Just the Facts

Five Facts on the 2020 Presidential Nominees

By Emma Petasis
January 25, 2019 | Blog

While President Trump has just completed his second year in office, a significant number of Democratic challengers are already lining up to win the chance to face him in the 2020 presidential election. Here are five facts on the 2020 presidential race field.

Ten Democratic hopefuls have announced they are either running or have formed an exploratory committee 

It has been almost a year and a half since former Congressman John Delaney became the first Democrat to announce his or her candidacy for the 2020 presidential election. In the months that have followed, nine more presidential hopefuls have thrown their names into the ring. They range from high-profile political figures, like Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), to relatively unknown business men and women, such as Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur advocating for a universal basic income for U.S. adults.

There are a lot of other potential contenders who could announce their candidacies in the coming months

Among the potential contenders are several of the most well-known players in Democratic politics, including former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). While they have not formally announced their candidacies, many of these potential candidates have taken concrete steps to prepare for a potential campaign. Biden has held extensive meetings with top advisers, reportedly talking through what a potential bid would look like and has stated “I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president.” Meanwhile, Sanders, an independent senator from Vermont, has toured several early Democratic primary states and has confirmed that he is “seriously talking about” a presidential run “with family and friends and political allies.”

Joe Biden is the clear front-runner in the Democratic field

The former vice president has held a strong lead in numerous national polls. A Politico/Morning Consult poll conducted between January 18 and January 22 had him leading all other contenders by at least 10 points, while an Emerson poll conducted between January 20 and 21 had Biden leading by an impressive 37 points. Sanders, the runner-up in the 2016 Democratic primary, is consistently polling in second place, with former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and Sen. Harris rounding out the top four.

In the 2016 presidential election, the average announcement date was June 3, 2015

The 2020 election has seen an unprecedented number of candidacy announcements at this point in the election cycle. In fact, in the 2016, 2012, and 2000 presidential elections, not a single candidate had announced this far out from the election. Interestingly, history teaches that in many cases it is more advantageous to wait, as every contested primary winner over the past decade and a half had not announced at this point in the cycle. President Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015, Mitt Romney, the winner of the 2012 Republican primary, announced on June 2, 2011, and John Kerry, the winner of the 2004 Democratic primary, waited until September 2, 2003, to announce his candidacy. Former President Barack Obama is the only candidate to come close to the current timeline, announcing his bid on February 10, 2007.

There are several Republicans who could mount a primary challenge to President Donald Trump

While much of the 2020 speculation has revolved around the Democratic primary, there have been rumors that several anti-Trump Republicans could launch a primary challenge against the president. Among those mentioned are current Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, former Ohio Governor John Kasich, and former Tennessee Senator Bob Corker. All men are moderate Republicans who have publicly voiced their opposition to President Trump. Thus far, Kasich has been the most open about his plans, plainly stating “I’m considering it,” when asked if he was going to run.

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