The 2020 Democratic Presidential Primaries was a crowded field with at one point, 23 confirmed candidates, on exploratory committee, and multiple “maybes.”
Joe Biden ultimately won the Presidency and is joined by Kamala Harris as the Vice President. Despite already knowing which one of the Democratic Presidential Candidates won and lost, it’s fun to review the top Democratic presidential candidates anyway to look into the future. There are always political races to be won. Many of these Democratic Presidential Candidates have ambitions to do more things.
The Top Democratic Presidential Candidates Reviewed
If there’s ever a demonstration of the Dunning-Krueger effect and how politicians are clueless egomaniacs just looking for fame and power, this is it! Someone needs to tell these candidates there can only be one winner.
All the candidates are pretty much running on the same platform: promoting universal healthcare, pushing for regulations to curb climate change, reducing inequality, and improving conditions for the American middle class.
In other words, the candidate who will win will be the one who will simply appeal to the most people who look and sound like the majority of Democratic voters in America.
There will inevitably be candidates dropping out of the race as time goes on. Further, you will absolutely see candidates join forces and join as Vice Presidential candidates.
2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates
The details of the 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates below mostly comes from the online website, Quartz at Qz.com. They’ve got some excellent running commentary about politics. I’ve thrown in my two cents as well.
There are currently 14 white, male Democratic candidates running for office. They include: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio followed in the footsteps of other little-known white dudes such as Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, California Rep. Eric Swalwell, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, launching their own late-breaking presidential bids.
Bullock and de Blasio’s back-to-back announcements mean that a full 61 percent of the comically vast 23-person Democratic lineup is now made up of white men after the groundbreaking early weeks of the contest, when most of the candidates were women and/or people of color.
Obama’s vice president and right-hand man, Middle-Class Joe Biden has additional decades of federal experience as a senator from Delaware and a centrist appeal that could sway moderate Republicans and independents. Now leads Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement at University of Pennsylvania.
Biden has said: “I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president.” Now that the Pennsylvania native is seeking the presidency for the third time, the clear front-runner has the chance to prove himself right.
Many Democrats, particularly Obama loyalists and party veterans, wanted Biden to challenge former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016. He will quickly assemble a top team of consultants and advisers and lock in some of the party’s biggest donors.
Access to Obama’s fundraising mailing list gives him another distinct advantage, as does his ability to tap the organization that their 2008 and 2012 campaigns built for volunteers, doorknockers and other vital ground-game work.
Age: 77 Years in politics: 49
Biggest idea for the economy: His Biden Institute is pushing tech education and increased bargaining power for American workers as a solution to the left-behind working and middle class.
Biggest problem: His age and his ability to rally the troops. Make no mistake, Biden is the front runner.
Kamala Harris – Dropped Out
The child of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, Harris became a prosecutor in Oakland, California, the San Francisco district attorney, and finally California’s attorney general before winning her US Senate seat in California. She stepped into the race Jan. 21 on a morning talk show. Kamal Harris is now the Vice President. She was one of the top Democratic Presidential Candidates.
Age: 54 Years in politics: 16 years
Biggest idea for the economy: The LIFT Act, a working- and middle-class tax cut akin to the Earned Income Tax Credit that she says will provide up to $500 a month to families. To pay for it, she wants to reverse Trump’s 2017 tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.
People who will like this candidate: People who like Obama.
Biggest problem: Nepotism from the past in San Francisco. Not a family woman. Inexperienced in politics.
Cory Booker – Dropped out
The former Newark, New Jersey mayor launched his campaign with an appeal to America’s common purpose and a focus on social and racial equality on Feb. 1, 2019. A Rhodes Scholar and Yale Law graduate who gained celebrity-politician status thanks to his early use of social media. The US senator from New Jersey has been criticized for being close to wealthy elites and for media-friendly stunts.
Age: 49 Years in politics: 17
Biggest idea for the economy: A “baby bond” program that would give every child a US Treasury bond at birth, with a larger amount for poorer kids. He would also propose guaranteeing a $15 minimum-wage job in 15 test areas.
Biggest problem: Too much about race politics. White rural voters who don’t want to focus on race and inequality, liberals concerned about his Wall Street and Silicon Valley enthusiasts.
