Just the Facts

Five Facts on (some of) the 2020 Democratic candidates’ whereabouts

By No Labels
February 8, 2019 | Blog

With so many potential and already declared candidates for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, it can feel nearly impossible to keep track of them all. Here are five facts on what is going on this month on the 2020 campaign trail.

South Carolina will emerge as a primetime campaign stop next week.

Sens. Kamala Harris (CA), Cory Booker (NJ) and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper will be in South Carolina next week – site of the nation’s second primary election following New Hampshire. Hickenlooper will be speaking with the South Carolina Hospital Association at the Columbia Convention Center, where he will highlight his expansion of Medicaid in Colorado from 2011 to 2019. Sen. Harris will be making her second trip to the Palmetto state since her initial campaign launch in January, where she visited with sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. Harris is set to stop in South Carolina Feb. 15 and 16. Sen. Booker, like Harris, will be back in South Carolina for a second time since he announced his candidacy. Booker will be at Fairfield Central High School for a forum on rural health and then will visit Voorhees College. Booker’s Palmetto visit follows key campaign hires: Booker hired Clay Middleton as senior advisor and Christale Spain as state director. Middleton has long served as an aide to House Majority Whip JIM Clyburn (D-SC) and worked in the Obama administration. Christale Spain worked in political outreach for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 bid, serving as executive director of South Carolina’s Democratic Party.

Candidates are ramping up fundraising efforts.

March 1 marks the end of the Quarter 1 fundraising. According to CNN, early fundraising reports can provide an “apples-to-apples” comparison, revealing donor alliances and how much money a candidate can “rake in.” As of February 1, The Hill reports that Sens. Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) are the early leaders: Warren with $11 million cash on hand and Gillibrand with $10.3 million. Sen. Bernie Sanders currently holds $9 million in his Senate campaign account, followed by Sens. Booker and Harris with $4.1 million and $2.8 million respectively. But one should not overstate the importance of March 1. The Washington Post reports that more often, donors may spread their money across the field to “hedge their bets” or wait until later fundraising quarters as some candidates may pull away from the pack.

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (TX), former Vice President Joe Biden (DE) and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN) are contenders who could announce soon.

Biden has consistently led a crowded field of candidates in early polling, receiving 29 percent support according to recent Monmouth University polls. Politico reported on Thursday that the former VP has been discussing running amongst old colleagues recently, such as Sens. Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Bob Casey (PA). Feinstein told Politico, “ I think we’ll hear from him within a month.” O’Rourke, a former congressmen who recently came off an impressive but unsuccessful Texas Senate campaign against incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, continues to keep voters waiting. O’Rourke sat down with Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday to discuss a presidential run. When probed on a potential run, the former Texas representative said, “That’s a big question for us to think through … I’ve got to tell you. You can tell. I’m so excited at the prospect of being able to play that role.” Finally, keep an eye out this weekend for Sen.  Klobuchar. The Minnesota politician is expected to make a “major” announcement Sunday in Minneapolis, where most are expecting she will announce her entry into the race.

Sen. Warren and Sen. Sherrod Brown (OH) keep the New Hampshire stop buzzing.

Sen. Brown continues his “Dignity of Work” listening tour this weekend in New Hampshire. Brown toured Iowa last weekend. The Ohio senator has not officially declared his candidacy, but told CNN on Tuesday that he will “probably” make a decision on whether to run in March. Sen. Warren is also set to head to New Hampshire on Saturday, along with officially launching her campaign for 2020. Warren already announced an exploratory committee on New Years Eve. She is expected to make stops in Lawrence, then sit down with voters in city hall in Dover.  Brown and Warren follow on the heels of fellow candidate Sen. Gillibrand, who kicked off her presidential campaign with a visit to the granite state last weekend.

Schultz continues to deliberate, as controversy follows.

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz made headlines recently when declaring he was mulling a 2020 bid as a “centrist independent” candidate. According to Politico, the billionaire announced he will take “three to four months” to decide whether to run for president. CNN is set to sit down with Schultz in Houston for a town hall on February 12, to discuss his potential run. Schultz recently stopped over to speak at Purdue University last week. Schultz has garnered good and bad attention since his announcement. Notably, Schultz was seen being heckled during a book launch party, where members of the crowd told him that his candidacy had the potential to split the Democratic vote and re-elect current President Donald Trump. This sentiment has been shared among other Democratic Party members in reaction to the coffee mogul’s announcement.


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