2020 Democratic Party Presidential Primaries

Hillary Clinton The 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses will be a series of electoral contests organized by the Democratic Party to select the 4,051 delegates to the Democratic National Convention and determine the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The elections will take place within all fifty U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. An extra 716 unpledged delegates (712 votes) or superdelegates, including party leaders and elected officials, will be appointed by the party leadership independently of the primary's electoral process. The convention will also approve the party's platform and vice-presidential nominee.



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2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries


4,051 delegate votes to the Democratic National Convention
2,026 delegate votes needed to win

Previous Democratic nominee

Hillary Clinton

The 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses will be a series of electoral contests organized by the Democratic Party to select the 4,051 delegates to the Democratic National Convention and determine the Democratic nominee for President of the United States in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. The elections will take place within all fifty U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. An extra 716 unpledged delegates (712 votes) or superdelegates, including party leaders and elected officials, will be appointed by the party leadership independently of the primary's electoral process. The convention will also approve the party's platform and vice-presidential nominee.

Following the 2016 presidential elections, significant changes were proposed that would change the number and role of superdelegates in the nomination process.[1] Changes were enacted on August 25, 2018, which would allow superdelegates to vote on only the first ballot at a convention if it were uncontested.[2]


After Hillary Clinton's loss in the previous election, the Democratic Party was seen as not having a clear leader.[3] There remained divisions in the party following the 2016 primaries which pitted Clinton against self-described "democratic socialist" Bernie Sanders.[4][5] Between the 2016 election and the 2018 midterm elections, Senate Democrats have generally shifted to the political left in relation to college tuition, healthcare, and immigration.[6][7]

Soon after the 2016 general election, the division between Clinton and Sanders supporters was highlighted in the 2017 Democratic National Committee chairmanship election between Tom Perez and Keith Ellison.[8] Perez was elected Chairman and appointed Ellison as the Deputy Chair, a largely ceremonial role.[6][7] Several candidates began releasing serious policy proposals early in 2019 resulting in the "invisible primary" becoming more visible than in previous elections.

Perez has commented that the 2020 primary field will likely go into double-digits, rivaling the size of the 2016 GOP primary, which consisted of 17 major candidates.[9] In response to criticism of their 2016 debate schedule, the DNC has planned for at least twelve televised debates (the first six taking place in 2019). Depending on the size of the primary field, Perez has floated the possibility of splitting a single debate between two nights at the same location, choosing the participants of each night publicly and at random. Additionally, instead of polling numbers being the sole margin of participating in a debate, grassroots fundraising amounts will also factor into a candidate's inclusion.[10]

Reflecting growing changes to the demographics of the elected Democratic officials, several female candidates are expected to enter the race, increasing the likelihood of the Democrats nominating a woman for the second time in a row.[11] The topic of age has been raised in regards to some of the most likely front-runners: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders; who will be 78, 71, and 79 respectively on Inauguration Day. Former Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid described the trio as "an old folks' home", expressing a need for younger, lesser known faces to step up and lead the party.[12]


Declared major candidates and exploratory committees

In addition to having announced that they are running for president in 2020 or having formed exploratory committees for the 2020 presidential election, the candidates in this section have held public office or have been included in a minimum of five independent national polls.

  Formed exploratory committee but has not officially declared candidacy
Name Born Experience State Campaign
Announcement date

Cory Booker
April 27, 1969
(age 49)
Washington, D.C.
U.S. Senator from New Jersey (2013–present)
Mayor of Newark, New Jersey (2006–2013)

New Jersey

Campaign: February 1, 2019
FEC Filing

Pete Buttigieg
January 19, 1982
(age 37)
South Bend, Indiana
Mayor of South Bend, Indiana (2012–present)

Exploratory committee:
January 23, 2019


Julián Castro
September 16, 1974
(age 44)
San Antonio, Texas
U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (2014–2017)
Mayor of San Antonio, Texas (2009–2014)


Exploratory committee:
December 12, 2018
Campaign: January 12, 2019

FEC filing

John Delaney
April 16, 1963
(age 55)
Wood-Ridge, New Jersey
U.S. Representative from MD-06 (2013–2019)

Campaign: July 28, 2017
FEC filing

Tulsi Gabbard
April 12, 1981
(age 37)
Leloaloa, American Samoa
U.S. Representative from HI-02 (2013–present)

Campaign: January 11, 2019
FEC filing

Kirsten Gillibrand
December 9, 1966
(age 52)
Albany, New York
U.S. Senator from New York (2009–present)
U.S. Representative from NY-20 (2007–2009)

New York

Exploratory committee:
January 15, 2019

FEC filing

Kamala Harris
October 20, 1964
(age 54)
Oakland, California
U.S. Senator from California (2017–present)

Campaign: January 21, 2019
FEC filing

Amy Klobuchar
May 25, 1960
(age 58)
Plymouth, Minnesota
U.S. Senator from Minnesota (2007–present)

Campaign: February 10, 2019
FEC filing

Bernie Sanders
September 8, 1941
(age 77)
Brooklyn, New York
U.S. Senator from Vermont (2007–present)
U.S. Representative from VT-AL (1991–2007)


