The next presidential election doesn't take place until November 3, 2020, but there are already numerous candidates who have announced that they are running for the country's most prestigious position. Some of the candidates are household names, while others are lesser known. Even more have yet to announce their 2020 plans.
One thing is for sure, the field is already very crowded. Here, we're breaking down all the current hopefuls and some who are still undecided. It will all come to a head next year when a nominee is selected to oppose President Trump.
Kamala Harris Will Make History If She Secures the Democratic Nomination
Before she became a California senator in 2016, Kamala Harris was the state's attorney general. If she gets the Democratic nomination, Harris would be the first African-American woman and the first Asian-American woman to be a major-party nominee for president.
In her recent memoir, The Truths We Hold, she writes: "We cannot solve our most intractable problems unless we are honest about what they are, unless we are willing to have difficult conversations and accept what facts make plain. We cannot build an economy that gives dignity and decency to American workers unless we first speak truth. ... And I intend to do just that."
Cory Booker Wants Americans To Be Proud, Not Ashamed, Of Their Leaders
Cory Anthony Booker is a senator from New Jersey. He was first elected in 2013 after winning a special election to replace deceased Senator Frank Lautenberg. When announcing his candidacy, he said in a video message: "I believe that we can build a country where no one is forgotten, no one is left behind; where parents can put food on the table."
Booker continued, "Where there are good-paying jobs with good benefits in every neighborhood; where our criminal justice system keeps us safe instead of shuffling more children into cages and coffins; where we see the faces of our leaders on television and feel pride, not shame."
Elizabeth Warren Wants To Live In A Country That Works For People Of All Income Levels
Democrat Elizabeth Warren is a Massachusetts senator who was initially elected in 2012. She was previously a professor at Harvard Law School. When announcing her campaign, she noted how the rich keep getting richer and the government doesn't take care of the average worker.
"We all want a country where every American — not just the ones who hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers — everyone can participate in democracy," she noted in campaign kick off speech. "Where every child can dream big and reach for opportunity. And we're all in the fight to build an America that works for everyone."
Julian Castro Was The First Hispanic Candidate To Join The 2020 Race
President Barack Obama selected Julian Castro as the secretary of housing and urban development (HUD) in 2014. Prior to that, he was mayor of San Antonio, Texas (a position he landed at the young age of 26). When announcing his candidacy, he said: "I've always believed with big dreams and hard work anything is possible in this nation."
While exploring a possible presidential bid, Castro stated in December 2018, "Americans are ready to climb out of this darkness. We're ready to keep our promises, and we're not going to wait. We're going to work."
Amy Klobuchar Hopes To Make Things Right Again
Amy Klobuchar is a senator from Minnesota, who was initially elected in 2006. She won her third term in office in 2018. She was previously an attorney in Hennepin County, Minnesota, and a possible nominee to replace former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016. President Obama nominated Merrick Garland instead.
"We are all tired of the shutdowns and the putdowns, the gridlock and the grandstanding," Klobuchar said during a rally in Minnesota announcing her run. “Our nation must be governed not from chaos but from opportunity. Not by wallowing over what's wrong, but by marching inexorably toward what’s right.”
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang Thinks The Government Should Give Every Citizen $1,000 A Month
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang is the founder of the nonprofit organization Venture for America, which recruits college graduates and enrolls them in a fellowship program where they apprentice at startups in developing American cities. He has an interesting solution to helping Americans.
"The most direct and concrete way for the government to improve your life is to send you a check for $1,000 every month and let you spend it in whatever manner will benefit you the most," Yang wrote on his campaign website. He added that the government has "plenty of resources, they're just not being distributed to enough people right now."
Beto O'Rourke Is A Democratic Wild Card
One of the more highly-anticipated potential Democratic nominees finally announced on March 13, 2019, that he is running for president. Beto O'Rourke represented Texas' 16th Congressional District from 2013 to 2019. He gained national popularity when he gave Sen. Ted Cruz a run for his money in the 2018 general election. Despite losing the senatorial campaign, O'Rourke managed to raise a record $70 million and caused a lot of buzz among Americans.
Many feel he's a wildcard candidate but with his ability to tap into Generation X (he's touted his love of Star Wars and punk rock), he might grow to be a favorite among Democrats looking for a fresh, young candidate.
Pete Buttigieg Could Be America's First Gay President
Pete Buttigieg has been the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, since 2011. He was elected at age 29, making him the youngest mayor of a U.S. city with at least 100,000 residents. He has also served in the United States Navy Reserve and is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. Buttigieg is gay and married his husband in 2018.
"We have got to change the trajectory that we're on so that mine is not the first generation to be worse off economically than my parents' was," Buttigieg said in an NPR interview. "If there's one center of gravity to all of it, I think it's this question of the future."
Tulsi Gabbard Aims To Bring Respect Back To The Presidency
Tulsi Gabbard represents Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House, a position she's held since 2012. She previously served two tours of duty in the Middle East as a company commander in the National Guard.
"I will bring this soldier's principles to the White House, restoring the values of dignity, honor and respect to the presidency and above all else, love for our people and love for our country," Gabbard said during her campaign launch. "I ask you to join me, join me in putting this spirit, this spirit of service above self at the forefront and to stand up against the forces of greed and corruption."
Morality Is Important To Self-Help Author Marianne Williamson
Self-help author, entrepreneur and activist Marianne Williamson announced she was running for president in January 2019. She founded Project Angel Food and co-founded The Peace Alliance. During a campaign event in South Carolina, she talked about morality:
"Fear has been harnessed in this country for political purposes. Our job is to harness dignity, decency, democracy, and love for political purposes." She added, "Desecrating the earth to make some more money for oil companies is a moral issue. Tax cuts that only help the rich and make it more difficult for people to make it in life is a moral issue. Immigration – separating children from their parents – is a moral issue.”
