2020 Presidential Candidates


Photo credit: CNN “Inside Politics” — October 7, 2018

PredictIt odds for the frontrunners

in the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination market

January 29, 2019

Rank Candidate Odds
1. Kamala Harris 25%
2. Bernie Sanders 15%
3. Joe Biden 15%
4. Beto O’Rourke 13%
5. Elizabeth Warren 11%
6. Cory Booker 9%
7. Kirsten Gillibrand 6%
8. Amy Klobuchar 6%
9. Sherrod Brown 6%

Notable declared candidates and exploratory committees

The following notable individuals have filed to run for president with the Federal Election Commission or announced exploratory committees (in chronological order).

January 20, 2017 — Donald Trump (R) filed to run for re-election on the day of his inauguration as president.

August 10, 2017 — John Delaney (D), a former U.S. representative from Maryland, filed to run for president.

November 6, 2017 — Andrew Yang (D), an entrepreneur from New York, filed to run for president.

December 31, 2018 — Elizabeth Warren (D), U.S. senator from Massachusetts, announced she had formed an exploratory committee.

January 11, 2019 — Tulsi Gabbard (D), a U.S. representative from Hawaii, announced she had decided to run for president.

January 12, 2019 — Julian Castro (D), a former U.S. secretary of housing and urban development and San Antonio mayor, formally announced his candidacy.

January 15, 2019 — Kirsten Gillibrand (D), a U.S. senator from New York, announced she was running for president.

January 21, 2019 — Kamala Harris (D), a U.S. senator from California, announced she was running for president.

January 23, 2019 — Pete Buttigieg (D), the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, announced he was running for president.

February 1, 2019 — Cory Booker (D), a U.S. senator from New Jersey, announced he was running for president.

March 1, 2019 — Jay Inslee (D), the governor of Washington, announced he was running for president.

March 4, 2019 — John Hickenlooper (D), a former governor of Colorado, announced he was running for president.


December 14, 2018


It’s good to be Beto O’Rourke, at least according to the latest CNN/SSRS poll on the still nascent 2020 field. The Texas Democrat made the biggest gain in the field of candidates since the last poll, out in October. Meanwhile, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders reign supreme in the first and second spots, respectively.

Iowa Poll: First poll of likely caucusgoers finds Biden, Sanders, O’Rourke atop the field

Note: The poll number for Joe Biden in the above CNN Politics video screenshot should read 32%; the 36% figure refers to a subset of caucusgoers who prioritize a “winning candidate.”

By Jennifer Agiesta, CNN Polling Director
December 15, 2018

Former Vice President Joe Biden holds the pole position in the first CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll among likely 2020 Democratic caucusgoers, with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke joining him as the only possible candidates in the field with double-digit support.

The new Iowa Poll finds 32% of likely caucusgoers saying they back Biden as their first choice, 19% Sanders, 11% O’Rourke, 8% Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 5% California Sen. Kamala Harris, with the rest of the 20-person field testing below 5% support. …

Full report

Update: March 10, 2019

Iowa Poll

The Iowa Poll, conducted March 3-6, 2019, for the Des Moines Register, CNN, and Mediacom by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, is based on telephone interviews with 401 registered voters in Iowa who say they will definitely or probably attend the 2020 Democratic caucuses and 400 registered Republicans.

Biden leads early, Klobuchar surprises


December 18, 2018

According to a new Focus on Rural America poll released yesterday, former Vice President Joe Biden is the pick of the 2020 Democratic nominee bunch. He led the field of potential contenders with 30 percent, followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders with 13 percent and Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who captured 11 percent.

In the very same poll, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar appears to have grabbed the attention of potential Iowa caucus goers with 10 percent of the vote, which placed her fourth in a crowded Democratic presidential field.

Overall, Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren saw their numbers slide among potential Democratic Iowa caucus-goers since September.

Biden, though, continues to dominate what figures to be a sprawling 2020 field and he also led in a Des Moines Register poll published Saturday.

