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

The 2020 presidential race is shaping up on the Democratic side to be one of the largest in history.

With no clear frontrunner, dozens of candidates have expressed interest in campaigning for the chance to take on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchumer, Pelosi: Trump got ‘what he wanted’ with shutdown Trump has discussed firing Fed chief after latest interest rate hike: report LeBron James accuses NFL team owners of being ‘old white men’ with ‘slave mentality’ MORE in the general election.

It’s also possible Trump could get a primary challenger from a Republican, though he would be a prohibitive favorite.

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



Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyOvernight Energy: Senators introduce bipartisan carbon tax bill | House climate panel unlikely to have subpoena power | Trump officials share plan to prevent lead poisoning Flake to co-introduce bipartisan climate bill Biden to discuss 2020 bid with family over holidays: report MORE (Md.)

The independently wealthy 55-year-old congressman first announced his candidacy in July 2017. He’s already visited all of Iowa’s 99 counties.

State Sen. Richard Ojeda (W.V.)

Ojeda announced his candidacy in November. He repeatedly criticized Trump but endorsed the then-businessman for president in 2016.

Andrew Yang

The entrepreneur announced his candidacy in November 2017 on a platform of universal basic income. His plan would give every American over the age of 18 an income of $1,000 per month and would be paid for by a tax on companies benefiting the most from automation. He has never held public office.


Stacey Abrams

Abrams has said several times that she will run for office again after she lost a close election in this year’s governor’s race in Georgia that gave her national name recognition. “I am open to all options, and it’s too soon after the election to know exactly what I’m going to do,” she said shortly after accepting defeat.

Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenTrump mocks O’Rourke: ‘I thought you were supposed to win’ before a presidential run Biden on Mattis resignation: Trump admin has ‘abandoned’ core American beliefs Poll: Biden tops possible 2020 Dems in favorability rating MORE

The former vice president, 76, said he’d make a decision about a third White House bid by the end of the year, but allies now say he may take more time.

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetWould-be 2020 Dem candidates head for the exits The Hill’s Morning Report — Presented by T-Mobile — What the Michael Flynn news means California primary threatens to change 2020 game for Dems MORE (Colo.)

Bennet first raised eyebrows when the Associated Press reported in November that he was in contact with Democrats in Iowa, the state which holds the first presidential caucuses.

Michael Bloomberg

The former mayor of New York City has said he will decide if he’ll run by January or February. He visited Iowa in December and was a highly visible donor to Democrats during the midterms.

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDonor launching super PAC to boost Booker ahead of possible 2020 run Dems say Trump is defying court order by pushing abstinence programs Senate votes to make lynching a federal crime MORE (N.J.)

Booker has been talked about as a future presidential candidate since his days as mayor of Newark. The 48-year-old Democrat has said he’s not ruling out a run and fueled presidential speculation after a blitz of campaign stops for midterm candidates in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and other key primary states.

Gov. Jerry Brown (Calif.)

A 2020 bid would be Brown’s fourth White House candidacy. At 79 years old, he is the oldest prospective candidate in the field, buthas not ruled out a presidential campaign.

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenators’ last-minute demands may delay funding bill Liberal group targets 2020 Democrats in Iowa over judicial nominees Poll: Biden tops possible 2020 Dems in favorability rating MORE (Ohio)

Brown first appeared on the presidential radar after easily winning reelection in November in the swing state of Ohio, which Trump won by more than eight points. He admitted in November that he was “seriously considering” a run, but later said he didn’t know if he would be the best candidate to take on Trump in 2020.

Gov. Steve Bullock (Mont.)

Bullock is the head of the National Governors Association and one of only three Democratic governors reelected in 2016 in states Trump won. He has not ruled out running for president.

Pete Buttigieg

The South Bend, Ind. mayor raised eyebrows this month when he announced he would not seek a third term in 2019, possibly clearing the way for a 2020 run. A veteran who served in Afghanistan, Buttigieg has also raised his national profile with an unsuccessful bid to chair the Democratic National Committee, trips to meet with Democrats in Iowa and the establishment of a political action committee.