John Delaney Wants To Start Solving Problems & Unify America
John Delaney founded two New York Exchange Stock Exchange businesses and a nonprofit organization before being elected to the United States House of Representatives representing Maryland's 6th Congressional District in 2012. He chose to run for president rather than seek re-election.
"We really need to move to a bit of a post-partisan world where we actually start solving problems and stop kind of living in a country where the political leaders act like half the country is entirely wrong about everything they believe and increasingly try to pit American against American," Delaney explained during an interview with Here & Now.
Kirsten Gillibrand Hopes To Heal The Nation & Bring People Together
Kirsten Gillibrand is a New York senator. She was appointed in 2009 after then-senator Hillary Clinton was appointed to Secretary of State. Gillibrand was previously an attorney, law clerk, campaign staffer, and Special Counsel to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
"I believe that if you have this values-driven message of bringing us together, healing the nation, disrupting the powers that makes this all impossible — the money in politics, the corruption and the greed — and tell all the folks who left behind that 'I've got your back, I will fight for you,’ you will bring people together," she said during a campaign stop in South Carolina.
Democrats Aren't Crazy About Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Who's Mulling A 2020 Run
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is thinking about running for the U.S. presidency as an independent candidate. The billionaire's intentions have made many Democrats upset. They believe Schultz could take votes away from the nominee the party eventually selects. This, in turn, could potentially give Trump a better chance at re-election.
"I would never put myself in the position of being the person to re-elect Donald Trump," Schultz told CNN. Schultz has not revealed any policy proposals but sides with Republicans on some issues and Democrats on other issues. He advocates abortion rights, gay marriage, and stronger laws on firearms.
President Trump's Campaign Is Spending Lots Of Money On Digital Ads
President Donald Trump assumed office on January 20, 2017, and filed to run for re-election on the same day. Interestingly, Trump didn't publicly comment about any potential Democratic challengers in the 2020 election until Amy Klobuchar announced her candidacy during a blizzard.
Trump tweeted, "By the end of her speech she looked like a Snowman(woman)!" and he simultaneously questioned climate change. Trump's campaign is already gearing up for the election by spending a lot of money on digital ads. According to The Hill, over the past few weeks, his team spent a combined $778,000 on just Facebook ads.
Joe Biden Isn't Ready To Announce His Plans Just Yet
Joe Biden was Vice President of the United States under President Barack Obama. It's unclear whether he's running for president in 2020, and he's in no rush to make an announcement.
"We're so far out and who knows what it's going to look like a year from now. One of the things that I think we're doing is - and it's us, not the press - we're starting awful early," Biden said in late January 2019. He also said, "I don't think there's any hurry to have to announce. I don't have any particular timetable. I don't think there's any hurry, but there's a bigger hurry to decide just personally."
Michael Bloomberg Will Run If He Feels Like He Can Make A Difference
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, one of the world's richest men, was the mayor of New York City for three terms and was a possible 2016 independent presidential candidate. If he decides to launch a 2020 campaign, he says he "would separate myself" from his foundation and private business.
"My decision doesn't depend on what other people are going to do," Bloomberg told the Associated Press when asked if he would reconsider a run if Joe Biden decided to enter the race. "My decision depends on whether or not I think I can make a difference," he added.
Bernie Sanders Still Has A Big Following, And Decided To Run Again
Bernie Sanders is an independent senator from Vermont. He sought the presidency in 2016, but Hillary Clinton wound up representing the Democratic party instead. According to Time's Molly Ball: "He really has the power to reshape the field. This candidate who took everybody by surprise in 2016 has really held onto a large part of his following."
One of the problems is he will have a lot of competition from colleagues who are running on the same platforms with the same values. "He's really looking at whether a lane remains for him in such a crowded field," Ball added. He appeared to have found a lane to run in, as he announced on February 19, 2019, that he's indeed running for president.
Sherrod Brown Will Make A Decision About Running By March
Sherrod Brown is a senator from Ohio. He was previously the Ohio Secretary of State and an educator at The Ohio State University among other things. He recently embarked on a "Dignity of Work" tour through Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina and said he'd decide whether to run for president in March after his tour is completed.
"I didn't grow up aspiring to be president of the United States," Brown told NPR after the 2018 midterm elections. He added, "I just had an overwhelming number of people saying, with what you did in Ohio, with your message in Ohio, with your fight for workers ongoing - that you should think about doing this."
Montana Governor Steve Bullock Deflects Questions About A Presidential Bid
Steve Bullock is the governor of Montana. Prior to that he was the Montana Attorney General. In mid-January he refused to say one way or the other whether he was going to take to the campaign trail. "I am at a great advantage to be able to do the job that I get to do, and that's what I'm focusing on," he said during a news conference.
"My aspirations are to make sure that we get publicly funded pre-school for our kids and Medicaid expansion," he added. In 2017, he created a political-action committee, Big Sky Values, which many thought was the start of his exploration into a presidential bid.
John Hickenlooper: 'If I Run, I Am Going To Run To Win'
John Hickenlooper was the Governor of Colorado from 2011 to 2019. He was previously the mayor of Denver from 2004 to 2010. During an interview with CNN he declared, "I've been known to play a little cards. Given that there is still uncertainty in the future, I probably would take the bet that I would run for President."
He added, "I play to win. I don't do something for symbolic benefit and I think a lot of what we have done in Colorado is useful for the conversation. If I run, I am going to run to win. It is not just going to be about making a statement."