed that during the 2013 shutdown that Cruz encouraged, emergency funding for flooding in Colorado was delayed. Bennet was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, but the surgery reportedly went well. Bennet’s focuses in the presidential race could be on good governance, finance and foreign policy. And while the former Denver public schools superintendent is progressive on many issues, progressive activists won’t like parts of his record, including his vote for the Keystone Pipeline and against the filibuster for conservative Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Bennet’s father, Douglas, was a former president of NPR.
Senator from New Jersey
50 years old
Announced candidacy on Feb. 1, 2019
The social media-savvy New Jersey senator is known to have literally saved someone from a burning building and shoveled sidewalks while mayor of Newark, N.J. As a senator, he has championed criminal justice reform (with Republican Rand Paul), advocated for scaling back federal criminal penalties for marijuana, pushed for civil rights and gained attention for his questioning of Trump Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. He has faced criticism for his ties to Wall Street and defense of private equity, the pharmaceutical industry and charter schools. He has some work to do to differentiate himself in a crowded field, but he is better-known among Democrats than many of the others running.
Senator from California
55 years old
Announced candidacy on Jan. 21, 2019
The former prosecutor launched her campaign with the slogan “For the People,” a populist refrain alluding to her time in the courtroom. Only the second black woman to serve in the Senate, Harris has gained recognition there for her sharp questioning of Trump administration officials and nominees during hearings. Some on the left are skeptical of her because of what they see as a mixed record on social justice during her time as a prosecutor.
Senator from Minnesota
59 years old
Announced candidacy on Feb. 10, 2019
The Minnesota senator and former prosecutor could have a geographic advantage. Trump won Midwestern states like Michigan and Wisconsin that had been Democratic strongholds, while Klobuchar, 58, has outpaced national Democrats in Minnesota. Hillary Clinton won it by fewer than 2 percentage points in 2016, while Klobuchar won more than 60 percent of the vote in 2018. On policy, she has taken up consumer protection and criminal justice issues but has not waded deep into thornier concerns. “I tend not to be a spear-thrower,” Klobuchar said in 2013. That could be a downside if the progressive Democratic base wants a pugilist.
Senator from Vermont
78 years old
Announced candidacy on Feb. 19, 2019
No one person is more responsible for what the 2020 Democrats are running on than the Vermont senator. Yet he may struggle to keep together his coalition that gave Hillary Clinton a serious challenge in 2016, with so many competing candidates adopting his views. The 77-year-old democratic socialist went from pushing his ideas on income inequality and health care from the fringes into the mainstream of the party. Even though Sanders is a member of Senate Democratic leadership and ran for the Democratic nomination four years ago, the independent has declined to join the party. That rankles some Democratic activists, many of whom also say they would like to vote for someone younger.
Senator from Massachusetts
70 years old
Announced exploratory committee on Dec. 31, 2018; announced candidacy on Feb. 9, 2019
Presenting herself a populist fighter, the former law professor has sought tougher regulations on Wall Street, including as the chief architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Warren has not shied away from calling out what she sees as endemic structural problems and causes of income inequality. A popular target of President Trump’s for her past claims of Native American heritage, Warren’s attempt to move past that with a DNA test landed her in controversy.
Former representative from Maryland's 6th District
56 years old
Announced candidacy on July 28, 2017
The millionaire former congressman announced for president before any other Democrats did and has been making trips to early primary states ever since. Though he could spend millions of his own money on a presidential race, Delaney has called for reforming the campaign finance system; he also calls for more gun restrictions and wants to end gerrymandering despite benefiting from it himself. Despite his diligent campaigning, Delaney is still not a household name.
Representative from Hawaii's 2nd District
38 years old
Announced candidacy on Jan. 11, 2019
A supporter of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary against Hillary Clinton, Gabbard decided to give it a go herself in 2020. Gabbard served in the Army National Guard, stepping down from the Hawaii state Legislature in 2004 for the first of two deployments to the Middle East. She is running as an anti-war Democrat. She has landed in controversy, however, for meeting with Syrian leader Bashar Assad without the Obama administration’s knowledge in January 2017. She has declined to apologize for that but did apologize when confronted with her past positions against LGBTQ rights.
Former representative from Pennsylvania's 7th District
67 years old
Announced candidacy on June 22, 2019
The 24th candidate — and seventh current or former member of the U.S. House — to enter the crowded Democratic race, Sestak spent his career in the U.S. Navy before entering politics. The three-star admiral commanded an aircraft carrier strike group and worked in President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council before running for Congress in 2006. Sestak is best known for upsetting Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania’s 2010 Democratic Senate primary. He lost the general election that year to Republican Pat Toomey, and exited Congress. Sestak immediately began positioning himself for another Senate run in 2016, but lost in the primary.
Former secretary of housing and urban development
45 years old
Announced candidacy on Jan. 12, 2019
Castro made his presidential announcement from San Antonio and in two languages. “Yo soy candidato” — “I am a candidate” — was meant to resonate with Latinos at a time when many have felt under attack in the Trump era. Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio and a housing secretary under President Barack Obama, has championed social justice issues and drawn on his own story to demonstrate why affirmative action is a positive for the country. He has a lot of work to do to get people to know him better, as he has had a limited time on the national stage.
