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When Hillary Clinton won the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, she faced competition from only four other candidates. Not even three full months into 2019, 16 Democratic candidates have already begun primary campaigns for the 2020 presidential nomination, as has one Republican. All these candidates hope to replace Donald Trump as president of the United States.
As of this writing, here are five major updates on the 2020 presidential race.
Five Democrats have newly announced campaigns
In early February, seven Democratic candidates had formally announced their intentions to run against Donald Trump, and three had formed exploratory committees. As of March 28th, a total of 16 Democratic candidates intend to run.
Amy Klobuchar, a current Democratic senator from Minnesota, announced her candidacy February 10th. Among her top presidential focuses would be to restore climate change policies cut by the Trump administration and enact automatic voter registration nationwide. Klobuchar has been in the Senate since 2007.
Bernie Sanders, who came second in the 2016 Democratic primary, formally announced his 2020 candidacy on February 19th. During the 2016 election cycle, Sanders became known as the face of democratic socialism in America, and just recently, he proposed a radical path toward the longtime democratic socialist ideal of Medicare for All. Sanders wants to entirely eliminate insurance companies and drastically cut prescription drug prices.
Jay Inslee, Washington’s current Democratic governor, announced on March 1st that he’ll be entering the Democratic presidential primary. Upon announcing his campaign, Inslee claimed that he would prioritize combating climate change more strongly than any other current candidate would. He has 20 years of federal congressional experience, and he’s been Washington governor since 2013.
John Hickenlooper, a former Colorado governor, announced his candidacy March 4th. During his eight-year term, he expanded Medicaid access in Colorado and passed stricter gun control laws. Prior to his time as governor, he was mayor of Denver, Colorado’s capital city, for almost eight years.
Beto O’Rourke, who ran against Senator Ted Cruz, R-TX, in the 2018 midterm elections, announced his candidacy March 14th. Prior to his campaign against Cruz, O’Rourke served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019. Despite his longtime Democratic party alliance, O’Rourke has a history of voting for Republican legislation.
One Democrat has newly formed an exploratory committee
Wayne Messam, the current mayor of Miramar, Florida, formed an exploratory committee for the Democratic presidential primary on March 13th, 2019. Messam intends to cancel trillions of dollars in student debt if elected president. He has served as Miramar mayor since 2015, before which he was previously part of the City of Miramar Commission.
Two Democrats have formally announced campaigns following exploratory committees
Kirsten Gillibrand, a leading Democratic senator from New York, formally announced her campaign on March 17th. Her decision to run came after her formation of an exploratory committee on January 15th. In her first major speech following her formal campaign announcement, Gillibrand joined other Democratic voices in calling for the full release of the controversial Mueller report.
Elizabeth Warren, another leading Democratic senator from Massachusetts, formally declared her candidacy February 9th, following the exploratory committee she formed on New Year’s Eve 2018. Warren’s recent CNN town hall became a major source of conversation in the days following it, not least for her call to abolish the electoral college.
One Republican might run against Trump
Bill Weld announced on February 15th that he had formed an exploratory committee to determine whether he would run in the 2020 Republican presidential primary. Current president Donald Trump is the Republican incumbent, so Weld could face an uphill battle in securing a nomination. However, Weld’s challenges haven’t stopped him from criticizing Trump for focusing more on dividing the American people than solving their serious economic problems.
Two high-polling Democratic candidates have yet to announce campaigns
A recent poll in Iowa indicated that, in a theoretical Democratic primary, 25 percent of votes would go to former Vice President Joe Biden, and 11 percent would go to Pete Buttigieg, the current Democratic mayor of South Bend, Indiana. The former candidate has not yet announced any intentions to run, while the latter has only formed an exploratory committee. Each candidate polled in first and third place, respectively, with Bernie Sanders taking second place.
Which of these primary candidates are you most excited about? Who else would you like to see enter the race? Let us know in the comments!