Here are the top five current frontrunners for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on PredictIt:

  • Beto O’Rourke at 21 percent
  • Kamala Harris at 17 percent
  • Joe Biden at 17 percent
  • Bernie Sanders at 15 percent
  • Amy Klobuchar at 10 percent

Update: February 15, 2019

Odds that Beto O’Rourke will be the choice of Democrats in 2020 have dropped, Kamala Harris being the new frontrunner in the PredictIt market:

  • Kamala Harris at 22 percent
  • Joe Biden at 18 percent
  • Bernie Sanders at 15 percent
  • Beto O’Rourke at 14 percent
  • Amy Klobuchar at 10 percent
  • Cory Booker at 8 percent
  • Elizabeth Warren at 8 percent

Update: February 21, 2019

Sen. Kamala Harris’ odds have slipped slightly in the PredictIt market after the fundraising bonanza for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) after announcing his candidacy this week:

  • Bernie Sanders at 21 percent
  • Kamala Harris at 21 percent
  • Joe Biden at 19 percent
  • Beto O’Rourke at 15 percent
  • Amy Klobuchar at 9 percent
  • Cory Booker at 8 percent
  • Elizabeth Warren at 8 percent

Update: February 21, 2019

Vice President Joe Biden’s odds have increased, pulling even with Sen. Bernie Sanders in the top position. Sen. Kamala Harris’ odds continue to slip, putting her on par with Rep. Beto O’Rourke in joint third place in the PredictIt market. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar have all slipped a couple of points and remain in single digits in the prediction market odds:

  • Bernie Sanders at 24 percent
  • Joe Biden at 24 percent
  • Kamala Harris at 18 percent
  • Beto O’Rourke at 18 percent
  • Elizabeth Warren at 7 percent
  • Cory Booker at 6 percent
  • Amy Klobuchar at 6 percent


January 2, 2019


The field of 2020 presidential candidates is about to explode. Here are a few names set to come onto the scene with 2020 decisions real soon:

Amy Klobuchar: The Minnesota senator said she is “getting close to a decision” in an interview today.

Jay Inslee: The governor of Washington plans to seek the presidency — and wants to run on a climate change platform.

Julian Castro: The former San Antonio mayor plans to make a formal announcement to run on January 12.

Tom Steyer: The California billionaire plans to visit Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada (three of the four early voting states!) as he considers a presidential run.

Which Democrat Will Win Iowa?


February 7, 2019

An Emerson College poll published over the weekend found that former Vice President Joe Biden has the support of 29 percent of the planned Iowa caucusgoers surveyed.

His lead stretches double digits over second place, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who garnered the backing of 18 percent of likely caucusgoers polled.

Following Mr. Biden and Sen. Harris in the poll is Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) with 15 percent and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) with 11 percent. No other candidate received more than 6 percent of support.

The poll also found the former vice president to be the only Democratic front-runner who would defeat President Donald Trump in a head-to-head match-up among Iowa voters: 51 percent to 49 percent.

Here are the top six current frontrunners for the 2020 Democratic Iowa caucuses on PredictIt:

  • Joe Biden at 22 percent
  • Kamala Harris at 17 percent
  • Beto O’Rourke at 13 percent
  • Bernie Sanders at 13 percent
  • Elizabeth Warren at 6 percent
  • Cory Booker at 5 percent

Formal Democratic presidential candidate announcements

Delaney announces campaign for president, becomes first to challenge Trump (John Fritze, Baltimore Sun, July 28, 2017) — Rep. John Delaney, a former Potomac businessman who has cultivated a reputation for bipartisanship during three terms in Congress, announced Friday that he will run for the Democratic nomination for president — making him the first candidate to challenge President Donald J. Trump. The centrist Democrat, little known outside his district, will face a steep climb in building a credible national campaign. …


This 43-year-old running for president in 2020 wants to give everyone $1,000 a month in free cash (Catherine Clifford, CNBC, April 11, 2018) — Entrepreneur Andrew Yang has a big goal for a relatively unknown business person: to reach the White House. And he’s aiming to get there by selling America on the idea that all citizens, ages 18-64, should get a check for $1,000 every month, no strings attached, from the U.S. government. Yang, 43, who was born in upstate New York in 1975, will be running as a Democrat, according to his campaign website. …

Elizabeth Warren announces Iowa trip as she starts running for president in 2020 (Astead W. Herndon and Alexander Burns, New York Times, Dec. 31, 2018) — Senator Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat and a sharp critic of big banks and unregulated capitalism, entered the 2020 race for president on Monday, becoming the first major candidate in what is likely to be a long and crowded primary marked by ideological and generational divisions in a Democratic Party determined to beat President Trump. …

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren officially announces 2020 presidential bid

Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes the stage at about 51:00

Tulsi Gabbard, representative from Hawaii, announces Democratic presidential bid (Maggie Astor, New York Times, January 11, 2019) — Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii said Friday that she would run for president, joining what is expected to be a crowded field of Democrats seeking to challenge President Trump in 2020. Ms. Gabbard announced her decision to CNN in an interview with the political commentator Van Jones that is scheduled to air on Saturday. “I have decided to run,” she said in a short clip posted Friday, “and will be making a formal announcement within the next week.”. …

Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii at the Capitol in January 2019. Her noninterventionist perspective and her desire for diplomacy could appeal to many progressive Democrats. (Photo credit: Erin Schaff / New York Times)

Julián Castro, former Housing secretary, announces 2020 presidential run (Maggie Astor, New York Times, Jan. 12, 2019) — Julián Castro, the former housing secretary and former mayor of San Antonio, announced on Saturday that he would run for president, one of the most high-profile Latino Democrats ever to seek the party’s nomination. …

Julian Castro at his announcement in San Antonio, Tex., on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. (Photo credit: Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times)

Who is Kirsten Gillibrand? (Sarah Stein Kerr, Natalie Reneau, and Drew Jordan, New York Times, Jan. 16, 2019) — The senator from New York announced on Stephen Colbert’s show Tuesday night that she’s running for president in 2020. Ms. Gillibrand is the latest candidate to join what is expected to be a crowded Democratic primary. Here’s what you need to know about her. …

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces 2020 presidential bid

“Brave doesn’t pit people against one another. Brave doesn’t put money over lives. Brave doesn’t spread hate, cloud truth, build a wall. That’s what fear does.” Toward the end of the two-and-a-half-minute-long video released March 17, 2019, Gillibrand announces she’s running for president.

Kamala Harris declares candidacy, evoking King and joining diverse field (Astead W. Herndon, New York Times, Jan. 21, 2019) — Senator Kamala Harris, the California Democrat and barrier-breaking prosecutor who became the second black woman to serve in the United States Senate, declared her candidacy for president on Monday, joining an increasingly crowded and diverse field in what promises to be a wide-open nomination process. …

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris officially announces 2020 presidential bid

Sen. Kamala Harris takes the stage at about 57:00

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., joins Democratic 2020 race (Alexander Burns, New York Times, Jan. 23, 2019) — Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Ind., announced on Wednesday that he was entering the Democratic presidential primary, embarking on a long-shot campaign that may test the appeal of a youthful, Midwestern profile over more traditional qualifications for the presidency. In an email to potential supporters, Mr. Buttigieg (he pronounces it BOOT-edge-edge) said he was forming an exploratory committee and cast himself as a candidate of the future, stressing his generational identity and calling for policies “untethered to the politics of the past” on issues like climate and economic opportunity. …

Cory Booker announces presidential bid, joining most diverse field ever (Nick Corasaniti and Shane Goldmacher, New York Times, Feb. 1, 2019) — Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, the former mayor of Newark who has projected an upbeat political presence at a deeply polarized time, entered the 2020 race for president on Friday, embarking on a campaign to become the nation’s second black president in a Democratic primary field that is the most diverse in American history. Mr. Booker announced his candidacy on the first day of Black History Month to the sound of snare drums and with a clarion call for unity. In an email to supporters, he drew on the spirit of the civil rights movement as he laid out his vision for a country that will “channel our common pain back into our common purpose.” …

“The history of our nation is defined by collective action; by interwoven destinies of slaves and abolitionists; of those born here and those who chose America as home; of those who took up arms to defend our country, and those who linked arms to challenge and change it,” Mr. Booker said in an accompanying video. …

Cory Booker: We Will Rise — “The lines that divide us are nowhere near as strong as the ties that bind us. When we join together and work together — we will rise.” (2:25)

Amy Klobuchar enters 2020 presidential race (Mitch Smith and Lisa Lerer, New York Times, Feb. 10, 2019) — Amy Klobuchar, the third-term Minnesota senator, entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday, hopeful that her moderate politics, Midwestern roots and carefully cultivated history of bipartisanship can appeal to a broad swath of voters in contentious times. On a snow-covered stage here along the banks of the Mississippi River, with the temperature barely above single digits, Ms. Klobuchar said that as president, she would “focus on getting things done.” …

Sen. Amy Klobuchar takes the stage at about 2:01:30

Bernie Sanders announces 2020 presidential run (Sydney Ember, New York Times, Feb. 19, 2019) — Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington … entered the presidential race on Friday on a bold bet: that a singular focus on combating climate change can distinguish him in one of the largest Democratic fields ever. …

