By Jim EllisJan. 16, 2019 — As predicted, a great deal of action on the presidential front has already occurred in January, and we’re likely to see more very soon.
So far this month, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and former Housing & Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro announced their presidential campaigns. Billionaire Tom Steyer, thought to be preparing a run, publicly stated that he would not do so.
There are so many potential political players, however, it is difficult to tell them without a scorecard, as the old saying goes.
Below is an updated list of the 31 Democrats who have taken action on the presidential front or are rumored to be doing so in the near future.
Most Likely to Run (listed alphabetically)
- Former Vice President Joe Biden – expected to make his plans known at some point in February
- Ex-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg – already reportedly exploring what he will must do to divest himself of his media empire before running
- Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) – expected to soon announce an exploratory committee if not an actual campaign committee. The NJ legislature and governor changed New Jersey election law to allow individuals to run for offices simultaneously. Sen. Booker is up for re-election in the 2020 election cycle.
- Ex-Secretary Julian Castro – announced candidacy
- Ex-Congressman John Delaney (D-MD) – announced candidacy; been traveling in Iowa and New Hampshire for most of last year
- Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) – stated in a CNN interview that she will run for president and will shortly make a formal announcement
- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) – expected to soon form exploratory committee
- Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) – planning presidential campaign announcement for the Martin Luther King holiday in her birthplace of Oakland, CA
- Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) – expected to soon announce presidential exploratory committee
- Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) – stated publicly that he will form an exploratory committee
- Ex-Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) – making public moves to enter the presidential race
- Sen. Bernie Sanders (I/D-VT) – says he will run if he doesn’t believe any of the other candidates can defeat President Trump. Expected to again make the race.
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) – has formed presidential exploratory committee, and is expected to become an official candidate
- Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – says he will decide by the end of February or early March about becoming a national candidate
- Gov. Steve Bullock (D-MT) – assessing chances of making presidential inroads. Unclear if he will enter the race. Has ruled out challenging Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT).
- Mayor Eric Garcetti (D-Los Angeles) – publicly indicates interest in running, but has not made any tangible moves toward announcing a committee
- Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) – a relative late-comer to the presidential discussion but appears to be making moves toward becoming a candidate
- Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) – wants to enter the race, but the Oregon legislature refuses to change the state election law to allow individuals to run for more than one office simultaneously. Sen. Merkley is also up for re-election in this cycle. It’s possible he enters some early primaries but drops out of the race before Oregon’s March 10 candidate filing deadline.
- Ex-Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) – beginning to conduct meetings in various states to test the presidential waters. Likely to either enter the presidential race or possibly change course and challenge Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX). At this point, it appears he is headed toward the presidential campaign.
Mentioned as Possible Candidates, but Unlikely
- Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) – made earlier comments about possibly running but has been quiet about doing so in recent weeks
- Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) – uttered some comments about considering a national run but has made no tangible efforts to organize a campaign committee
- Hillary Clinton – stories have been written saying that the former secretary of state and presidential nominee may be gearing up another run, but there is no solid indication that she is planning to enter the 2020 campaign
- Former Mayor Andrew Gillum (D-Tallahassee) – after losing a close race for Florida Governor speculation formed that Gillum might enter the presidential campaign, but nothing in that regard has yet materialized
- Ex-Attorney General Eric Holder – speculation occurred last year that Holder might be planning a presidential run, but no campaign organization has emerged to date
- Ex-Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D-New Orleans) – though Landrieu’s name has been mentioned in relation to a presidential campaign, there is no indication he is moving forward to enter the race
- Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) – unlikely to run
- Ex-CEO Howard Schultz (Starbucks) – unlikely to run
- Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) – if he enters, will exit before the California candidate filing deadline to avoid risking his safe House seat
- Mayor Pete Buttigieg (South Bend, IN)
- State Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-WV)
- Businessman Andrew Yang