Democratic candidates: Meet the people vying for a shot to take on Trump in 2020

The most diverse and progressive pool of presidential candidates in American history has winnowed into another all-white race

Chris Riotta
New York
Wednesday 12 February 2020 21:48
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Bernie Sanders gives victory speech in Manchester after New Hampshire primary win

The most diverse group of politicians to ever run for the White House emerged during the 2020 Democratic primaries, as Donald Trump seeks re-election — and has since winnowed to another all-white race featuring senators, former lawmakers and multiple billionaires.

With the first-in-the-nation caucus and primary both out of the way, a variety of candidates have proven to be fundraising juggernauts, while others have been forced to suspend their presidential campaigns.

As the list of Democrats running for the Oval Office has been rather difficult to keep up with this year, here are each of the 2020 hopefuls who are still in the race.

Meet the candidates

Joe Biden

Former US vice president Joe Biden officially joined the Democratic presidential contest to replace Donald Trump in 2020, immediately becoming an instant frontrunner alongside Bernie Sanders, who then went on to have much stronger performances in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.

In his campaign video, Mr Biden warned that handing Mr Trump a further four years in the White House would “forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation”.

He has been forced to address the issue of his age – at 76, Mr Biden is four years older than Mr Trump – suggesting he’s “the most qualified person” to run against the president in 2020.

He also attacked the president for his response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017, accusing Mr Trump of having “assigned moral equivalence between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it”.

“In that moment, I knew that the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime,” he added.

Bernie Sanders

A favourite among progressive voters during the 2016 election, the lifelong Independent senator from Vermont was bested by Ms Clinton despite some polls at the time indicating he may have been the best bet for the Democratic Party to defeat Mr Trump in the general election.

Now, the 77-year-old has announced a run again in 2020 – calling out the president as “a pathological liar” and offering a robust policy platform. “I am asking you to join me today as part of an unprecedented and historic grassroots campaign that will begin with at least a million people from across the country,” Mr Sanders wrote in an email to his supporters announcing his candidacy.

Pete Buttigieg

The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana was the first openly gay politician to join the 2020 Democratic race for the White House. He was the youngest mayor elected to a US city with over 100,000 residents by the age of 29 and serves as a lieutenant in the navy reserve.

Mr Buttigieg has climbed in the polls and enjoys fundraising on-par with that of several more nationally-recognised candidates, despite being a little-known mayor from Indiana.

Pete Buttigieg responds to Donald Trump calling him 'Alfred E. Neuman' after the Mad magazine character

Pete Buttigieg responds to Donald Trump calling him 'Alfred E. Neuman' after the Mad magazine character

Tulsi Gabbard

The US representative from Hawaii and former army medic declared her intention to run on 11 January of last year.

The 37-year-old was quickly beset by controversy, however, after it emerged she had expressed anti-LGBT+ views earlier in her career and met with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whose removal from power she opposes.

Elizabeth Warren

The Massachusetts senator has gained national recognition as a major supporter of regulating Wall Street and tackled head-on some of the biggest potential controversies that threatened to surround her during a 2020 campaign, including questions regarding her Native American heritage.

Ms Warren, who released a video and ancestry report confirming she has distant native ancestry, has become a fierce critic of Mr Trump’s anti-regulatory administration.

She suffered weak performances in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, leaving her campaign with less of a viable path towards securing the nomination than several of her competitors, including Mr Buttigieg and Mr Sanders.

Amy Klobuchar

The Minnesota senator announced her candidacy as a moderate from the midwest who was familiar with the plight of middle and working class American communities across the country.

Though she wasn't exactly a frontrunner in the initial months of the race, the senator enjoyed a strong showing in New Hampshire's primary after her debate performance and has broken her campaign's fundraising records after voters began flocking the polls.

Amy Klobuchar: 'We stand with the innocents in this world and not with dictators'

Tom Steyer

A billionaire hedge fund manager and philanthropist, Tom Steyer announced his candidacy after leading an effort to get millions of Americans to support Donald Trump’s impeachment.

The liberal activist has focused on climate change, economic injustice and creating a large tent party for Democrats by funding nearly $230m to Democratic candidates since 2014.

Though Mr Steyer has made it onto the debate stages in recent months, he failed to garner a strong showing in both the Iowa and New Hampshire votes.

Mike Bloomberg

Another billionaire presidential hopeful, Mike Bloomberg was one of the last Democrats to throw his hat in the ring for the White House.

Still, he has managed to aggravate the president, releasing duelling ads during the SuperBowl that cost both he and Mr Trump $10m separately. Mr Trump has dubbed him "Mini Mike" and claimed he was "part of the fake news" in a tweet.

Mr Bloomberg skipped the initial caucus and primary votes in Iowa and New Hampshire, instead focusing on other key states in the lead up to the general election.

Additional reporting by AP

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