Jay Inslee, Washington governor and environmentalist, enters 2020 race (Kirk Johnson, New York Times, March 1, 2019) — Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington and former member of Congress who has made climate change and the environment his signature issues, jumped into the crowded field of 2020 Democratic contenders for president on Friday. Mr. Inslee, 68, has led the state during a powerful economic expansion since taking office as governor in 2013, especially in the Seattle area. …

Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington has said that he would push the nation to global leadership in research and development of lower-carbon energy policies. (Photo credit: Ruth Fremson / The New York Times)

“This is our moment, our climate, our mission. Together, we can defeat climate change. That’s why I’m running for president.”

John Hickenlooper says he is running in 2020, citing a ‘crisis of division’ (Julie Turkewitz, New York Times, March 4, 2019) — John Hickenlooper, the two-time Colorado governor and former brewpub owner who has overseen Colorado’s remarkable economic expansion, declared his candidacy for president on Monday. Mr. Hickenlooper, 67, a socially progressive, pro-business Democrat who has called himself an “extreme moderate,” had long said he was considering a run, and made early visits to Iowa and New Hampshire. His biggest challenge will be distinguishing himself in what is sure to be a packed field of potentially history-making candidates and deep-pocketed household names. …

John Hickenlooper, the former Colorado governor, is running for president. When he left office in January, his state had one of the nation’s best economies. (Photo credit: Elise Amendola / Associated Press via The New YorkTimes)

Beto O’Rourke enters the 2020 presidential campaign (Matt Flegenheimer and Jonathan Martin, New York Times, March 14, 2019) — Beto O’Rourke, the 46-year-old former Texas congressman whose near-miss Senate run last year propelled him to Democratic stardom, announced on Thursday that he was running for president, betting that a broad message of national unity and generational change will lift him above a slate of committed progressives offering big-ticket policy ideas. …

Vanity Fair cover story on Beto O’Rourke

Profiles of potential Democratic candidates available on this site


Former Vice President Joe Biden

A preliminary psychological analysis of U.S. vice president Joe Biden conducted in 2009 by Jaclynn Beier, Brianna Ricci, Lindsey Holm, Katie Carlson, and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics revealed that Vice President Biden’s primary personality pattern is Dominant/asserting, complemented by secondary Outgoing/congenial and Ambitious/confident features. In summary, Biden’s personality composite can be characterized as a dominant extravert.

Biden poster
Click on image for larger view


Former Secretary of State John Kerry
The Political Personality of 2004 Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry. Paper presented by Aubrey Immelman and Adam Beatty at the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Toronto, ON, July 3–6, 2005. Abstract and link for full-text (25 pages; PDF) download at Digital Commons: http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/psychology_pubs/29/


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

A psychological analysis of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders conducted in 2016 by Catherine Lundstrom, Hanae Nakamoto, Jacob Wankel, Christian Grande, Joe Trenzeluk, Atarah Pinder, and Aubrey Immelman, Ph.D., at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, revealed that Sanders’s primary personality patterns are Dominant/controlling and Contentious/resolute, with secondary Ambitious/confident features. In summary, Sanders’s personality composite can be characterized as a deliberative nonconformist.

Poster - Bernie Sanders 2016
Click on image for larger view


Selecting presidential contenders for profiling

Considering the limited resources and the labor-intensive nature of research at the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, the large field of credible Democratic candidates — more than a dozen — poses a twofold quandary: (1) how to select the four to six subjects most likely to advance deep into the primaries and (2) how to ensure the eventual nominee is included in the initial subject pool.

Based on a rational-intuitive evaluation of viability, our preliminary pool of target subjects is the following:

  1. Kamala Harris
  2. Joe Biden
  3. Bernie Sanders
  4. Beto O’Rourke
  5. Amy Klobuchar
  6. Elizabeth Warren
  7. Cory Booker

We already have data on Joe Biden (2008) and Bernie Sanders (2016) from previous presidential campaigns, so Biden and Sanders are more or less automatic selections, considering both are among the top-5 frontrunners in current polling.

Amy Klobuchar, although at the bottom of the top 5 prospective candidates in the polls, happens to be our local senator (Minnesota), so we are already better acquainted with her than with other contenders. In the event Klobuchar does not run, Elizabeth Warren would move up on our shortlist of candidates to study.