The first Hindu member of Congress, the Hawaii representative controversially met with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and sided with Russian president Vladimir Putin against Obama on US intervention in Syria. Strongly opposed to regime-change wars after her experience fighting in the Iraq war as part of the National Guard, she speaks about fighting “radical Islam.” A onetime Hawaii state representative, she supported Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Democratic primary campaign. On Feb. 2 she entered the race she calls a “fight for the soul” of America.
Age: 37 Years in politics: 17
Biggest idea for the economy: Cut taxes on small businesses and farmers, raise them on corporations; lower military spending by ending regime-change wars and reducing the acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Biggest problem: Lack of political experience at 37 years old. Islamophobes.
The former Harvard law professor became a household name as a US senator from Massachusetts when she spearheaded congressional oversight of the financial industry bailout. She’s promising to restore the US to a place where people can succeed if they “work hard and play by the rules” by holding billionaires and big corporations accountable. She formally entered the race Feb. 9, when she suggested Trump could be in jail by 2020.
Age: 69 Years in politics: 10
Biggest idea for the economy: A “wealth tax” of 2% on net worth over $50 million and 3% over $1 billion designed to raise $2.75 trillion over a decade.
Biggest problem: Too far left. Too didactic when speaking. Took advantage of race by claiming to be a Native American to further her career as a privileged white woman when she had less than 0.01% Native American blood. Hypocrite. Elizabeth Warren is also a wealthy mutli-millionaire which grates some people the wrong way.
The former corporate lawyer, who was the first woman to be elected a Minnesota senator, has established a reputation as a matter-of-fact centrist, tackling kitchen-table issues like drug pricing. Her unflappable questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh earned her kudos from farther-left Democrats. She held an outdoor rally in a blizzard on Feb. 10 to announce she was running, aiming to highlight her “grit” and the “friends and neighbors” who showed up to cheer.
Age: 58 Years in politics: 12
Biggest idea for the economy: New measures to make it easier for small and mid-sized US businesses to export goods worldwide.
Biggest problem: Nobody knows who she is. There’s already a white women more famous running: Elizabeth Warren.
Grandpa Bernie is a Brooklyn-born self-described democratic socialist, Sanders was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont in 1981 by a margin of just three votes. He was elected to the US House of Representatives in 1990, and the US Senate in 2006, where he remains today—the longest-serving independent senator in the history of the US.
He challenged Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries in 2016 and entered the 2020 race on Feb. 19, promising “change from the bottom up.” Bernie Sanders is a relatively rich Social Democrat.
One of Sanders’ biggest strengths is that he has proven he can attract the type of voter that shunned Clinton and backed Trump: white working-class men. Overall, 12% of Sanders’ supporters defected to Trump on Election Day. They provided enough votes in key states that, had they voted Democratic or even just stayed home, Clinton would have won.
Age: 77 Years in politics: 38
Biggest idea for the economy: Sanders would like to make public colleges tuition-free, increase Social Security benefits, and make corporate America more union-friendly. Sanders has proposed paying for the tuition costs by taxing financial transactions and the Social Security expansion by subjecting all incomes above $250,000 to the 6.2% payroll tax.
Social media following: Twitter 8.1 million, Facebook: 7.5 million, Instagram: 2.9 million.
Biggest problem: Too far left. Could die in office given his advanced age. Is a top percenter with three homes and a $5 million+ net worth.
Beto O’Rourke – Dropped out
Virtually unknown outside Texas until last year, O’Rourke now has a national fan base thanks to his plucky campaign against US senator Ted Cruz. After months of speculation, the former US representative and El Paso, Texas city councilman, tech-company founder, and onetime punk rocker announced his presidential bid in a March 14 video. His upbeat message and multicultural background—he grew up on the border with Mexico—played well with Trump-fatigued voters, but he’s short on experience and policy proposals.
Age: 46 Years in politics: 14
Biggest idea for the economy: His economic proposals during his Senate run last year were focused on reducing inequality, though they were rather vague. They included stronger anti-trust regulations to break up monopolies and encouraging companies to invest profits in their employees and communities.
