2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries

Last updated

2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries
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  2016 February 3 to August 11, 2020 2024  

  Joe Biden February 2020 crop.jpg Bernie Sanders March 2020 (cropped).jpg Elizabeth Warren by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Candidate Joe Biden Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren
Home state Delaware Vermont Massachusetts
Delegate count2,687 [2] 1,073 [2] 63 [2]
Contests won4690
Popular vote19,076,052 [3] 9,679,213 [3] 2,831,472 [3]
Percentage51.79%26.28%7.69%

  Michael Bloomberg by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg Pete Buttigieg by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg Amy Klobuchar by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Candidate Michael Bloomberg Pete Buttigieg Amy Klobuchar
Home state New York Indiana Minnesota
Delegate count59 [2] 21 [2] 7 [2]
Contests won110
Popular vote2,493,409 [3] 924,237 [3] 529,713 [3]
Percentage6.77%2.51%1.44%

  Tulsi Gabbard (48011616441) (cropped).jpg
Candidate Tulsi Gabbard
Home state Hawaii
Delegate count2 [2]
Contests won0
Popular vote273,940 [3]
Percentage0.74%

Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2020.svg
Democratic Party presidential primaries results by first instance vote, 2020.svg
2020 Democratic National Convention roll call map.svg

Previous Democratic nominee

Hillary Clinton

Democratic nominee

Joe Biden

Joe Biden 2013.jpg
This article is part of
a series about
Joe Biden
Incumbent




Vice President of the United States




Published works

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The 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries and caucuses were a series of electoral contests organized by the Democratic Party to select the 3,979 [lower-alpha 1] pledged delegates to the 2020 Democratic National Convention held on August 17–20 to determine the party's nominee for president of the United States in the 59th U.S. presidential election. The elections took place in all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and Democrats Abroad, and occurred between February 3 and August 11.

Contents

A total of 29 major candidates declared their candidacies for the primaries, [4] the largest field of presidential candidates for any American political party since 1972, exceeding the field of 17 major candidates in the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries. [5] Former Vice President Joe Biden led polls throughout 2019, with the exception of a brief period in October when Senator Elizabeth Warren experienced a surge in support. [6] The formal beginning of the primary season was marred by controversy, as technical issues with vote reporting resulted in a three-day delay in vote counting in the Iowa caucus, as well as subsequent recounts. The certified results of the caucus eventually showed Mayor Pete Buttigieg winning the most delegates, while Senator Bernie Sanders won the popular vote in the state. Sanders then went on to win the New Hampshire primary in a narrow victory over Buttigieg before handily winning the Nevada caucus, cementing his status as the front-runner for the nomination. [7] [8]

Biden, whose campaign fortunes had suffered as a result of poor performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, made a comeback by overwhelmingly winning the South Carolina primary, motivated by strong support from African-American voters, an endorsement from South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn, and Democratic establishment concerns about nominating Sanders. [9] Following Biden's victory in South Carolina, several candidates dropped out of the race and endorsed Biden in what was viewed as a consolidation of the party's moderate wing. [10] Biden then went on to win 10 out of 15 contests on Super Tuesday, beating back challenges from Sanders, Warren, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, solidifying his lead. [10]

On April 8, Biden became the presumptive nominee after Sanders, the only other candidate remaining, withdrew from the race. [11] In early June, Biden passed the threshold of 1,991 delegates to win the nomination. [12] [13] In total, seven candidates received pledged delegates: Biden, Sanders, Warren, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klobuchar and U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard. [14] On August 11, Biden announced that Senator and former presidential candidate Kamala Harris would be his running mate. [15] Biden and Harris were officially nominated for president and vice president by delegates at the Democratic National Convention on August 18 and 19. [16] [17] Biden and Harris went on to win the presidency and vice presidency in the general election on November 3 defeating the incumbents President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.

Background

After Hillary Clinton's loss in the previous election, many felt the Democratic Party lacked a clear leading figure. [18] Divisions remained in the party following the 2016 primaries, which pitted Clinton against Bernie Sanders. [19] [20] Between the 2016 election and the 2018 midterm elections, Senate Democrats generally shifted to the political left in relation to college tuition, healthcare, and immigration. [21] [22] The 2018 elections saw the Democratic Party regain the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years, picking up seats in both urban and suburban districts. [23] [24]

Reforms since 2016

On August 25, 2018, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) members passed reforms to the Democratic Party's primary process in order to increase participation [25] and ensure transparency. [26] State parties are encouraged to use a government-run primary whenever available and increase the accessibility of their primary through same-day or automatic registration and same-day party switching. Caucuses are required to have absentee voting, or to otherwise allow those who cannot participate in person to be included. [25]

Independent of the results of the primaries and caucuses, the Democratic Party, from its group of party leaders and elected officials, also appointed 771 [lower-alpha 2] unpledged delegates (superdelegates) to participate in its national convention.

