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2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states

2020 Dem contenders travel to key primary states
© Greg Nash

Democrats with an eye on challenging President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE in 2020 are already making travel plans that could position themselves for a potential bid. 

Progressive favorite Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders won't vote for bipartisan infrastructure deal Bipartisan infrastructure deal takes fire from left and right Politics of discontent: Who will move to the center and win back Americans' trust? MORE (I-Vt.) sparked the latest round of intrigue last week when he announced he’d be heading back to Iowa, which hosts the first vote of the presidential primary race, to campaign for a former staffer’s congressional bid.

Here’s a rundown of which potential 2020 contenders have already made the pilgrimage to key early primary states Iowa or New Hampshire, sorted by those who have traveled to these states the most. 

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander: 10 trips to Iowa, 7 trips to New Hampshire

Kander, a former Missouri secretary of State who ran a surprisingly strong Senate race in 2016, appears to have an affinity for the Hawkeye and Granite states. He’s averaged more than one trip a month since 2016 to one of the early primary states.

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He’s lent a hand to a handful of local candidates in both states, leading fundraisers and holding events. He’s also attended local Democratic fundraisers and academic events, according to the Iowa Starting Line blog, which tracks candidate visits to the key state. 

Kander, 36, is also building his profile in the party with a political organization meant to fight voter suppression.

Maryland Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyLobbying world Coronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings MORE: 7 trips to Iowa, 5 trips to New Hampshire

As the only major candidate who has already declared a presidential bid, Delaney has had a very active travel schedule.

He’s returning to Iowa over Presidents Day weekend for his seventh swing through Iowa, where he’s launched a monthlong $1 million ad buy meant to introduce himself to voters and highlight a bipartisan streak. 

And he’s a frequent visitor to New Hampshire, where the 54-year-old lawmaker held a slew of campaign-style events meant to introduce himself to local leaders and voters.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley: 5 trips to Iowa, 3 trips to New Hampshire 

O’Malley may have ended his 2016 presidential campaign after barely registering on the scoreboard in the Iowa caucuses, but his travel schedule makes him look like a man who still has his eye on the White House. 

O’Malley’s leadership PAC commissioned a poll of his standing in Iowa last year and the former governor has been one of the more active Democratic surrogates for local candidates in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

After an initial stop in New Hampshire in April for a few campaign-style events, O’Malley, 55, returned to the state twice more in 2017 to campaign for local Democratic candidates. He also traveled to Iowa five times, according to Iowa Starting Line, where he campaigned for four local candidates and spoke at a variety of events.

Sanders: 3 trips to Iowa, 2 trips to New Hampshire

The senator has a busy schedule for his latest Iowa trip, campaigning for his former aide and headlining a rally in Cedar Rapids against the GOP’s recent tax plan.

Sanders’s trip to Iowa will be his third since the election. The 76-year-old senator stopped by Des Moines once in July for an Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement event and returned to the state a month later for a swing through Iowa City while promoting his book “Bernie Sanders Guide to Political Revolution.”

He’s also been to New Hampshire twice — once just weeks after the election to promote another book, and again last September for an American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations Labor Day breakfast. 

Ohio Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanJ.D. Vance emerges as wild card in Ohio GOP Senate primary 9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 Biden faces dilemma on Trump steel tariffs MORE: 2 trips to Iowa, 3 trips to New Hampshire

Ryan made noise in the House last year when he launched a failed bid to oust House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiNew Mexico Democrat Stansbury sworn into Haaland's old seat Greene apologizes for comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust Overnight Health Care: Biden pleads for more people to get vaccinated | Harris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety | Novavax COVID-19 vaccine shown highly effective in trial MORE (D-Calif.). While he wasn’t successful, he’s raised his profile by calling for Democrats to make stronger inroads to the working class.

Ryan, 44, delivered a graduation speech at Iowa’s Maharishi University graduation last June, and returned to the state for the Polk County Democrats’ Steak Fry with Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonBipartisan lawmakers press Biden to 'immediately' evacuate Afghans who helped US forces Gosar is the Republican that Democrats want to avoid Labor secretary faces questions from Democrats in police chief controversy MORE (D-Mass.). He’s also visited New Hampshire on three occasions, according to New Hampshire television station WMUR.

Minnesota Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharDemocrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill House unveils antitrust package to rein in tech giants Democrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax' MORE: 2 trips to Iowa

The Minnesota senator may not have the national name recognition of some of the top Democratic presidential hopefuls, but she’s also started visiting Iowa.

Klobuchar, 57, spoke to the Linn County Phoenix Club in Marion in May, and attended a fundraiser for the Polk County Democrats. A few months later, she returned to the crucial early state for a speech at Iowa State University.

Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Saudis picked up drugs in Cairo used to kill Khashoggi: report Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting MORE: 1 trip to New Hampshire

After keeping a low profile in the early months of the Trump administration, Biden, 75, is kicking up his political activity. He spoke at an annual dinner hosted by the New Hampshire Democratic Party in April, and plans to be a frequent campaigner for Democrats in the midterms.

Former Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryIn Europe, Biden seeks to reassert U.S. climate leadership Climate progressives launch first action against Biden amid growing frustration What US policymakers can glean from Iceland's clean energy evolution MORE: 1 trip to Iowa

Kerry, who represented Massachusetts in the Senate before becoming secretary of State during the Obama administration, won both the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary during his 2004 presidential bid.

And while Kerry will be almost 77 years old on Election Day of 2020, he’s still seen as a possible Democratic candidate.

Kerry traveled to Iowa last December to campaign for Attorney General Tom Miller. While there, he slammed Trump for retweeting anti-Muslim hoax videos.

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg: 1 trip to Iowa

Buttigieg, 36, rose to prominence in the months after the election as he waged a surprise campaign to lead the Democratic National Committee. 

Part of the younger tier of Democratic leaders, the openly gay mayor has spoken at a variety of Democratic events, including one trip to Iowa for the Progress Iowa Corn Feed. 

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio: 1 trip to Iowa

De Blasio is one of the handful of New Yorkers who appears to be considering a bid against Trump in 2020. De Blasio, 56, traveled to Iowa in December to speak at a dinner for Progress Iowa, a progressive group in the state.

Oregon Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyDemocrats mull overhaul of sweeping election bill Chicago police officer arrested for role in Capitol riot Democrats reintroduce bill to create 'millionaires surtax' MORE: 1 trip to Iowa

Merkley, the only senator to back Sanders’s presidential bid in 2016, has carved out a niche for himself in the Senate as the top Democrat on the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Merkley, 61, took one trip to the Hawkeye State in September, joining Buttigieg at the Progress Iowa Corn Feed.

Moulton: 1 trip to Iowa

Moulton, 39, who joined Ryan at the Steak Fry, is another new face on the national Democratic scene who has also called for new leadership in the party.

He’s spent the 2018 cycle endorsing fellow military veterans mounting bids for Congress, and has raked in serious cash for both his political organization and his endorsed candidates.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: 1 trip to New Hampshire

Garcetti chose not to run for higher office in his own state in 2018, raising speculation he could be interested in a presidential bid.

The 47-year-old mayor of America’s second-largest city dropped by New Hampshire last August to campaign for a candidate in the Manchester mayoral race who ultimately won.