Biggest problem: Father-in-law is worth $500+ million and helped him buy his way into Congress. Beto inherited $5 million of property in 2001 and grew up as a rich, privileged white guy attending boarding school. People won’t be able to relate once people find out his true background.
Kirsten Gillibrand – Dropped out
The former corporate lawyer and New York congressional representative became known as the “Me Too senator” after calling out Trump’s sexism and leading the push for Democratic senator Al Franken to resign after sexual-misconduct allegations.
Age: 52 Years in politics: 11
Biggest idea for the economy: Gillibrand has been pushing the US to require that companies adopt a universal paid parental leave policy.
Biggest problem: Not as experienced as Elizabeth Warren. Nobody cares about her. MeToo movement not strong enough to only stand on. Accepts money from Wall Street.
Candidates Nobody Cares About
Jay Inslee – Dropped out
The Washington state governor and veteran Congress member threw his hat in the ring on March 1, on a platform of environmental protection and stopping climate change. “This is our moment,” Inslee and a host of supporters, including Bill Nye, the “science guy” declare in his introductory video. As governor, Inslee is pushing privacy regulations for the tech industry, and new technology in the maritime industry to make it more efficient.
Age: 68 Years in politics: 24
Biggest idea for the economy: Stopping climate change can boost economic growth, and create millions of new jobs as the US transitions to “100% clean energy and net-zero greenhouse gas pollution,” Inslee says. He proposes removing subsidies and tax breaks for the fossil-fuel industry, and supports the Green New Deal.
Biggest problem: Nobody cares that much about climate change. There are way more important issues like jobs, income inequality, and healthcare.
John Hickenlooper – dropped out
A geologist and businessman, John Hickenlooper served two terms as Denver mayor before being elected Colorado governor in 2010. He also touts his experience of running rapidly growing Colorado, including by shepherding its economy and enforcing gun-control laws in the state. A moderate with bipartisan appeal, he pitches himself as the right person to take on Donald Trump, whose presidency he calls “a crisis that threatens everything we stand for” in his video.
Age: 67 Years in politics: 16
Biggest idea for the economy: Cutting red tape to reduce the cost of doing business and increase compliance with regulations.
Biggest problem: Nobody has ever heard of this guy. Just another white guy.
John Delaney – dropped out
The former congressman from Maryland started two publicly listed lending companies before running for office in 2012. The first generation in his family to go to college (he stresses his electrician father’s union membership on the campaign trail), he was the very first Democrat to announce he was running back in July 2017. He’s already visited every county in Iowa, the first state in the primary contest, attempting to jumpstart his national campaign from there.
Age: 55 Years in politics: 6
Biggest idea for the economy: Build a public and private international coalition against China’s intellectual property theft, and compete against China in Asia with a TPP-style trade deal.
Social media following: Twitter: 14,400, Facebook: 357,000, Instagram: 2,100.
Biggest problem: Nobody has ever heard of this guy. Just another white guy.
Andrew Yang – still alive but didn’t qualify for 1/14/2020 debate
A former tech entrepreneur who started a nonprofit to promote startups, Yang entered the race Nov. 6, 2018 on essentially a single issue: protecting Americans from job-stealing robots. The son of Taiwanese immigrants, he sells himself as the opposite of Trump—an ego-free Asian man who likes math.
Age: 44 Years in politics: Less than one
Biggest idea for the economy: A $1,000 monthly check sent to every American over 18, so they can pay their bills as robots take over jobs.
Social media following: Twitter: 62,400, Facebook: 26,300, Instagram: 32,400.
Biggest problem: Asians are quite indifferent about politics. There are only 5.6% Asian Americans, not enough to sway the vote and make noise. Andrew Yang was the only Asian Democratic Presidential Candidate. He is now running for mayor of New York City.
It’s good to have more Asian representation given the increase in xenophobia.
Julián Castro – dropped out
After growing up in a poor San Antonio neighborhood, Castro—and twin brother Joaquín—went on to earn Ivy League degrees and take on careers in national politics. Onetime mayor of San Antonio, Castro was US secretary of housing and urban development under Barack Obama. That experience, along with his mother’s activism with Latino groups, is a central part of the narrative he’s pitching to voters. He entered the race on Jan. 12, 2019.
