DemDaily: The Presidential Contenders. The Update

July 18, 2018

Now 110 days away from the mid-term elections and the start of the official presidential season, the positioning and posture of potential presidential candidates is underway.

The tumultuous tenure of the Trump Administation has inspired a large cast of potential contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

DemList is dedicated to keeping you informed as the candidates start to zigzag the country and the politics of a presidential run.

The potential rivals range in gender, ethnicity, ideology and in age by a span of forty years.  No clear frontrunner, however, has emerged as yet to challenge Trump, who is already mounting a reelection campaign.

The outcome of the 2018 elections, as well as the end result of the Russia collusion investigation, will likely be the deciding factor as to who is propelled into the contest for the White House -- on both sides of the aisle.

The jury is still out.

Potential 2020 Democratic Presidential Contenders 
The Rundown
Joe Biden
Former US Vice President (Obama)
The former Vice President, 75, scores the highest in national polls, and garnered rave reviews during his national book tour, Promise Me, Dad about the loss of his son Beau to brain cancer.  He has been actively fundraising for candidates through American Possibilities PAC which he launched last May. It is no secret he laments not running in 2016.
Michael Bloomberg
Founder & CEO of Bloomberg L.P., a global financial services, mass media, and software company New York The former New York Mayor, businessman and philanthropist, 76, teased the public with potential independent presidential runs in 2008, 2012 and, prior to his endorsement of Hillary Clinton, in 2016. His public commitment to $80 million into electing Democratic candidates in 2018, and his estimated $51.7 billion network make him an instant player.
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. The 49 year-old is "focused on re-electing Democrats in 2018," in a nationwide travel tour that will benefit both his short and long-term goals.
Sherrod Brown
US Senator (elected 2006)
Brown, 65, was on the shortlist for Clinton's 2016 running mate. Ohio, which Trump won in 2016, is a critical battleground state and Brown is favored to win reelection to Senate in 2018. His progressive, populist politics and strong labor support paint an appealing picture.
Julián Castro Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary under Obama Texas Castro, 43, 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. He launched the Opportunity First PAC this year and has been hitting key presidential primary states.
Andrew Cuomo

(elected 2010)