Campaign: February 19, 2019

Elizabeth Warren
June 22, 1949
(age 69)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (2013–present)

Exploratory committee:
December 31, 2018
Campaign: February 9, 2019

FEC filing

Other declared candidates and exploratory committees

As of February 2019, 182 individuals have filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for President in the Democratic Party primary,[25] including the following notable candidates:

Name Born Experience State Campaign

Announcement date


Michael E. Arth
April 27, 1953
(age 65)
RAF Burtonwood, England
Artist, builder, architectural designer, and political scientist
Independent candidate for Governor of Florida in 2010


Campaign: November 4, 2018
FEC filing

Harry Braun
November 6, 1948
(age 70)
Compton, California
Renewable energy consultant and researcher
Candidate for U.S. Representative from GA-11 in 2018
Candidate for President in 2012 and 2016
Independent candidate for President in 2004
Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative from AZ-01 in 1984 and 1986

Campaign: December 7, 2017
FEC filing

Ken Nwadike Jr.
December 29, 1981
(age 37)
San Diego, California
Documentary filmmaker, motivational speaker, and peace activist

Campaign: October 18, 2017
FEC filing

Robby Wells
April 10, 1968
(age 50)
Bartow, Georgia
Former college football coach
Independent candidate for President in 2016
Constitution candidate for President in 2012

Campaign: May 12, 2018
FEC filing

Marianne Williamson
July 8, 1952
(age 66)
Houston, Texas
Spiritual teacher, author, lecturer, entrepreneur, and activist
Independent candidate for U.S. Representative from CA-33 in 2014


Exploratory committee:
November 15, 2018
Campaign: January 28, 2019

FEC filing

Andrew Yang
January 13, 1975
(age 44)
Schenectady, New York
Entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America
New York

Campaign: November 6, 2017
FEC filing

Withdrawn candidates

The candidates in this section have withdrawn or suspended their campaigns.


Richard Ojeda
September 25, 1970
(age 48)
Rochester, Minnesota
West Virginia State Senator (2016–2019)
Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative from WV-03 in 2018

West Virginia

Announced: November 11, 2018
Suspended: January 25, 2019

Individuals who have publicly expressed interest

Individuals in this section have expressed an interest in running for president within the last six months. Some already have leadership PACs that function as campaign committees.[34]

Speculative candidates

The following people have been subjects of speculation about their potential candidacy within the last three months, although they have neither personally expressed interest nor declined to run.

Declined to be candidates

The individuals in this section have been the subject of speculation about their possible candidacy, but have publicly denied interest in running.

Debates and forums

On December 20, 2018, Tom Perez, the chairman for the Democratic National Committee, announced the preliminary schedule for a series of official debates, set to begin in June 2019.[170] Qualifications were announced on February 14, 2019, which included reaching one percent support in three polls or by meeting a fundraising threshold.[171]



Active campaign
Exploratory committee
Withdrawn candidate
Midterm elections
Iowa caucuses
Super Tuesday
Democratic convention
Richard Ojeda 2020 presidential campaignElizabeth Warren 2020 presidential campaignBernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaignAmy Klobuchar 2020 presidential campaignKamala Harris 2020 presidential campaignKirsten Gillibrand 2020 presidential campaignTulsi Gabbard 2020 presidential campaignJohn Delaney 2020 presidential campaignJulian Castro 2020 presidential campaignPete Buttigieg 2020 presidential campaignCory Booker 2020 presidential campaign


John Delaney was the first major candidate to announce his campaign, two and a half years before the 2020 Iowa caucus.
Julian Castro's formation of an exploratory committee in December 2018 was seen as the start of the campaign in earnest.[172]


  • August 25: Democratic Party officials and television networks begin discussions as to the nature and scheduling of the following year's debates and the nomination process.[174] Changes were made to the role of superdelegates, deciding to only allow them to vote on the first ballot if the nomination is uncontested.[1]
  • November 6: The 2018 midterm elections are held.
  • November 11: West Virginia State Senator Richard Ojeda announces his candidacy.[175]
  • November 19: Ojeda holds a campaign launch rally in Louisville, Kentucky.[176]
  • December 12: Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro forms an exploratory committee.[177]
  • December 31: Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts forms an exploratory committee.[178]
Sen. Kamala Harris launched her bid on January 21, 2019.



The following anticipated primary and caucus dates may change depending on legislation passed before the scheduled primary dates.[187]

  • March 3: Super Tuesday (Alabama, California, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia primaries)[187]
  • March 7: Louisiana primary[187]
  • March 10: Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio primaries[187]
  • March 17: Arizona, Florida, and Illinois primaries[187]
  • Not yet determined: Colorado caucus (March 3, 10 or 17); Minnesota primary (March 3 by default, unless an alternate date is chosen)[187]
  • April 7: Wisconsin primary[187]
  • April 28: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island primaries[187]
  • May 5: Indiana primary[187]
  • May 12: West Virginia primary[187]
  • May 19: Arkansas, Kentucky, and Oregon primaries[187]
  • June 2: Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota primaries[187]
  • June 7: Puerto Rico primary[187]
  • June 16: District of Columbia primary[187]
Other primaries and caucuses
  • Not yet determined (dates of 2016 primaries/caucuses listed in parentheses): American Samoa (March 1), Kansas (March 5), Maine (March 6), Northern Mariana Islands (March 12), Alaska, Hawaii, Washington (March 26), Wyoming (April 9), Guam (May 7), Virgin Islands (June 4), and North Dakota (June 7) caucuses and Democrats Abroad, Georgia (March 1), Nebraska (March 5), Idaho (March 22), and New York (April 19) primaries; Utah (March 22) has a presidential caucus, but a primary option if funded; New York primary is scheduled for February 4 for procedural reasons, but date is expected to be amended.[187]