Age: 44 Years in politics: 18
Biggest idea for the economy: He’s been a strong advocate of free trade, which has benefitted his hometown. He’s defended free trade deals, arguing that instead of scrapping them, they should be reworked to strengthen protections for workers and the environment.
Social media following: Twitter: 179,000, Facebook: 102,400, Instagram: 24,400
Biggest problem: Nobody has heard of this guy. Gets zero media coverage.
Wayne Messam – who?
The mayor of Miramar, Florida and a construction company owner, Messam launched an exploratory committee on March 12, and said March 28 he was running on a platform of curbing gun violence, fighting climate changes, and “restoring the promise of America. “I do not believe that the best ideas come from Washington,” he said in his campaign website.
The son of Jamaican immigrant, a former NFL football player, and the first African-American mayor of Miramar, Messam says in his campaign intro “the ‘American Dream’ is real for me…we need to bring that back for every American.”
Age: 44 Years in politics: 8
Biggest idea for the economy: Messam proposes cancelling the US’s $1.5 trillion in student debt, calling it a “moral issue,” and a hurdle that prevents economic mobility in the country. He would also rescind Trump’s tax cut on corporations and the wealthy.
Biggest problem: Nobody has ever heard of this guy. NFL football player stereotype. Cory Booker is already running.
Tim Ryan – who?
During his eight terms in Congress, Ryan, a native Ohioan, has been a vocal backer of union labor, renewable energy, and single-payer healthcare. He wants to revitalize American manufacturing, public education, and support struggling US veterans. Ryan believes he is the best chance Democrats’ have of winning back white, working-class voters who voted for Trump in 2016. “Flyover states are my states,” he said as he kicked off his campaign April 4.
Age: 45 Years in politics: 15
Biggest idea for the economy: Ryan has talked about creating jobs in electric-vehicle manufacturing and other green industries. He is pro-business and pro-fracking, and cautions against Democrats moving too far to the left. “We can’t green the economy without the power of the free-market system,” he said.
Social media following: Twitter: 70,000, Facebook: 55,000, Instagram: 7,000
Biggest problem: Nobody has ever heard of this guy. Just another white guy.
Eric Swalwell – dropped out
The three-term US representative for northern California launched his bid on the Steven Colbert’s Late Show on April 8. The son of a retired police officer and an administrative assistant, Swalwell touts his blue-collar roots, underscoring that he’s the first in his family to graduate from college and is still paying off his student debt. He’s made gun control his top priority, another issue that is likely to resonate with young voters. Though he beat a longtime, well-established incumbent to get to Congress as a political neophyte, his lack of experience and low national profile might be tough to overcome in the primaries.
Age: 38 Years in politics: 9
Biggest idea for the economy: Expanding access to college by providing interest-free federal loans, allowing employers to make tax-free contributions to pay off their employees’ student debt and helping those in work-study programs graduate without owing anything.
Biggest problem: Nobody has ever heard of this guy. Young and inexperienced white guy.
Mike Gravel – dropped out
The former US senator from Alaska, a one-time pot industry executive, and anti-war activist jumped into the race on April 8. The campaign marks his return to national politics following a more than a decade-long hiatus after running in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries. (Before then, he hadn’t held public office since 1980, when he lost his Senate seat.) The octagenarian says his current bid is not to win, but to challenge centrist Democrats’ views on the economy, the environment, and US foreign policy during the presidential debates.
Age: 88 Years in politics: 56 (on and off)
Biggest idea for the economy: Creating a social wealth fund to distribute taxes from financial transactions and IPOs through a yearly dividend to all American adults.
Biggest problem: 88 years old. Come on now.
Pete Buttigieg – wine cave man
A gay Democratic mayor in South Bend, which is a conservative, Republican stronghold, Buttigieg presented a progressive message geared towards millennials in a Jan. 23 exploratory announcement, saying we “can’t look for greatness in the past.” An Afghanistan war veteran and former consultant, he was the city’s youngest mayor. His LGBTQ, Harvard- and Oxford-educated profile may appeal to coastal elites and his midwest roots may give him an advantage in the rest of the country. Buttigieg formally announced his candidacy April 14.
