2020 Presidential Race: Debates, Candidates, Polls, and More

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Late last month, 20 of the 25 candidates then running for the Democratic presidential nomination faced off across two nights of debates, with 10 candidates per night discussing all manner of political and social topics. Since then, two more Democratic candidates have announced campaigns, and, for the first time this election cycle, a candidate has suspended his campaign. Here’s everything you should know about how the 2020 presidential race has changed over the past month.

Two new Democratic candidates

On June 23rd, Joe Sestak, who served as the House representative for Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District from 2007 to 2011, announced his campaign. Sestak named fighting climate change and properly handling international affairs with China and Russia as priorities of his potential presidential term. Sestak has twice lost campaigns for the U.S. Senate, in 2010 to current Republican Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey and in the 2016 primaries to Katie McGinty, who lost by 1.5 percent to Toomey.

On July 9th, Tom Steyer announced that he would campaign for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. This makes Steyer the 26th candidate to announce a campaign. Steyer is known for donating to and advocating for progressive causes such as climate change. He donated more money to Democratic candidates in the 2014 midterm elections and 2016 presidential elections than any other individual person. As of 2018, Steyer is estimated to be a billionaire.

One fewer Democratic candidate

Although Tom Steyer was the 26th candidate to announce a campaign, he is the 25th active candidate. The day prior to Steyer’s announcement, Eric Swalwell, a House representative from California, suspended his campaign. Swalwell chose to end his campaign, which lasted exactly three months, following low polling numbers and uncertainty about whether he would qualify for the second round of debates (though he did qualify for the first).

Who’s leading in the polls

Initial polls regarding the 2020 Democratic presidential primary have all shown Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris as the leading candidates, with Pete Buttigieg sometimes achieving similarly high numbers. All polls conducted this month show Biden with a substantial lead, in some cases as much as 15 points higher than the next candidate in line, which is either Sanders or Warren depending on the poll. Harris and Buttigieg tend to place in fourth and fifth, respectively, though one poll has Beto O’Rourke two points higher than Buttigieg.

The next Democratic debates are just weeks away

Following last month’s debates, the next Democratic primary candidate debate will again take part over the course of two days. On July 30th and July 31st, candidates will face off in Detroit. CNN will broadcast the debates, which will again split 20 candidates into two groups that were decided at random last night. Find the split of candidates between nights here.

Will a Democrat win against Trump?

Last month, in a CNN poll, a majority of Americans said that they think Trump will win, regardless of the candidate for whom they intend to vote. Continued reporting in light of this poll suggests that Americans still believe this to be the case, but that, if any Democratic candidate were to stand a chance against Trump, it would be Biden.

If you have a favorite candidate, leave a comment saying who it is. If you’re undecided, talk about why. The election is still ages away, and minds can be changed!

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