National convention

The 2020 Democratic National Convention is scheduled for July 13–16, 2020.[188]

On June 20, 2018, the DNC announced four finalist bidders under consideration for the convention site: Houston, Texas,[189] Miami Beach, Florida,[190] (hosted the 1972 convention), Milwaukee, Wisconsin,[191] and Denver, Colorado. Denver was immediately withdrawn from consideration by representatives for the city, citing scheduling conflicts.[192]


Cory Booker

U.S. Senators

Julian Castro

U.S. Executive Branch officials
U.S. Representatives
State legislators
Local officials

John Delaney

U.S. Representatives

Tulsi Gabbard

State legislators
Local officials

Kamala Harris

U.S. Executive Branch officials
U.S. Representatives
Statewide officials
State legislators
Local officials

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. Vice Presidents
U.S. Executive Branch officials
U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
Other federal officials
Statewide officials
State legislators
Local officials

Bernie Sanders

U.S. Senators
U.S. Executive Branch officials
U.S. Representatives
State Executive Officials
State legislators
Local officials
Elizabeth Warren

U.S. Senators
U.S. Representatives
State legislators
Local officials

Marianne Williamson

U.S. Representatives

Andrew Yang


Richard Ojeda (withdrawn)


Primary election polling

See also


  1. 1 2 3 This individual is not a member of the Democratic Party, but has been the subject of speculation or expressed interest in running under this party.
  2. Schultz considers running for president as an independent candidate.


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  242. Bigham, Karla [@karlabigham] (February 10, 2019). "Exactly the message America is looking for! She is will make a fantastic POTUS!" (Tweet). Retrieved February 10, 2019 via Twitter.
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  245. Schultz, Jennifer [@RepJenSchultz] (February 10, 2019). ""Let us cross the river of our divides and walk across our sturdy bridge to higher ground, together." @amyklobuchar will lead with her heart & her head to fight for everyone. I'm with Amy. Please join us" (Tweet). Retrieved February 10, 2019 via Twitter.
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  250. 1 2 Bernardy, Connie [@conniebernardy] (February 11, 2019). "Memory maker watching US Senator Amy Klobuchar announce her candidacy for president. Can you name who is wearing the stocking hat in my picture? @amyklobuchar #amyforamerica @Tim_Walz @ACarolineS @melissahortman @_RyanWinkler #amyklobuchar2020" (Tweet). Retrieved February 11, 2019 via Twitter.
  251. Winkler, Ryan [@_RyanWinkler] (February 10, 2019). "Tough crowd. In the best Minnesota way" (Tweet). Retrieved February 10, 2019 via Twitter.
  252. Edelson, Heather [@heather_edelson] (February 10, 2019). ""An exciting day for Minnesotans - our beloved U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar officially announced her run for President of the United States! The weather was beautiful, like being in a snow globe! #Minnesota2020" (Tweet). Retrieved February 10, 2019 via Twitter.
  253. Howard, Mike [@mikehowardmn] (February 10, 2019). "I've been to two presidential campaign kick-offs- @BarackObama's in Springfield on a cold day in February and this one today. Just sayin. Proud to be a Minnesotan and grateful for @amyklobuchar's partnership with @NSmithholt12 to fight for affordable prescription drugs" (Tweet). Retrieved February 10, 2019 via Twitter.
  254. Maye Quade, Erin [@ErinMayeQuade] (February 10, 2019). "Is @amyklobuchar the first presidential candidate to announce her candidacy at a rally that some supporters cross-country skied to? #BoomIsland #AmyForAmerica" (Tweet). Retrieved February 10, 2019 via Twitter.
  255. Lesch, John [@johnlesch] (February 10, 2019). "The hardy souls were on hand today at Boom Island Park for @amyklobuchar to announce her candidacy for president in perfect Minnesota weather!" (Tweet). Retrieved February 10, 2019 via Twitter.
  256. Larson, Emily [@LarsonForDuluth] (February 10, 2019). "Happy for my friend. Thrilled for America. Honored to speak at your announcement, @amyklobuchar #AmyforAmerica #Amy2020" (Tweet). Retrieved February 11, 2019 via Twitter.
  257. Klobuchar, Amy [@amyklobuchar] (February 10, 2019). "Honored to have mayors @Jacob_Frey, @LarsonforDuluth, and Jonathan Judd speaking here today about what we need to do as a country to move forward" (Tweet). Retrieved February 11, 2019 via Twitter.
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