DemDaily: The Presidential Contenders. The Update!

November 21, 2017

The cast of potential contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination appears to expand with each passing month of the Trump Administration.

While the political dynamics, and Mr. Trump's tenure itself, could still shift considerably with the outcome of the Russian investigation, at present these are the contenders most frequently mentioned for the other side of the ticket in the next presidential contest.

Image: Politico

Potential 2020 Democratic Presidential Contenders  

The Rundown
Joe Biden
Former US Vice President (Obama)
The former Vice President, 75, who has lamented not running in 2016, has been actively fundraising for candidates through American Possibilities PAC, which he launched in May.
Cory Booker
US Senator  (elected 2013)
New Jersey
Booker's meteoric rise from a mayor of Newark, NJ (2006-2013) to US Senator and national figure puts him on everyone's list - and the 48 year-old is not discouraging the rumors.  
Sherrod Brown
US Senator (elected 2006)
Brown, 65, was on the shortlist for Clinton's 2016 running mate. Ohio is a critical battleground state (which Trump won in 2016), and Brown is favored to win reelection to Senate in 2018. His populist politics and strong labor support a plus.
Jerry Brown Governor 
(elected 2010)
California The 79 year-old political veteran first ran for President in 1976. He served as Governor of California from 1975 to 1983, and then again from 2010 to present (was reelected in 2014 with 60% vote). Despite his age, many feel the maverick politician has what it takes to take on Trump.
Steve Bullock Governor 
(elected 2012)
Elected to his second term in 2016 with 50.2%, Bullock, 51, is one of the few red-state Democrats running, but has little national name ID. He is raising funds via his Big Sky Values PAC.
Julián Castro Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary under Obama Texas Castro, 42, was on Hillary Clinton's VP shortlist. The former San Antonio mayor first drew national attention as the first Hispanic to deliver the keynote at a Democratic Convention (2012) and continues to impress. 
Andrew Cuomo Governor 
(elected 2010)
New York
Cuomo, 59, has been expanding his national fundraising reach and profile, as well as his voice as a Trump critic.
John Delaney Congressman (elected 2012) Maryland Delaney, who represents Maryland's Sixth District, officially declared his presidential candidacy in July.
Tulsi Gabbard Congresswoman (elected 2012) Hawaii The 36 year-old drew attention when she resigned as DNC Vice Chair to throw her support to Sanders in 2016. She is the first American Samoan and first Hindu member of Congress.
Eric Garcetti Mayor of Los Angeles (elected 2013) California The popular Mayor and frequent Trump critic, 46, recently took his name out of the hat for Governor, leaving open the possibility of running for even higher office.
Kirsten Gillibrand US Senator (elected 2010) New York Elected in a special election to fill Hillary Clinton's seat (when she became Secretary Of State), Gillibrand, 50, has an increasing national profile as Trump critic. She claimed in May not to be running for President, but her fundraising efforts and travel say otherwise. Her recent comments that Bill Clinton should have resigned following the Lewinsky affair further heightens her name ID.
Kamala Harris
US Senator (elected in 2016)
California The former California AG and now freshman Senator, 53, is a rising star and in the limelight as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as a voice on healthcare and as one of Trump's most vocal opponents. California''s early primary, which just moved from June to March, could be a big boost for her candidacy. She is the first US Senator of Jamaican and Indian descent. 
John Hickenlooper
(elected 2010) 
Colorado The former Denver Mayor (2003-2011), 65, was reelected to his second term as Governor in 2014 and has a national profile as former Chair of the National Governor's Association (2014-15).  He says he will not discuss a presidential run until after his term ends next year.
Amy Klobuchar
US Senator (elected 2006)
Klobuchar, 57, is up for reelection in 2018, but it hasn't stopped her from traveling to battleground states and fundraising events for candidates this year.  She says she is not running, but we are keeping her on the list.
Terry McAuliffe Governor 
(elected 2013)
The popular incumbent Governor of Virginia, McAuliffe, 60, is fresh off his party's historic sweep in his state, including the election of his Dem successor, Ralph Northam. McAuliffe is BFFs with the Clintons, a former DNC and Presidential Campaign Chair, a successful businessman & superior fundraiser
Martin O'Malley
Former Governor
O'Malley, 54, who served as Governor from 2007-2015, and as Chair of the Democratic Governor's Association from 2011-2013, didn't gain much traction in his 2016 presidential run. He appears to be gearing up again, touring battleground states this year, and planting an outside-of-the-establishment seed for 2020.
Jeff Merkley US Senator (elected 2008) Oregon The progressive Democrat is known for his passionate voice in the Senate on Wall Street reform, healthcare and, most recently, his 15 hour, 28 minute protest on the Senate floor of Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination.  The 61 year-old was the only Senator to endorse Bernie Sanders for president, and as a Senator who convenes progressive organizations weekly, would be competing for the same base.
Christopher Murphy US Senator (elected 2013) Connecticut Murphy, 44, is an impressive lawmaker who has gained national attention fighting for gun control (Sandy Hook was his original District) and as a vocal Trump critic. Claims not to be interested in running.
Deval Patrick
Former Governor
Patrick, 60, left office in 2015 and is now at Bain Capital. He's been previously floated as a presidential contender and could expect to inherit alot of Obama's political machine.
Tim Ryan Congressman (elected 2002) Ohio The moderate Democrat from all-important Ohio stepped up his profile when he challenged Nancy Pelosi for the House Leadership last year. He has been speaking in battleground states and has not ruled out a 2020 run.
Bernie Sanders US Senator (elected 2006) Vermont Officially an Independent, Sanders, 76, emerged as a leader on the left after his 2016 presidential run, and appears to be carrying his Our Revolution movement and organization into the 2020 presidential. With a 75% approval rating, he is purportedly the most popular politician in the country.
Tom Steyer
Multi-millionaire hedge fund manager, activist
California The 60 year-old businessman, environmentalist and philanthropist (signed The Giving Pledge), recently thrust himself further into the national spotlight with a $10 million media campaign to impeach President Trump. A major progressive donor and contributor through his NextGen America Committee.
Elizabeth Warren
US Senator (elected 2012)
Massachusetts Warren, 68, is at the top of many presidential picks list and the darling of the national progressive community. She is a proven fighter at the national level, and a favorite Trump foe. She says her focus is on her 2018 reelection, which she should handily win, but with her national profile, travel and fundraising on behalf of candidates, she is well positioned for a WH run.
Mark Zuckerberg
Founder, Chairman & CEO, Facebook
California The 33 year-old multi-billionaire (Forbes Top Five) and philanthropist (signed the Giving Pledge), has supported candidates from both parties but would likely run as a Democrat or Independent. He pledged to visit all 50 states this year.

Other names in play include Congresspersons Seth Mouton (6-MA) and Val Demings (FL-10), Senators Claire McCaskill (MO), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Tammy Duckworth (IL) and, until this week, Al Franken (MN).  Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz have long been mentioned, as has Oprah, and our favorite, but least likely, Michelle Obama.

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Sources: The Hill, New York Times, Politico, CNN, Wikipedia, Washington Examiner, Washington Post, CBS, FiveThirtyEight

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