Campaign

WHIP LIST: Who’s in and out in the 2020 race

Former Vice President Joe Biden is set to capture the Democratic nomination and challenge President Trump in November after emerging as the only remaining candidate from one of the party’s largest contingents to run for president. 

Candidates are also vying for the Constitution nomination though they are unlikely to make a major impact, and the Libertarian Party while Rep. Justin Amash (I-Mich.) has launched an exploratory committee to seek the Libertarian Party’s nomination. 

{mosads} Here’s a look at all the candidates who are in, out and on the fence for 2020.

Have an update to this list? Please contact Tal Axelrod (taxelrod@thehill.com).

RECENT UPDATES: Justin Amash, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, William Weld, Elizabeth Warren

 

DEMOCRATS

IN

Joe Biden

“We have to remember who we are. This is America,” the former vice president said in an April 25 video announcing his campaign.

                  

DROPPED OUT

Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.)

The two-term senator ended his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Feb. 11 after early returns in the New Hampshire primary showed him doing poorly after he failed to gain much momentum in the race. 

 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

The progressive Democrat exited the race on Sept. 20, saying “it’s clearly not my time” to run for president. De Blasio had struggled in the polls, failing to make the September debate and was also at risk of not making it to the stage in October.

 

Michael Bloomberg

The former New York City mayor dropped out of the race on March 4, one day after disappointing Super Tuesday results. He had spent hundreds of millions of dollars in advertisements after entering the race late.

 

Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.)

Booker suspended his presidential campaign on Jan. 13, acknowledging that he no longer has the resources to continue his bid for the Democratic nomination. 

 

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg

The South Bend, Ind., mayor ended his campaign on March 1 after a poor finish in South Carolina’s primary and just two days before Super Tuesday.

 

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock

“I entered this race as a voice to win back the places we lost, bridge divides and rid our system of the corrupting influence of dark money,” Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) said in a statement announcing the end of his campaign. “While the concerns that propelled me to enter in the first place have not changed, I leave this race filled with gratitude and optimism, inspired and energized by the good people I’ve had the privilege of meeting over the course of the campaign.”

 

Julián Castro

The former Housing and Urban Development Secretary ended his campaign on Jan. 2, conceding that it “simply isn’t our time” to win the nomination after struggling for more than a year to break through.

 

Former Rep. John Delaney (Md.)

The independently wealthy 55-year-old former congressman dropped out of the race on Jan. 31, saying he did not want to peel votes away from other moderate candidates in the race.

 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii)

The congresswoman dropped out of the 2020 presidential contest on March 19 after failing to gain much traction in a race in which she was overshadowed by other Democrats in the presidential field.

 

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.)

Gillibrand said on Aug. 28 that she is dropping out of the race. She told The New York Times that she plans to endorse another candidate in the primary but has yet to pick which one. She stopped short of saying she would pick another woman in the race.

 

Former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska)

Gravel said on July 31 his campaign is “nearing its conclusion” and is looking to donate left-over funds. He later said he would form a left-leaning think tank that aims to help create a strong network of activists.

 

Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.)

Harris ended her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Dec. 3, bringing to a close a rough stretch of several months that saw her poll numbers sink and her fundraising performances dry up.

  

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

Hickenlooper dropped out of the 2020 race on August 15, while noting in a statement that he was giving “serious thought” to launching a Senate bid to challenge Sen. Cory Gardner (R) in Colorado. 

 

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee 
 
Inslee announced on Aug. 21 that he would drop out of the race after stagnating in the bottom of primary polling, recognizing, “It’s become clear I’m not going to be carrying the ball, I’m not going to be president.” The Washington Democrat made climate change the cornerstone of his failed White House bid, but said he believes “we are going to have a candidate to fight this battle.”
 

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.)

The Minnesota senator said on March 2 she was ending her campaign after a disappointing finish in South Carolina, dropping out a day before her home state of Minnesota was set to vote on Super Tuesday. 

 

Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam

Messam said on Nov. 20 that he was suspending his campaign after announcing his bid in March. The Florida mayor failed to gain much traction having failed to qualify for any of the debates. 

 

Rep. Seth Moulton (Mass.)