New York
Cuomo, 60, has been expanding his national fundraising profile, as well as his voice as a Trump critic. He faces a high-profile reelection challenge by former "Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon, but with a 35-point lead is expected to prevail and start his presidential positioning soon after.
John Delaney Congressman (elected 2012) Maryland Delaney, Maryland's Sixth District Congressman, and author of The Right Answer, officially declared his presidential candidacy a year ago but has yet to gain ground in the field.
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 Somoan and first Hindu member of Congress and her scrappy profile makes her an appealing choice for some.
Eric Garcetti Mayor of Los Angeles (elected 2013) California Of both Jewish and Mexican American descent, Garcetti, 47, was overwhelmingly reelected last year as Mayor of the largest US cities, and has already made one round of the battleground states. He has gained national attention as a Trump critic on climate change and DACA, and as Chair of the Latino Alliance of the US Conference of Mayors. 
Kirsten Gillibrand
US Senator (elected 2010) New York The 51 year-old, who succeeded Hillary Clinton in the Senate, is a leading voice on women's rights and has a PAC, Off The Sidelines, which recruits and supports women candidates for office. Her public tangling with Trump has raised her profile, as has her condemnation of former President Bill Clinton's Lewinsky scandal.
Kamala Harris
US Senator (elected in 2016)
California The freshman Senator, 53, is a rising national star and in the limelight as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a voice on healthcare and as a vocal Trump opponent. California's early March primary and number of delegates are a major plus for anyone running from the state. Harris, who has been traversing the country raising funds for candidates, has said she is "not ruling out" a 2020 presidential run. The first US Senator of Jamaican and Indian descent, Harris has written off accepting corporate PAC money and recently struck a book deal for The Truths We Hold: An American Journey, due out in January.
Eric Holder
Former US Attorney General (Obama) New York The former US Attorney, who now leads the important National Democratic Redistricting Committee, is an increasingly popular name among would-be 2020 candidates.  Holder recently touted his resume as a non-politician who has never held political office during a recent trip to presidential proving ground New Hampshire. He has publicly mused over a mano-a-mano fight against fellow New Yorker Trump.
Mitch Landrieu
Former New Orleans Mayor
The former New Orleans Mayor is moving up on most lists with an increased national presence, and praise from Democratic leaders, including Obama.  Many feel the white southern Democrat could appeal to African-American voters, as well as the white working class who are drawn to Trump.  Landrieu releasted his book, In the Shadow of Statues in March.
Terry McAuliffe
(elected 2013)
A popular former Governor of Virginia, 60, McAuliffe, a former DNC and Presidential Campaign Chair, and successful businessman, is known as an inexhaustible political and fundraising force. His tight ties to the Clintons, however, may hurt those still wanting to turn a new page. McAuliffe is dedicating his time to electing Democratic governors in 2018, a benefit to the party and to himself in the long run.
Jeff Merkley US Senator (elected 2008) Oregon A progressive, he is known for his passionate voice on Wall Street reform and healthcare and, last April, his 15+ hour protest on the Senate floor of Neil Gorsuch's Supreme Court nomination.  As the only US Senator to endorse Bernie Sanders for president in 2016, the 61-year old would fight tough competition for the progressive 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. He has deferred on a run, but watch for a shift after he is safely re-elected to the Senate (and by what #s) in 2018.
Deval Patrick
Former Governor
Patrick, 60, left office in 2015 and is now at Bain Capital (which was co-founded by Mitt Romney). Longtime floated as a presidential contender, he could expect to inherit much of Obama's political machine. 
But he is hitting the campaign trail for Democrats and promising a decision by the end of the year. 
Tim Ryan Congressman (elected 2002) Ohio The moderate, maverick Democrat, 45, from all-important Ohio, stepped up his profile when he challenged Nancy Pelosi for the House Leadership in 2016. Ryan has been speaking in battleground states and has not disputed running.
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 race. If he does not run in 2020, he will wield considerable weight in the primary.
Howard Schultz Starbucks Founder & Former CEO Washington State Schultz's retirement last month as Executive Chairman of Starbucks increased speculation he will run.  But as a non-politician with an estimate network of $2.6 billion, however, he could prove to be a formidable contender.
Elizabeth Warren
US Senator (elected 2012)
Massachusetts Warren, 68, is at the top of many presidential picks list and a darling of the national progressive community. A proven fighter and Trump foe, she is fundraising on behalf of candidates nationwide, and in early presidential primary states. She taps into the mounting fury of progressive women and the grass-roots appetite for a political brawler.





Other names in play include US Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN), Governors Jerry Brown (CA), John Hickenlooper (CO), Jay Inslee (WA) and Steve Bullock (MT), former Governor Martin O'Malley (MD), Congressmen Joe Kennedy III (MA-4), Seth Mouton (MA-6), and Eric Swalwell (CA-15), as well as NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg.

Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg is still a possibility, as is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (but who is more likely to run as an independent or Republican).

Those who have officially taken themselves out of the running include former VP Candidate and US Senator Tim Kaine, businessman and philanthropist Tom Steyer, actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.

Last Standings
CNN/SSRS Poll, conducted March 22-25, 2018 among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents nationwide, asked, "For each (of the following), please tell me whether you would be very likely, somewhat likely, not very likely, or not likely at all to support them if they decide to run for the Democratic nomination for 2020."

Of the six potential contenders listed, under "very likely," Joe Biden led with 56%, followed by Bernie Sanders at 46%, Elizabeth Warren at 33%, Cory Booker at 21%, Kamala Harris at 19%, and Kirsten Gillibrand at 10%.

A July 11-12, 2018 Rasmussen Report national telephone and online survey, however, finds that 73% of Likely Democratic Voters believe their party should look for a fresh face to run for president in 2020.

DemList will keep you informed!

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Newsweek, The Grio, CNN

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