In contrast to all previous election cycles since superdelegates were introduced in 1984, superdelegates will no longer have the right to cast decisive votes on the convention's first ballot for the presidential nomination. They will be allowed to cast non-decisive votes if a candidate has clinched the nomination before the first ballot, or decisive votes on subsequent ballots in a contested convention. [27] [28] In that case, the number of votes required shall increase to a majority of pledged and superdelegates combined. Superdelegates are not precluded from publicly endorsing a candidate before the convention.

There were also a number of changes to the process of nomination at the state level. A decline in the number of caucuses occurred after 2016, with Democrats in Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Washington all switching from various forms of caucuses to primaries (with Hawaii, Kansas, and North Dakota switching to party-run "firehouse primaries"). This has resulted in the lowest number of caucuses in the Democratic Party's recent history, with only three states (Iowa, Nevada, and Wyoming) and four territories (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas, and U.S. Virgin Islands) using them. In addition, six states were approved in 2019 by the DNC to use ranked-choice voting in the primaries: Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, and Wyoming for all voters; Iowa and Nevada for absentee voters. [29] Rather than eliminating candidates until a single winner is chosen, voters' choices would be reallocated until all remaining candidates have at least 15%, the threshold to receive delegates to the convention. [30]

Several states which did not use paper ballots widely in 2016 and 2018, adopted them for the 2020 primary and general elections, [31] to minimize potential interference in vote tallies, a concern raised by intelligence officials, [32] election officials [33] and the public. [34] The move to paper ballots enabled audits to start where they had not been possible before, and in 2020 about half the states audit samples of primary ballots to measure accuracy of the reported results. [35] Audits of caucus results depend on party rules, and the Iowa Democratic party investigated inaccuracies in precinct reports, resolved enough to be sure the delegate allocations were correct, and decided it did not have authority or time to correct all errors. [36] [37] [38]

Rules for number of delegates

Number of pledged delegates per state

The number of pledged delegates from each state is proportional to the state's share of the electoral college, and to the state's past Democratic votes for president. [39] [40] Thus less weight is given to swing states and Republican states, while more weight is given to strongly Democratic states, in choosing a nominee.

Six pledged delegates are assigned to each territory, 44 to Puerto Rico, and 12 to Democrats Abroad. Each jurisdiction can also earn bonus delegates by holding primaries after March or in clusters of 3 or more neighboring states. [39]

Within states, a quarter of pledged delegates are allocated to candidates based on statewide vote totals, and the rest based on votes in each Congressional District, though some states use divisions other than congressional districts. For example, Texas uses state Senate districts. [41] [39] Districts which have voted Democratic in the past get more delegates, and fewer delegates are allocated for swing districts and Republican districts. [39] For example, House Speaker Pelosi's strongly Democratic district 12 has 7 delegates, or one per 109,000 people, and a swing district, CA-10, which became Democratic in 2018, has 4 delegates, or one per 190,000 people. [42] [43] [44]

Candidate threshold

Candidates who received under 15% of the votes in a state or district got no delegates from that area. Candidates who got 15% or more of the votes divided delegates in proportion to their votes. [42] [45] These rules apply at the state level to state delegates and within each district for those delegates. The 15% threshold was established in 1992 [46] to limit "fringe" candidates. [47] The threshold now means that any sector of the party (moderate, progressive, etc.) which produces many candidates, thus dividing supporters' votes, may win few delegates, even if it wins a majority of votes. [47] [48] [46]

Schedule and results

Date
(daily totals)
Total pledged
delegates
Contest
and total popular vote
Delegates won and popular vote
Joe Biden Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Michael Bloomberg Pete Buttigieg Amy Klobuchar Tulsi Gabbard Other
February 341 Iowa
172,300 [lower-alpha 3]
14 [lower-alpha 4]
23,605 (13.7%)
9
45,652 (26.5%)
5
34,909 (20.3%)

16 (0.0%)
12
43,209 (25.1%)
1
21,100 (12.2%)

16 (0.0%)