Sen. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseySenators’ last-minute demands may delay funding bill Would-be 2020 Dem candidates head for the exits O’Rourke, Brown shake up volatile Democratic horse race MORE (Pa.)

Casey said in November he has an “obligation” to consider running in 2020, citing Democrats’ need to take back the state where he won reelection in November by double digits.

Julian Castro

The former Housing and Urban Development Secretary and former San Antonio mayor set up an exploratory committee this month.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton slams Trump’s Syria withdrawal: ‘This President is putting our national security at grave risk’ GoFundMe for Trump’s border wall raises more than million Founder of viral fundraiser Trump’s border wall previously promoted conspiracy theories: report MORE

Conventional wisdom says it’s unlikely that Clinton would make yet another bid for president, but the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee hasn’t ruled it out. She said in October that she’d “like to be president” even as she acknowledged that she doesn’t want to run again.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

The New York City mayor has been mum on whether he’ll throw his hat in the ring, saying earlier this year that his “only plan” was to serve in his role as mayor. But he hasn’t ruled out running, and previously said the primary race wouldn’t start until after the midterms.

Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard says being Saudi Arabia’s ‘bitch’ is not ‘America First’ Election Countdown: Takeaways from heated Florida governor’s debate | DNC chief pushes back on ‘blue wave’ talk | Manchin faces progressive backlash | Trump heads to Houston rally | Obama in Las Vegas | Signs of huge midterm turnout Gabbard considering 2020 run: report MORE (Hawaii)

It was first reported in October that Gabbard, 36 and Congress’ first Hindu member, was considering a presidential bid.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

The Los Angeles mayor, who visited Iowa earlier this year, said in October that he would likely make a decision by the end of 2018.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandMany Americans support paid family leave — until they see the cost Senate approves funding bill, preventing partial government shutdown Liberal group targets 2020 Democrats in Iowa over judicial nominees MORE (N.Y.)

Although Gillibrand vowed during her reelection campaign to serve a full six-year term, she said in November she would give a presidential run “a long, hard thought of consideration.”

Andrew Gillum

Gillum hasn’t said whether he’s considering running for the presidency, but buzz has surrounded the former Tallahassee mayor following his campaign for Florida governor this year. Gillum met with former President Obama earlier this month.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenate approves funding bill, preventing partial government shutdown Senate votes to make lynching a federal crime Liberal group targets 2020 Democrats in Iowa over judicial nominees MORE (Calif.)

Harris is in her first term in the Senate but has been floated as a presidential candidate since she was elected. She’s said she will make a decision on whether to run over the holidays.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper

Hickenlooper was considered as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and said this month that the chances he runs are “past 50-50.” He is not expected to make a final decision until January, when term limits push him out of the governor’s mansion.

Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderEric Holder-backed group sues Wisconsin over early-voting limits New Jersey redistricting reform blasted as gerrymandering power grab Trump attorney general pick a prolific donor to GOP candidates, groups: report MORE

Holder has said multiple times that he’s considering running for president but that he won’t make a final decision until early 2019. He has already visited both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Gov. Jay Inslee (Wash.)

The two-term governor, a congressman for more than a decade, has not ruled out a presidential campaign and has been keeping his name in the headlines.

John KerryJohn Forbes KerryO’Rourke doubles support in CNN poll of Dem presidential race Overnight Energy — Sponsored by the National Biodiesel Board — Court blocks Atlantic coast pipeline | Kerry calls Trump climate actions ‘profoundly dangerous’ | EPA asked to investigate Pruitt Fox News hits John Kerry: Trump’s actions on climate change are ‘profoundly dangerous’ for planet MORE

The former senator, 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.”

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDems say Mattis’s departure is ‘scary’ and ‘bad news’ Pollster says 2020 polls are only about name recognition at this point Liberal group targets 2020 Democrats in Iowa over judicial nominees MORE (Minn.)

The Minnesota senator says she is thinking about running for president. She campaigned in Iowa in October and represents an emerging swing state that Hillary Clinton only narrowly won in 2016.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Landrieu 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.

Terry McAuliffe (Va.)

