An early look at the 2020 presidential contenders

Bernie Sanders, then a Democratic presidential candidate, speaks at a rally at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 2016. Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

With the midterm elections over, speculation has already turned to who is likely to make a presidential bid in 2020.

The field of potential Democratic candidates is crowded, while no Republican has emerged so far as likely to challenge President Donald Trump.

The race has recently seen some big developments, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren launching an exploratory committee, and rumours that other Democrat figures are about to enter the race as well.

Some predicted candidates like attorney Michael Avenatti and former Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, have dropped out.

Here are the most likely 2020 presidential contenders.

Elizabeth Warren

The Massachusetts Senator has announced that she is formally considering a presidential campaign, and has made her first moves on the campaign trail by announcing a four-city trip to Iowa in January.

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump filed the paperwork to run in 2020 just hours after he was inaugurated in 2016.No Republicans have announced their intention to run against him, and Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in October that he believes it would be a “waste of time” for any to try.

Joe Biden

Biden said that he is talking with his family about whether he will run.

Biden fuelled speculation when he said at the start of December that he believes he is “the most qualified person in the country to be president.”

“The issues that we face as a country today are the issues that have been in my wheelhouse, that I’ve worked on my whole life,” he said.

Jay Inslee

The Washington state governor announced in January that he intends to pursue the Democratic nomination, and told The Atlantic that he intends to focus on the issue of climate change.

John Delaney

Delaney has long been running for president: he told Business Insider in 2017 that he intends to seek the Democratic nomination.

“I have both a vision for how the country can govern itself better, because we’ve basically gotten to the point now as a federal government where we can’t do anything, and I think there is a very high cost associated with doing nothing, which is where we are,” Delaney said.

The retiring congressman also campaigned for Democrats across the country in the midterms.

Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The 2016 Democratic runner-up is expected to run in 2020, though he has not confirmed his intentions.

In August, he won the Democratic nomination in Vermont’s Senate primary, but he turned it down, further fuelling speculation.

Sanders has repeatedly said that he will run again only if he believes he is the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump.

A group of former Sanders staffers is formed a new group, “Organising for Bernie,” with the aim of building a structure that could let the senator start to campaigning with a moment’s notice.

Beto O’Rourke

O’Rourke was the Democratic US Senate candidate in Texas, and while he ultimately lost to Ted Cruz he was by far the best-funded and most competitive Democrat to run statewide in Texas in years and brought Democrats closer than expected to flipping the red state. His campaign made him a national figure, frequently compared to former presidents John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.

O’Rourke met with Obama in his Washington offices in November, stoking further speculation.

Kamala Harris

Sen. Kamala Harris Getty Images/Jason Merritt

The California senator – the second black woman ever elected to the US Senate – was first elected in 2016 as a tough opponent of the Trump administration.

She played a leading role in the Democrats’ midterm efforts, gathering resources for the party. Harris has also been visiting states which hold their nominating contests early.

Michael Bloomberg

The billionaire former New York mayor is exploring a run for the presidency.He was first elected mayor as a Republican, then later re-elected as an independent, but financially supported Democrats during the midterms and officially registered as a Democrat in October.

He said in a radio interview in December that he is likely to sell his company if he runs for president, fuelling further speculations about the likelihood of his candidacy. He has also been speaking in early voting states.

Hillary Clinton

A former senior aide to Hillary Clinton said in October that there was a “not zero” chance she could decide to run for president again.

Amy Klobuchar

Democrat Senator Amy Klobuchar’s name has been floated for the party’s presidential nomination after her landslide win in Minnesota in the midterms.

Political commentators said she could be a serious contender after she performed well in rural counties that Trump carried to earn his surprise victory in 2016.

On Tuesday, Klobuchar told MSNBC she was “considering” a run for president.