Age: 37 Years in politics: 17
Biggest idea for the economy: Increase public protections of jobs and benefits to help make the employment market more dynamic without the fear of personal debt tied to college loans and medical bills.
Biggest problem: America is not yet ready to embrace Millennials and the LGBTQ community as a whole. Conservative Christians will give thumbs down. One of the most popular Democratic Presidential Candidates that is now part of the Biden administration.
Seth Moulton – dropped out
The congressman from Massachusetts and former Marine launched his campaign for president on April 22, with a pledge to wrestle the idea of patriotism back from Republicans, cut weapons programs the US doesn’t need, stop Russian cyber-hacking and restore America’s moral authority. “The greatest generation saved our country from tyranny, it’s time for our generation to step up and do the same,” Moulton said in a video, explaining that he’s running because “we have to beat Donald Trump.”
Moulton, who led a failed attempt to oust Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House, has supported veterans issues and gun-safety legislation since joining Congress in 2015.
Age: 40 Years in politics: 5
Biggest idea for the economy: Moulton is backing the Green New Deal as a genesis of new “green jobs” in America.
Biggest problem: Nobody has ever heard of this guy. Inexperienced. Most unknown Democratic Presidential Candidates.
Michael Bennet – dropped out
The Colorado senator announced May 2 on CBS This Morning that he was entering the race. Bennet may be best-known outside his state for his January 2019 excoriation of Ted Cruz in Congress, where he criticized the Texas Republican senator’s “crocodile tears” during the national government shutdown, noting that Cruz pushed a shutdown in 2013 when Colorado was “under water.” The two-term senator is credited with helping Democrats pass the Affordable Care Act, and has been speaking out against Trump’s attacks on the bill.
Age: 54 Years in politics: 10
Biggest idea for the economy: Medicare X, which he calls a “true public option” for healthcare, that bridges the gap between Sanders’ “Medicare for all” plan (which he calls unrealistic) and private healthcare.
Biggest problem: Nobody has ever heard of this guy. Undifferentiated. One of the worst Democratic Presidential Candidates.
Steve Bullock -dropped out
Montana’s governor and former state attorney general Steve Bullock made national headlines by fighting for strong campaign finance laws. A Democratic governor who was re-elected the same day that Trump won his state by a shocking 20% margin, Bullock is building his campaign on his ability to find common ground with conservative voters while implementing progressive policies.
Age: 53 Years in politics: 11
Biggest idea for the economy: Reform campaign finance laws so that representatives don’t answer to donors, they answer to voters. Bullock pledges to force every company that wants government contracts to disclose every campaign donation, outlaw superPACs and overturn Citizens United.
Biggest problem: Nobody has ever heard of this guy. Just another white guy. Another one of the worst Democratic Presidential Candidates.
Bill de Blasio – dropped out
The New York City mayor threw his hat in the ring on May 15, 2019. De Blasio is steeped in local politics, having served as the city’s public advocate and on Hillary Clinton’s winning Senate campaign, but his time as mayor has been rocky. Still, he’s expected to emphasize his achievements there to progressive voters, including $15 minimum wage, universal pre-Kindergarten, and a drop in crime.
Here’s what the New York Post things about De Blasio as President.
Age: 58 Years in politics: 12
Biggest idea for the economy: As mayor, de Blasio has presided over healthy economic expansion, but struggled to fix growing inequality. He’s expected to focus on progressive ideas to close that gap nationwide, including nationalizing his universal successful pre-Kindergarten program and increasing affordable housing.
Biggest problem: Not even New Yorkers like him. See cover. He was one of the worst Democratic Presidential Candidates.
Only Five Serious Democratic Presidential Candidates
The field is way too crowded. People will be confused on who to vote for since the message is all the same.
The top five serious Democratic Presidential nomination contenders are: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Beto O’Rourke.
Everybody else should drop out and stop wasting people’s time and money. Use the time and money spent on ego boosting to help people who really need the money.
Instead of relying on egomaniac politicians to save you and your finances, focus on saving yourself. Nobody cares more about your money than you.
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