Feb 4th, 2019, 06:46 PM

Who is running for the U.S. 2020 Elections?

By Jackson Vann
presidential podium
The American presidential podium. Image credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Everyone you need to know on the 2020 Presidential ticket.

This piece will be constantly updated as more candidates announce their presidential bid.
With the U.S. presidential elections still a whopping 638 days away, as of February 4, 2019, the Democratic Party has already been overrun with multiple contenders, and Republican nominees have also followed suit. With social media movements like Oprah for President 2020, and Kanye West for President 2024, it can be hard to discern exactly who is on the 2020 ticket, but here's the list of exactly who is in the running. 


Donald Trump:

The current U.S. President, Donald Trump and the only announced Republican candidate for the 2020 elections. Image Credits:  Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons

Current President of the United States and businessman Donald Trump announced his plans to run again in January of 2017. His chance of getting the Republican ticket is almost certain, as only once has an elected president failed to receive their parties nomination for a second term. Though his term has been fraught with controversy and his polls have hit recent lows with only 39.5% of the American public in support of him, a strong moderate Republican candidate could challenge him for the parties nomination. However, it is unlikely that Donald Trump will not receive the nomination. It is likely that Pence will again be Trump's pick for vice president, though this is still unconfirmed. It is unlikely that Trump will choose another running mate as Pence has ties to the Evangelical Christian voting bloc, and that the Evangelical Christians were critical in electing Trump. In terms of a platform, it is likely that an America-first ideology and similar immigration policies will roll over from his current platform.   


Cory Booker:

Senator Cory Booker, one of the newest faces that have joined the race for the 2020 ticket. Image Credit: Senate Democrats/Wikimedia Commons

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and former mayor of Newark announced his plans for running February of 2019, the most recent entry to the already crowded field. His first campaign video calls for criminal justice reform, an issue that he has dealt heavily with as a senator. He is also the first black senator to represent the State of New Jersey. 

Pete Buttigieg:

If elected, Buttigieg could become the youngest and the first gay president of the United States. Image Credit: Matt Cashore/Wikimedia Commons

The current mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg is a veteran of the Afghan War announced his candidacy in January of 2019. His campaign has focused on the creation of better policies surrounding climate change and economic opportunity. If he is elected president he will become both the first gay president and also the youngest ever. 

Julián Castro:

The focus of Castro's campaign would center around immigration reform. If elected President of Vice-President, he would be the first of Latino heritage to do so. Image Credit: United States Department of Housing and Urban Development/Wikimedia Commons 

Julián Castro is the former director of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Obama administration, and former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, Castro launched his campaign in January of 2019. So far he is not a front runner in the race for the Democratic nomination, but much like in the 2016 elections, he could be a likely candidate for the vice presidential pick. A major aspect of his campaign is immigration reform. 

John Delaney:

Delaney is one of the high rollers with aspirations for the Democratic ticket, given that the majority of the funding for his campaigns comes from himself. Image Credit: United States Congress/Wikimedia Commons

The former three-time representative of Maryland's 6th congressional district with backgrounds in business, John Delaney announced his entrance to the race in July of 2017 and was the first prominent Democrat to enter the race. His campaign is centered on bipartisan support and infrastructure projects. The majority of his funding comes from himself, so if he is an unsuccessful candidate he could stay in the race longer. He has also focused his campaigning on Indiana, already visiting 99 counties. 

Tulsi Gabbard:

One of the most controversial candidates currently with aspirations for the presidency, Gabbard has come under fire due to associations with homophobic groups. Image Credit: United States Congress/Wikimedia Commons

Current representative for Hawaii's 2nd district and former vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, Tulsi Gabbard announced her candidacy in January of 2019. Her campaign has already been marred by some controversy for her past actions in anti-gay groups. However, she has apologized for the latter and her inflammatory statements. She has also been criticized for meeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and she voiced skepticism about the Syrian Governments role in chemical attacks.  Positions of hers include opposition to the American military's overseas intervention, bank reform, and criminal justice reform. She is also the first Hindu to enter the U.S. Congress.  

Kirsten Gillibrand: 

The main focuses of Gillibrand's campaign are on gender equality and is a champion for better female-centered legislation. Image Credit: Congress/Wikimedia Commons

Current senator for New York and former representative of the 20th district of New York, Kristen Gillibrand announced her candidacy in January of 2019. The core of her platform is having equal rights for women as well as fair pay for the same worth and increased paid maternity leave. She is also a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of fiscally conservative Democrats. This could give her either an advantage in the primaries or harm her, either pulling on the more centrist Democrats for support or ostracizing the more left-leaning ones. She can be considered a front runner but maybe not the strongest. 

Kamala Harris:

Harris, one of the Democratic candidates with a high interest in immigration reform, is focused on adamant legislation to protect Dreamers. Image Credit: Office of Senator Kamala Harris/Wikimedia Commons

Current senator of California and former attorney general of California, Kamala Harris announced her candidacy in January of 2019. Her platform includes immigration reform—specifically with passing legislation to protect dreamers, lowering taxes on the lower and middle class, and raising taxes on the top one percent of earners. She is relatively new to the political scene but has gathered considerable support so far. She is also the first Californian Senator of Jamaican or Indian heritage.     