McAuliffe, the former governor of Virginia with strong ties to the Clintons, is “seriously” considering the 2020 presidential race, confidantes told The Hill. A new super PAC, called “Tenaciously Moving for American Change in 2020,” named after McAuliffe’s “TMac” nickname, was created in October to urge him to run.

Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyTrump officially legalizes industrial hemp Liberal group targets 2020 Democrats in Iowa over judicial nominees Overnight Health Care — Presented by the National Taxpayers Union — Warren unveils drug pricing bill | Surgeon general seeks more restrictions to prevent youth vaping | Anti-abortion groups call on NIH chief to resign MORE (Ore.)

The Oregonian confirmed in June that Merkley is considering a run for president. It was reported in November that he was quietly lobbying Oregon state lawmakers to change a law that would prevent him for running for president in 2020 and reelection to the Senate at the same time.

Rep. Seth MoultonSeth Wilbur MoultonPelosi agrees to term limits vote; insurgency collapses Tim Ryan backs term limits deal with Pelosi Dem strategist: ‘Every elected male should be concerned about a female challenger in 2020’ MORE (Mass.)

Moulton, also a Marine Corps veteran, made headlines as one of Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D’Alesandro PelosiSchumer, Pelosi: Trump got ‘what he wanted’ with shutdown Shutdown begins as lawmakers wrestle over Trump’s border wall Likely chairwoman defends House climate panel from critics MORE’s top detractors in her bid to become the next Congress’ Speaker of the House. He said in a February interview he “is not” running for president but declined to say he “will not” run.

Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDems say Mattis’s departure is ‘scary’ and ‘bad news’ Mattis resigns, says views aren’t in line with Trump’s Overnight Defense: Trump surprises with plan to withdraw from Syria | Plan leaves lawmakers stunned, angered | Turkey approved for Patriot missile system sale | Deal pushes funding fight to February MORE (Conn.)

Murphy fueled speculation about a presidential bid after emerging as a staunch opponent of Trump’s agenda and a leader in the Senate for gun control measures. He said in December that Democrats need a candidate who is “100 percent authentic.”

Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom (Calif.)

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 Califonrnia’s next governor. But there remains speculation that the leader of a main opposition state to Trump could launch a bid.

Martin O’Malley

The former governor of Maryland, who unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination in 2016, has made several trips since last year to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He said earlier this year that he was “keeping an open mind” about running again in 2020.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas)

O’Rourke broke fundraising records in his competitive Senate race against Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump mocks O’Rourke: ‘I thought you were supposed to win’ before a presidential run Pollster says 2020 polls are only about name recognition at this point Cruz hits back after Kimmel sketch: ‘Jimmy’s feelings are still hurt that I kicked his ass at hoops’ MORE (R-Texas), which turned him into a household political name. He ruled out a presidential bid during his campaign, but has since expressed openness to running and has performed well in early polling.

Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) John RyanInside the Trump-Congress Christmas meltdown Ohio, Washington reps make Rose Bowl wager Pelosi agrees to term limits vote; insurgency collapses MORE (Ohio)

Ryan, another possible candidate from the key swing state of Ohio, has not said publicly whether he will run. But he has made multiple visits to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and The Intercept reported in July that Ryan had been telling political consultants that he was intending to run.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTrump mocks O’Rourke: ‘I thought you were supposed to win’ before a presidential run 2019 is going to be a tough year for Nancy Pelosi Pollster says 2020 polls are only about name recognition at this point MORE (I-Vt.)

The Vermont independent emerged as a progressive leader after running an unexpectedly tight primary race against Hillary Clinton in 2016. He said in November he would “probably” run if he emerges as “the best candidate to beat Donald Trump.”

Howard Schultz

The former chairman and CEO of Starbucks has left the door open to running in 2020, telling CNBC in June that he would “see what happens.” And while he hasn’t committed to running, Schultz has put together a new PR team and plans to go on a book tour next year that could double as a presidential campaign.

Tom Steyer

The billionaire philanthropist has said he hasn’t decided whether he’ll run, but he has indicated that he’s preparing to make a bid. In November, Steyer released what appeared to be a campaign platform: a list of “5 Rights” that he said Democrats should get behind.

Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellGOP takes victory lap around Pelosi after passing border wall bill Swalwell: We are ‘less safe’ with Mattis leaving Swalwell responds to making the cover of NRA magazine: ‘Living in the NRA’s head’ MORE (Calf.)

The four-term congressman said this month he sees a path to the nomination for himself and announced he would be visiting Iowa and New Hampshire.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2019 is going to be a tough year for Nancy Pelosi Supreme Court should do what Congress won’t: Rein in the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Liberal group targets 2020 Democrats in Iowa over judicial nominees MORE (Mass.)

Warren vowed to consider running for president after November’s midterm elections and has crisscrossed the nation to campaign with other candidates and lay out her policy agenda.


Michael Avenatti

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

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (N.Y.)

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

Rep. Luis GutierrezLuis Vicente GutierrezDHS to make migrants wait in Mexico while asylum claims processed Coffman loses GOP seat in Colorado Trump changes mean only wealthy immigrants may apply, says critic MORE (D-Ill.)

Gutierrez 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.

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineHillicon Valley: Election interference report looms large for Trump | NORAD to track Santa even under shutdown | Uber’s driverless cars return to road after fatal accident Trump faces new test with midterm election interference report Senate approves funding bill, preventing partial government shutdown MORE (Va.)

Hillary 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 KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyMassachusetts is leading the way on gun safety, but we can’t do it alone Senate Republicans urgently need to embrace criminal justice reform Overnight Health Care: Senators urge vote on delaying health insurance tax | Joe Kennedy III ‘hopeful’ he can back ‘Medicare for all’ bill | Latest Ebola outbreak becomes world’s 2nd-worst MORE III (Mass.)

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

Deval Patrick

The former Massachusetts governor announced in early December that he would won’t run for president, citing the “cruelty of our elections process.” Patrick had been floated as a possible candidate with support from former President Obama’s inner circle.

Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama makes a splash with ,000 designer boots Michelle Obama says presidential bar lowered for Trump Obama plays Santa for pediatric hospital visit MORE

The former first lady and bestselling 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.

Gov. Gina Raimondo (R.I.)

Raimondo, the new head of the Democratic Governors Association, said this month 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 in 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 YatesSally Caroline Yates10 pieces of evidence against most diabolical Russian spy ever No glory in James Comey getting away with his abuse of FBI power Is Mueller team bludgeoning to get narrative it wants? MORE

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.



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.


Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSenate agrees to last-ditch talks, but no clear path over shutdown Corker rails against the ‘tyranny of radio talk show hosts’ in slam on Limbaugh, Coulter On The Money: Latest on shutdown drama | Senate leaders tout breakthrough for moving forward | Last-minute talks to secure final deal | Trump reverses, says Dems to blame | Dow suffers worst week since 2008 crisis MORE (Tenn.)

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

Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeSenate agrees to last-ditch talks, but no clear path over shutdown House adjourns without clear path to avert shutdown On The Money: Latest on shutdown drama | Senate leaders tout breakthrough for moving forward | Last-minute talks to secure final deal | Trump reverses, says Dems to blame | Dow suffers worst week since 2008 crisis MORE (Ariz.)

The retiring Flake has maintained that someone in the GOP should challenge Trump and told reporters in November that he hasn’t ruled out doing it himself.

 Gov. John Kasich (Ohio)

The Ohio governor and fierce Trump critic appears to be the most likely Republican to launch a 2020 bid, saying in November that he is “very seriously” considering running and that he has conversations about doing so “virtually every day.” Kasich, who sought the Republican nomination in 2016, has also said that “all options are on the table” in 2020, including running on a bipartisan ticket.


Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseOvernight Defense: Mattis stuns Washington with resignation | Letter highlights differences with Trump | Dems call exit ‘scary’ and ‘bad news’ | Trump defends Syria withdrawal | New reports say Trump weighing Afghan drawdown Dems say Mattis’s departure is ‘scary’ and ‘bad news’ Mattis resigns, says views aren’t in line with Trump’s MORE (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.”



Mark Cuban

Cuban told The New York Times in June 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.


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

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


Have an update to this list? Please contact Michael Burke and mburke@thehill.com, or Tal Axelrod and taxelrod@thehill.com


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