Moulton announced on Aug. 23 that he would drop out of the Democratic presidential contest, becoming the third candidate in little more than a week to exit the race. The congressman announced his bid in April, but never gained traction and failed twice to make the Democratic debate stage. A Marine Corps veteran, Moulton made headlines as one of Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) top detractors in her bid to become Congress’s next Speaker. 

 

State Sen. Richard Ojeda (W.Va.)

The West Virginia state senator ended his long shot White House bid on Jan. 25, saying: “I don’t want to see people send money to a campaign that’s probably not going to get off the ground.” He had announced his candidacy in November, after losing his bid to represent the state’s 3rd District to Republican Rep. Carol Miller.

 

Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas)

O’Rourke announced Nov. 1 that he would end his White House bid, saying it had become clear he did not have the means to continue in the race. The former Texas congressman had entered the primary battle on March 14 as a potential frontrunner but lagged in polling and fell behind several other candidates in fundraising heading into the fall.

 

Deval Patrick

The former Massachusetts governor suspended his campaign on Feb. 12, a day after performing poorly in the New Hampshire primary, having failed to gain much traction after a late entry into the 2020 race.

 

Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio)

Ryan exited the race on Oct. 24, announcing he’d return to Ohio to begin work on his congressional reelection campaign. Ryan, who failed to gain traction both in polling and fundraising, touted his campaign’s efforts to fight for working-class Americans.

“I will continue to advocate and fight for the working people of this country,” he said. “And so I’ll continue the fight, and I appreciate all of the effort on behalf of our volunteers, our staff, who chipped in money and made a sacrifice to help get this campaign up and running.”

 

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

The Vermont Independent suspended his presidential bid on April 8, ending a campaign that once appeared on track to dominate the Democratic nominating contest but that quickly lost momentum. 

 

 Former Rep. Joe Sestak (Pa.) 

Former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) announced his withdrawal from the race, saying in a press release that he was thankful for what he called an “endeavor filled with immeasurable wisdom, passions, humor and insights to, and from, the people of America.”

 

Tom Steyer

The billionaire businessman dropped out of the presidential race on Feb. 29 after a poor finish in South Carolina despite spending big to compete in the state.

 

Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.)

The California Democrat dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary in July, three months after announcing his presidential bid. He will run instead for reelection for a fifth term in the House. 

 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)

Warren dropped out of the 2020 presidential race after failing to perform well in the early primary contests and on Super Tuesday, when she came in third in her home state of Massachusetts. 

 

Marianne Williamson

Author Marianne Williamson dropped out of the presidential primary on Jan. 10, writing in a note to supporters on her website that her campaign would not be able to get enough votes to “to elevate our conversation any more than it is now.”

 

Andrew Yang

The entrepreneur dropped out of the race on Feb. 11 just after polls closed for New Hampshire’s primary. Yang centered his campaign around a universal basic income of giving every American adult $1,000 a month and dire warnings of the threats of automation, but failed to break into the top tier of candidates. 
 

 

MAYBE  

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown

A 2020 bid would be Brown’s fourth White House candidacy. At 80 years old, he is the oldest prospective candidate in the field, but has not ruled out a presidential campaign.

       

John Kerry

The former senator, former secretary of State and 2004 presidential nominee has refused multiple times to rule out another run for president. He told CBS News in August that he will continue to be an activist and he’s “going to continue to fight.”

 

Mitch Landrieu

The former New Orleans mayor has maintained that he doesn’t know if he’ll run for president, but a speech he gave last year about removing Confederate monuments generated 2020 buzz.

  

NO  

 

Stacey Abrams 

The 2018 Democratic Georgia gubernatorial nominee announced Aug. 13 that she would not run for president in 2020, instead choosing to focus her efforts on combating voter suppression. Abrams emerged as a kind of political rock star in 2018 after she came within 2 points of defeating Republican Brian Kemp in the Georgia governor’s race. Her efforts to expand Fair Fight Action, the voting rights group she founded, include training staffers this year in 20 states to work against voter suppression.

 

Michael Avenatti

The attorney for adult-film star Stormy Daniels burst onto the national scene amid Daniels’s legal battles with Trump, and Avenatti said for months that he was thinking about running. But he announced in December that he had decided not to make a presidential bid at the request of his family.

 

Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio)

The Ohio Democrat announced on March 7 that he would remain in the Senate after embarking on an exploratory four-state tour of crucial early primary states. He said he would continue to promote his “Dignity of Work” platform, saying, “It is how we beat Trump, and it is how we should govern.”