Elizabeth Warren:*

Another of the controversial Democratic aspiring candidates, Elizabeth Warren, fell to controversy due to claims of Native American descent. Image Credit: United States Senate/Wikimedia Commons 

Elizabeth Warren is the current senator of Massachusetts and vice chair of Senate Democratic Caucus. She officially announced she is running for the Democratic nomination on  February 10, 2019. She is one of the most experienced and well-known candidates to enter the race. Her platform will probably include income inequality, a staple of her platform for the Senate race. However, she may face some controversy surrounding her claim that she is Native American, an issue that prompted her to release her DNA test to the public. 

Marianne Williamson:

Marianne Williamson, a novice politician with highly impacting  policies in mind, has announced that she will also be running for the Democratic nomination. Image Credit: Marianne Williamson/Wikimedia Commons

Her only experience in politics was a 2014 campaign for a congressional seat and failed to get the party nomination. She declared her entry into the race January 2019. She is a self-proclaimed spiritual teacher and best selling author. Her platform includes a proposed $100 billion dollar reparation for slavery, universal health care, and reforming current climate policies. She is unlikely to make it far into the race as an outsider to politics and "[Her] strategy isn't a strategy," adding, "My strategy is that I seek to speak as deeply, articulately and passionately as I can." 

Andrew Yang:

The young and fairly unknown entrepreneur is also seeking the nomination and would be the first candidate of Asian decent to obtain it. Image Credit: Asa Mathat for Techonomy/Wikimedia Commons

Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur who has some experience in politics as an ambassador of Global Entrepreneurship in 2015, he announced his entrance into the race in November of 2018. His platform is centered around the passage of a universal basic income of $1000 for all citizens ranging from 18-64. Universal medicine is a pillar of his platform, and he also has comprehensive policies on technological issues that other candidates seem to lack. He is unlikely to get far into the election as he is not well known, with 83% of Iowan voters not sure who he is. He is the first person of Asian heritage to run for president as a Democrat.

Unannounced candidates who could possibly run: 

Joe Biden, former vice-president under Obama, though he has said, "I don't think there's any hurry to have to announce." However, there have been rumors about his candidacy.

Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York, has made recent trips to New Hampshire and has made remarks about his possible candidacy. It is likely that he will announce his plans to run soon. 

Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. Rumors have swirled but her former campaign manager has stated, "she’s not running for president."

Steve Bullock, governor of Montana and former attorney general, has made recent visits to both Iowa and New Hampshire. It is likely that he may enter the race soon.

John Hickenlooper, former governor of Colorado and former mayor of Denver, has recently visited Iowa. He is likely to announce his candidacy any day now. 

Bernie Sanders, current senator to Vermont and 2016 Presidential candidate, hasn't expressed much interest in running again. However, there have been rumors, and he has stated, "If it turns out that I am the best candidate to beat Donald Trump, then I will probably run." 

Howard Schultz, ex-CEO of Starbucks, has made comments about a potential run but was then ridiculed or "roasted and burned" on social media. He still may run, however.

Independents and Third-Parties:

Dario Hunter (Green):

Hunter's policies focus on environmental issues and is an aspiring candidate for the nomination from the Green party. Image Credit: Dario Hunter/Wikimedia Commons

Current member of the Youngstown Board of Education, Dario Hunter launched his campaign in January of 2019. His platform focuses on green issues, worker rights, and civil rights. It's too soon to tell who will win the Green Party's nomination.

Ian Schlakman (Green):

Schlakman, another Green party nomination aspirant, focuses on green issues and systems such as socialism to be implemented. Image Credit: Ian Schlakman For President 2020, People For Ian Schlakman/Wikimedia Commons

Former Green Party candidate for governor of Maryland, he launched his campaign in December of 2018. His runs on a platform of green issues, socialism, and civil rights. It's too soon to tell who will win the Green Parties nomination.

Adam Kokesh (Libertarian): 

After parting ways with the Republican party, Kokesh decided to join the Liberitarian ticket in hopes of the 2020 nomination. Image Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The former Republican candidate in the 2010 New Mexico 3rd congressional district primaries, he has reentered politics as a Libertarian and launched a presidential campaign in January of 2019. His platform calls for the "orderly dissolution of the federal government." McAfee has been surrounded by controversy throughout the years he has been named a person of interest in a murder in Belize, was arrested for driving under the influence of Xanax along with firearm possession, and possible drugging and rape of a business partner. 

John McAfee (Libertarian):

A highly controversial candidate of the Libertarian party, former tech mogul John McAfee is seeking the nomination for a chance to run in the 2020 elections. Image Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Entrepreneur and former libertarians presidential contender, tech giant John McAfee has announced his candidacy in June of 2018. His platform includes ideas of small government, personal autonomy, and political freedom. However, McAfee still stands accused of murder and rape in Belize.

Arvin Vohra (Libertarian):

Another scrutinized candidate running for the Libertarian party, Arvin Vohra, has  already stirred controversy due to past comments and comparisons. Image Credit: The Tatiana Show - Arvin Vohra of the Vohra Method

The former vice-chairman of the Libertarian National Committee; Arvin Vohra, announced his candidacy in July of 2020. His platform calls for the downsizing of the U.S. government with departments and agencies such as the Department of Education, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Security Agency, along with others. He also plans to eliminate the federal income tax. However, his campaign has already been marred with controversy calling schools, "welfare for the middle class" and teachers, "supervisors of indoctrination camps." He has also been called out for remarks on sexual relations with minors and subsequent defense and comparison of it to homosexuality.

*Revision: A previous version of this article stated that Senator Elizabeth Warren hadn't announced her presidential bid.