Election 2020

Let the race begin for the 2020 Democratic Presidential Nomination

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If the United States was a sophisticated European democracy, the headline to this article would be way out of place. After all, as Gabe Fleisher reports in Wake Up to Politics, it is 1,246 days until Election Day 2020.

But unlike the United Kingdom, we are not the country of the six-week campaign. Our presidential campaigns are essentially perpetual. And just today, the Washington Post published an article, “The Trump effect: Everyone’s thinking of running for president.”  Through a link with “The Hill,” they list forty three people who might run against Trump in 2020.

In Part I of a two-part series, we are listing those names with some added demographic information. In Part II, we will work at establishing some criteria for acceptable candidates (Spoiler Alert: Disqualifiers will include tight ties with entrenched money and obvious psychological liabilities).

Below, in alphabetical order, is the list of actually 44 possibilities (the Washington Post article reference Adam Schiff [D-CA and ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee; The Hill did not).

NamePositionAge-2020GenderMinority
Joe BidenFormer VP77M
Cory BookerSenator, D-NJ51MYes
Jerry BrownGovernor, D-CA82M
Sherrod BrownSenator, D-OH67M
Julian CastroFormer HUD Secretary45MYes
Mark CubanEntrepreneur61M
Andrew CuomoGovernor, D-NY62M
Mark DaytonGovernor, MN73M
Howard DeanFormer Governor, D-VT71M
Bill deBlasioMayor, NYC58M
Tammy DuckworthSenator, D-IL52FYes
Keith EllisonHouse Reps., D-MN56MYes
Russ FeingoldFormer Senator, D-WI67M
Al FrankenSenator, D-MN68M
Tulsi GabbertHouse Reps., D-HI39FYes
Eric GarcettiMayor, Los Angeles49M
Kirsten GillibrandSenator, D-NY53F
Al GoreFormer VP72M
Kamala HarrisSenator, D-CA55FYes
John HickenlooperGovernor, D-CO68M
Jay InsleeGovernor, D-WA69M
Dwayne JohnsonWrestler48M
Tim KaineSenator, D-VA62M
Amy KlobacharSenator, D-MN59F
Mitch LandrieuMayor, New Orleans59M
Sean Patrick MaloneyHouse Reps., D-NY53M
Terry McAuliffeGovernor, VA63M
Seth MoultonHouse Reps., D-MA41M
Chris MurphySenator, D-CT46M
Gavin NewsomLt. Governor, D-CA52M
Michelle ObamaFormer First Lady56FYes
Martin O'MalleyFormer Gov., MD57M
Deval PatrickFormer Gov., MA63MYes
Tom PerezChair, DNC58MYes
Sheryl SandbergCOO, Facebook50F
Bernie SandersSenator, I-VT78M
Adam SchiffHouse Reps., D-CA60M
Howard SchultzCEO, Starbucks66M
Tom SteyerBillionaire Environmentalist62M
Mark WarnerSenator, D-VA65M
Elizabeth WarrenSenator, D-MA70F
Jim WebbFormer Senator, D-VA74M
Oprah WinfreyMedia mogul66FYes
Mark ZuckerbergCEO, Facebook35M
9 Females10 Minorities

There are wizened political figures on the list including former Vice-President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. There are fresh faces such as Michelle Obama, Mark Cuban and Mark Zuckerberg. Some are not well known such as Representatives Tulsi Gabbert of Hawaii or Sean Patrick Maloney of New York. Of the forty-four on the list, nine are women and ten are of minority ethnic groups in the U.S. Five are minority women (Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, Gabbert, California Senator Kamala Harris, Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey.) A simple analysis with this amount of political correctness would drive Trump nuts, but he might be assured to know that thirty-one of the forty-four are white men.

Below, the names are listed by their age in 2020, in descending order:

NamePositionAge-2020GenderMinority
Jerry BrownGovernor, D-CA82M
Bernie SandersSenator, I-VT78M
Joe BidenFormer VP77M
Jim WebbFormer Senator, D-VA74M
Mark DaytonGovernor, MN73M
Al GoreFormer VP72M
Howard DeanFormer Governor, D-VT71M
Elizabeth WarrenSenator, D-MA70F
Jay InsleeGovernor, D-WA69M
Al FrankenSenator, D-MN68M
John HickenlooperGovernor, D-CO68M
Sherrod BrownSenator, D-OH67M
Russ FeingoldFormer Senator, D-WI67M
Howard SchultzCEO, Starbucks66M
Oprah WinfreyMedia mogul66FYes
Mark WarnerSenator, D-VA65M
Terry McAuliffeGovernor, VA63M
Deval PatrickFormer Gov., MA63MYes
Andrew CuomoGovernor, D-NY62M
Tim KaineSenator, D-VA62M
Tom SteyerBillionaire Environmentalist62M
Mark CubanEntrepreneur61M
Adam SchiffHouse Reps., D-CA60M
Amy KlobacharSenator, D-MN59F
Mitch LandrieuMayor, New Orleans59M
Bill deBlasioMayor, NYC58M
Tom PerezChair, DNC58MYes
Martin O'MalleyFormer Gov., MD57M
Keith EllisonHouse Reps., D-MN56MYes
Michelle ObamaFormer First Lady56FYes
Kamala HarrisSenator, D-CA55FYes
Kirsten GillibrandSenator, D-NY53F
Sean Patrick MaloneyHouse Reps., D-NY53M
Tammy DuckworthSenator, D-IL52FYes
Gavin NewsomLt. Governor, D-CA52M
Cory BookerSenator, D-NJ51MYes
Sheryl SandbergCOO, Facebook50F
Eric GarcettiMayor, Los Angeles49M
Dwayne JohnsonWrestler48M
Chris MurphySenator, D-CT46M
Julian CastroFormer HUD Secretary45MYes
Seth MoultonHouse Reps., D-MA41M
Tulsi GabbertHouse Reps., D-HI39FYes
Mark ZuckerbergCEO, Facebook35M
9 Females10 Minorities

Jerry Brown was the youngest governor of California at the age 36 and now is the oldest at the age of 79. Would he be too old to be president when he’s 82? Joe Biden seemed to be too old to run for president at age 73, how about age 77? Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, is currently too young to be president, but in 2020 he will reach the requisite age of 35.

There are likely excellent candidates who are not on the list. They may be under the radar because they don’t travel in moneyed circles or have no current claim to fame. But we all know that there is no special correlation between qualifications for president and viability as a candidate.

What we do know is that for anyone considering running for president in 2020, the nearly three and one-half years between now and Election Day will be filled with millions of words, hours of scripted media, and a few moments of unexpected candor. Unless you’re a political junkie, you don’t need a front row seat now, but it still is wise to keep a bird’s eye view on what’s happening in our section of Planet Earth.

Arthur Lieber Arthur Lieber (476 Posts)

Since 1969, Arthur Lieber has been teaching and working in non-profit educational organizations. His focus has been on promoting critical, creative, and enjoyable learning for students in informal settings. In the 2010 mid-term elections, he was the Democratic nominee for US Congress from Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District.