Cory Booker

Sen. Cory Booker Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The New Jersey senator is regularly mentioned as a potential candidate and gained popularity and name-recognition among many liberals for his opposition to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.Booker has placed staff on the ground in Iowa, the Guardian reported.A CNN poll of potential 2020 Democratic presidential nominees in October ranked him fifth.

Kirsten Gillibrand

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Alex Wong/Getty Images

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who was re-elected in the midterms, told Stephen Colbert in November that she would give running in 2020 “a long, hard thought of consideration.” “I’ve seen the hatred and the division that President Trump has put out into our country, and it has called me to fight as hard as I possibly can to restore the moral compass of this country,” she said.

Andrew Gillum

Gillum attracted national attention when he stunned Florida by beating wealthy primary opponents and waged an aggressive and deeply progressive campaign for governor against Trump-endorsed Rep. Ron DeSantis.

Gillum met with Obama in December, according to reports, although Gillum has declined to elaborate on his thoughts about a presidential run.

“I plan on being married to my wife. That is all I am planning,” Gillum said in response to questions about 2020.

Eric Swalwell

Rep. Eric Swalwell Alex Edelman/Getty Images

The 37-year-old California congressman is “definitely running,” a source told Politico in November.

However, Swalwell told The Hill he has nothing to announce in that regard “yet.”

Julian Castro

Julian Castro Getty Images

The former San Antonio mayor and secretary of Housing and Urban Development for President Obama told Rolling Stone in October that he is “likely” to challenge Trump in 2020. Castro campaigned for Democrats across the country in the midterms.

Tulsi Gabbard

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Getty Images

The Hawaii congresswoman is considering running in 2020, a source with direct knowledge of her deliberations told Politico.

Tim Kaine

Sen. Tim Kaine Win McNamee/Getty Images

Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential pick in 2016, is considered a 2020 prospect. He was re-elected as Virginia senator in the midterms.

Steve Bullock

The Montana governor gave a speech in August that touted his ability to win in Trump country, sparking speculation of a potential 2020 run.

Terry McAuliffe

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe

The former Virginia governor told reporters in September that he hadn’t ruled out a potential White House bid, and he campaigned on behalf of Democrats during the midterms. A new super PAC aimed at encouraging him to run was launched in the same month.

Eric Garcetti

Mayor Eric Garcetti Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The mayor of Los Angeles hinted at a run in 2017, and said that he was “thinking hard” about a potential run in October.

Pete Buttigieg

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said he will not run for a third term in 2019, prompting speculation of a presidential bid.

Buttigieg ran for Democratic National Committee chairman in 2018, attracting attention within the party from the likes of former DNC Chairman Howard Dean. Buttigieg has also been spending time in Iowa, and headlined at the Progress Iowa annual holiday party.

He said in December “I don’t think it’s a secret” that is he is weighing a 2020 bid.

Jeff Merkley

Sen. Jeff Merkley Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Oregon senator said in June that he was “exploring the possibility” of a 2020 presidential bid

John Hickenlooper

Gov. John Hickenlooper Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Colorado governor told Politico he is considering a 2020 run, adding that he has seen “an interest … a genuine interest in terms of what we’ve done in Colorado.”

Tim Ryan

Rep. Tim Ryan Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Ohio congressman has been telling political consultants and operatives that he intends to run, sources told The Intercept in June.

Sherrod Brown

The Ohio senator said in early November, “I don’t like the idea of running for president.” But Brown’s midterm reelection victory speech suggests 2020 is on his mind, after he boasted of winning in a state that “pundits say is just too hard for a progressive Democrat.”

“We celebrate the worker. And that is the blueprint for America in 2020,” Brown said.

Mark Cuban


The billionaire is an unabashed Trump critic and has teased a 2020 run in the past, and polls have shown he could give Trump a run for his money.

At Business Insider’s annual IGNITION conference on tech and media in December, he said it would be “bad parenting” to run for president in 2020, but he suggested he might go for it regardless.

But he might not end up challenging any Democrats – in November 2017, Cuban said he would run as an independent if he were to mount a campaign.