 

Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.)

Casey said in January that he would not run for president. “I have concluded that the best way for me to fight for the America that so many of us believe in is to stay in the U.S. Senate and not run for the presidency in 2020,” he said in a statement. Casey had been floated as a possible contender after he won reelection by double-digits in 2018 in a state Trump won two years earlier.

 

Hillary Clinton

“I’m not running,” the 2016 Democratic nominee told a New York TV station on March 4. But she added that she would continue “working and speaking and standing up for what I believe.”

 

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo

After being floated for months as a possible candidate, the New York governor officially shot down all speculation in November. Saying that he has a “full plate” as governor, Cuomo said he was ruling out running for president.

 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

A source close to the Los Angeles mayor, who visited Iowa earlier this year and said he was contemplating a 2020 run, confirmed that he was not going to enter the Democratic primary field.

 

Andrew Gillum

Gillum confirmed in March that he will not run for president in 2020. The former Tallahassee mayor and Florida gubernatorial candidate launched a voter registration campaign to recruit more potential Democratic voters to try to turn the key battleground state in Democrats’ favor in 2020.

 

Former Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (Ill.)

Gutiérrez revealed earlier this year that he had decided not to run for president, saying that the “best use of my time and my energy” would be to focus on mobilizing Latino voters in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

 

Eric Holder

The former attorney general said in a Washington Post op-ed on March 4 that he had decided against running for president. “Though I will not run for president in 2020, I will continue to fight for the future of our country through the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and its affiliates,” Holder wrote, referring to the organization he chairs that fights against gerrymandering. 

 

Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.)

Clinton’s running mate in 2016 has been rumored as a potential candidate in 2020, but he has said he won’t run. When asked last year by the Richmond Times-Dispatch if he would run for the White House, the Virginia senator responded, “Nope. Nope.”

 

Rep. Joe Kennedy III (Mass.)

Kennedy has suggested that he won’t run for president in multiple interviews. He told Nantucket Magazine in June 2018 running is “not on my horizon” and responded “Six ways from Tuesday, no,” when asked in November about a presidential bid.

 

Terry McAuliffe 

McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor with strong ties to the Clintons, said in April that he will forego a presidential bid to help Democrats retake control of the state House and Senate. “I invested a lot in that state and I love that state. We’ve got to win the House and the Senate in that state,” McAuliffe said on CNN. “I’m gonna coordinate these campaigns for the House and the Senate.”

 

Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.)

“I believe that there are Democrats now in the presidential race who are speaking to the importance of tackling the big challenges we face,” he said in a March 5 video announcing his decision.

 

Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.)

Murphy shot down speculation that he may run for president in 2020, writing in a tweet that he will not do so in no uncertain terms. “I’ve been pretty transparent about this, but let me be 100% clear: I’m not running in 2020. I love the job I have now,” he said.

 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom 

Newsom has asserted that he won’t run for president, saying earlier this year that he has “no aspiration” to do so and that he planned to focus full time on his role as California’s next governor. On Feb. 15, he endorsed Kamala Harris’s bid for president and said he will be one of the campaign’s California co-chairmen.

  

Michelle Obama

The former first lady and best-selling author has said several times that she won’t follow in her husband’s footsteps by running for president. In October, she told NBC’s “Today” that she “absolutely” won’t run. The former first lady then said at an event in December that her path “has never been politics” as she again shot down speculation that she’ll run.

  

Martin O’Malley

The former governor of Maryland, who sought the Democratic nomination in 2016, declared in January he would not run again and urged O’Rourke to make a bid for the White House. “America is looking for a candidacy newer than I can offer,” O’Malley wrote in the Des Moines Register. He previously fueled speculation he was considering another presidential campaign by making several trips to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

 

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo 

Raimondo, the new head of the Democratic Governors Association, said in December that taking over that role means she won’t run for president in 2020.

  

Oprah Winfrey

Winfrey first sparked buzz about a 2020 bid when she gave a stirring speech at the Golden Globes last January, declaring that “a new day is on the horizon.” But she has since repeatedly said she won’t run for president. The billionaire told Jimmy Kimmel in February that she was “definitely not running” and said in July that “the nastiness” of politics “would kill me.”