Former vice president
76 years old
Announced candidacy on April 25, 2019
He is the only person in the field to be on the last two winning Democratic presidential tickets, as Barack Obama’s vice president. Polls show him leading the field, but Biden is seen as a pragmatist who is friendly to Republicans and landed in controversy even before his presidential campaign began. Several women said he made them feel uncomfortable because of unwanted touching. He wrote the Violence Against Women Act but faces questions about the treatment of Anita Hill during Clarence Thomas’ confirmation hearing, which he chaired in 1991. Biden is also under scrutiny for positions in decades past on crime, while banking on his broad appeal to moderate voters who went for Trump in a crowded field of many lesser-known candidates.
Governor of Montana
53 years old
Announced candidacy on May 14, 2019
The two-term Montana governor won reelection the same year Donald Trump won his state in the presidential election by more than 20 points. As former chairman of the bipartisan National Governors Association, he wears the moderate label while pointing out progressive values such as limiting “dark money” for groups that spend in Montana. He’s pro-union, expanded Medicaid, increased education spending, froze college tuition and supports abortion rights. Bullock’s failure to warn future employers about alleged sexual harassment by a fired aide — he called himself “wrong and naive” — as well as past support for expanded gun rights and a low national profile present hurdles for his candidacy in this very crowded field.
Former governor of Massachusetts
63 years old
Announced candidacy on Nov. 14, 2019
The former two-term governor of Massachusetts is only the second African-American elected as a governor in any state in the country. He also served in the Clinton administration and has extensive experience in the private sector, most recently serving as a managing director for social impact investing at Bain Capital. The private equity firm, co-founded by Mitt Romney, was lambasted by Democrats in 2012. Patrick is close to former President Obama and was initially seen by a number of Obama-allies as a potentially promising candidate. But he faces a huge hurdle entering an already-crowded race less than three months before voters begin casting ballots. Because he has entered the contest so late, he’s unlikely to make the debate stage next month and he has missed the filing deadlines in two key southern states: Arkansas and Alabama.
Mayor of South Bend, Ind.
37 years old
Announced exploratory committee on Jan. 23, 2019
One of the youngest candidates, he has cast his candidacy as about the future. He wants policies “untethered to the politics of the past” and has played up being part of a “generation that is stepping forward.” He’s an Afghanistan War veteran and the first married gay man to make a run at the presidency. For Buttigieg, it will be difficult to vault onto the national scene as a small-city mayor.
Mayor of Miramar, Fla.
45 years old
Announced candidacy on March 28, 2019
It’s everybody in the pool in the Democratic primary. Jumping in now is the mayor of Miramar, Fla., in South Florida with a population of about 150,000 (which, by the way, is larger than an Indiana town where another popular Democratic presidential candidate is mayor). Messam, the son of Jamaican immigrants who worked in Florida’s sugar cane fields, has been mayor since 2015. He served on the city commission before that, owns a construction company and played football as a wide receiver at Florida State University in the 1990s. Messam is largely unknown outside Miramar, so his candidacy faces that challenge in picking up traction.
Billionaire business executive, activist
62 years old
Announced candidacy on July 9, 2019
Impeachment, impeachment, impeachment. Perhaps it’s no surprise that Steyer, a California billionaire hedge-fund manager, announced for president as liberals increase pressure on congressional leaders to go forward with impeachment proceedings of President Trump after the Mueller report was released. Steyer had promised to spend some $40 million on ads promoting impeachment and announced in January he would not run for president. But his change of heart will mean impeachment will get more of a focus in this Democratic presidential race.
Spiritual guru, entrepreneur
67 years old
Announced candidacy on Jan. 28, 2019
The best-selling New Age author and friend of Oprah Winfrey said in November, “We had a miracle in this country in 1776, and we need another one.” Williamson has already visited Iowa. In 2014, Williamson ran for a congressional seat in California as an independent. Despite spending $2 million, with endorsements by singer Alanis Morissette and former Rep. Dennis Kucinich, she finished fourth.
Founder of Venture for America
44 years old
Announced candidacy on Nov. 6, 2017
Yang got his start in tech startups, worked with the Obama administration advocating for entrepreneurship and wrote a book about how automation is hurting regular people. He’s in favor of establishing a “universal basic income” for all adults and proposes giving Americans $1,000 a month to offset the loss of wages from automation. He has been traveling to early states but is not well-known.
Former representative from Texas' 16th District
Announced candidacy on March 14, 2019. Dropped out on Nov. 1, 2019.
Representative from Ohio's 13th District
Announced candidacy on April 4, 2019. Dropped out on Oct. 24, 2019.
Mayor of New York City
Announced candidacy on May 16, 2019. Dropped out on Sept. 20, 2019.
Senator from New York
Announced exploratory committee on Jan. 15, 2019; announced candidacy on March 17, 2019. Dropped out on Aug. 28, 2019.
Representative from Massachusetts' 6th District
Announced candidacy on April 22, 2019. Dropped out on Aug. 23, 2019.
Governor of Washington
Announced candidacy on March 1, 2019. Dropped out on Aug. 21, 2019.
Former governor of Colorado
Announced candidacy on March 4, 2019. Dropped out on Aug. 15, 2019.
Representative from California's 15th District
Announced candidacy on April 8, 2019. Dropped out on July 8, 2019.