 

Sally Yates

The former acting attorney general said earlier this year that she has no desire to run for public office. It’s something she has not “ever felt drawn to,” Yates said.

 

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REPUBLICANS

YES 

President Trump

The president has made clear since his inauguration that he’ll seek another term in 2020. He filed campaign paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on the day he was inaugurated and has already raised tens of millions of dollars for his 2020 campaign. 

  

DROPPED OUT

Former Rep. Mark Sanford (S.C.)

Sanford, also a former governor in South Carolina, said on Nov. 12 he would end his longshot bid to unseat Trump, leaving the race about two months after announcing his challenge.   

 

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.)
 
Walsh, who is now a conservative radio host, ended his primary campaign against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination on Feb. 7, after receiving just one percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses. 
 
 
Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld

Weld ended on March 18 his longshot bid to defeat Trump in the Republican primary, suspending his campaign a day after the the president passed the delegate threshold required to be the presumptive GOP nominee.

 

MAYBE

Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.)

Amash has repeatedly declined to rule out running for president, though it would be unclear under which party he could launch a bid after he decided to leave the Republican Party. The five-term lawmaker was the only Republican member of Congress to support impeachment proceedings against Trump.

 

Former Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.)

Asked about a presidential run, the former senator from Tennessee told reporters last year that he had not “ruled it out.” He also told MSNBC in December that the GOP has to “remember what the Republican party is” when asked if Trump should face a primary challenger.

  

NO

Former Sen. Jeff Flake (Ariz.)

Flake announced on Jan. 29 that he would not run in a primary against President Trump for the Republican nomination. “I have always said that I do hope that there is a Republican who challenges the president in the primary. I still hope that somebody does, but that somebody won’t be me. I will not be a candidate,” Flake said.

 

Nikki Haley

The former United Nations ambassador has been a rising star of the Republican Party since she was the governor of South Carolina, and multiple op-eds have speculated that she would pose a tough primary challenge to Trump in 2020. However, she said in October when she announced her resignation from the administration that she is not running and is planning to campaign for Trump.

 

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan  

Hogan announced on June 1 he would not challenge Trump in the primary, opting to focus his time on fulfilling a second term as Maryland governor.

“I truly appreciate all of the encouragement I received from people around the nation urging me to consider making a run for President in 2020. However, I will not be a candidate,” Hogan said in a statement. 

 

Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich 

The fierce Trump critic said on May 31 he sees “no path” to beat Trump in a primary, and saying he does not enter political races he cannot win.

“There is no path right now for me. I don’t see a way to get there,” Kasich said in a CNN interview, citing Trump’s strong backing among GOP voters.

“Maybe somebody wants to run and make a statement and that’s fine, but I’ve never gotten involved in a political race where I didn’t think I could win,” he added. 

  

Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.)

The Nebraska senator has dismissed speculation that he could run for president in 2020. Sasse said in September that his odds of running were low, adding that it was more likely he runs for “the noxious weed control board of Dodge County, Neb.” 

 

***

 

INDEPENDENTS/THIRD PARTY

 

YES

Don Blankenship

Former coal executive Don Blankenship said on Nov. 11 that he will make a 2020 White House bid as a Constitution Party candidate. He took aim at President Trump in his 2020 announcement, saying the president’s ego prevents him from getting stuff done.

 

Lincoln Chafee

The former Rhode Island senator and governor filed to run for the Libertarian Party nomination, according to a CNN report on Jan. 6.

 

MAYBE

Justin Amash

The vocal Trump critic in April launched an exploratory committee to seek the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination, his strongest indication yet that he will mount a third party White House bid.

 

Mark Cuban

Cuban told The New York Times in June 2018 that he has given thought to a presidential bid in 2020, but he declined to discuss it further. The billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, who has been an outspoken critic of Trump, hasn’t previously held public office. He also said last year that if he were to run, it would likely be as an independent.

  

NO

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

The actor was among the celebrities rumored as a possible 2020 candidate, but he told Vanity Fair in July  2018 that despite having “seriously considered” running, it wouldn’t be possible given his schedule.

 

Howard Schultz

The former Starbucks CEO said in a letter sent to supporters on Sept. 6 that he is no longer considering a 2020 presidential bid, noting that “an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time” and expressing concerns that a third-party run could reelect Trump.

Updated Feb. 12, 2020

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