3,793 (2.2%)
February 1124 New Hampshire
298,377

24,944 (8.4%)
9
76,384 (25.6%)

27,429 (9.2%)

4,675 (1.6%)
9
72,454 (24.3%)
6
58,714 (19.7%)

9,755 (3.3%)

24,022 (8.1%)
February 2236 Nevada
101,543 [lower-alpha 5]
9
19,179 (18.9%)
24
41,075 (40.5%)

11,703 (11.5%)
3
17,598 (17.3%)

7,376 (7.3%)

32 (0.0%)

4,580 (4.5%)
February 2954 South Carolina
539,263
39
262,336 (48.7%)
15
106,605 (19.8%)

38,120 (7.1%)

44,217 (8.2%)

16,900 (3.1%)

6,813 (1.3%)

64,272 (11.9%)
March 3
(Super Tuesday)
(1,344)
52 Alabama
452,093
44
286,065 (63.3%)
8
74,755 (16.5%)

25,847 (5.7%)

52,750 (11.7%)

1,416 (0.3%)

907 (0.2%)

1,038 (0.2%)

9,315 (2.1%)
6 American Samoa
351

31 (8.8%)

37 (10.5%)

5 (1.4%)
4
175 (49.9%)
2
103 (29.3%)
31 Arkansas
229,122
19 [lower-alpha 6]
93,012 (40.6%)
9
51,413 (22.4%)

22,971 (10.0%)
3
38,312 (16.7%)

7,649 (3.3%)

7,009 (3.1%)

1,593 (0.7%)

7,163 (3.1%)
415 California
5,784,364
172
1,613,854 (27.9%)
225
2,080,846 (36.0%)
11
762,555 (13.2%)
7
701,803 (12.1%)

249,256 (4.3%)

126,961 (2.2%)

33,769 (0.6%)

215,320 (3.7%)
67 Colorado
960,128
21
236,565 (24.6%)
29
355,293 (37.0%)
8
168,695 (17.6%)
9
177,727 (18.5%)

10,037 (1.1%)

11,811 (1.2%)
24 Maine
205,937
11
68,729 (33.4%)
9
66,826 (32.5%)
4
32,055 (15.6%)

24,294 (11.8%)

4,364 (2.1%)

2,826 (1.4%)

1,815 (0.9%)

5,028 (2.4%)
91 Massachusetts
1,418,180
45 [lower-alpha 7]
473,861 (33.4%)
30
376,990 (26.6%)
16
303,864 (21.4%)

166,200 (11.7%)

38,400 (2.7%)

17,297 (1.2%)

10,548 (0.7%)

31,020 (2.2%)
75 Minnesota
744,198
38
287,553 (38.6%)
27
222,431 (29.9%)
10
114,674 (15.4%)

61,882 (8.3%)

7,616 (1.0%)

41,530 (5.6%)

2,504 (0.3%)

6,008 (0.8%)
110 North Carolina
1,332,382
68
572,271 (43.0%)
37
322,645 (24.2%)
2
139,912 (10.5%)
3
172,558 (13.0%)

43,632 (3.3%)

30,742 (2.3%)

6,622 (0.5%)

44,000 (3.3%)
37 Oklahoma
304,281
21
117,633 (38.7%)
13
77,425 (25.5%)
1
40,732 (13.4%)
2
42,270 (13.9%)

5,115 (1.7%)

6,733 (2.2%)

5,109 (1.7%)

9,264 (3.0%)
64 Tennessee
516,250
36
215,390 (41.7%)
22
129,168 (25.0%)
1
53,732 (10.4%)
5
79,789 (15.5%)

17,102 (3.3%)

10,671 (2.1%)

2,278 (0.4%)

8,120 (1.6%)
228 Texas
2,094,428
113
725,562 (34.6%)
99
626,339 (29.9%)
5
239,237 (11.4%)
11
300,608 (14.4%)

82,671 (4.0%)

43,291 (2.1%)

8,688 (0.4%)

68,032 (3.2%)
29 Utah
220,582
7
40,674 (18.4%)
16
79,728 (36.1%)
3
35,727 (16.2%)
3
33,991 (15.4%)

18,734 (8.5%)

7,603 (3.5%)

1,704 (0.8%)

2,421 (1.1%)
16 Vermont
158,032
5
34,669 (21.9%)
11
79,921 (50.6%)

19,785 (12.5%)

14,828 (9.4%)

3,709 (2.4%)

1,991 (1.3%)

1,303 (0.8%)

1,826 (1.2%)
99 Virginia
1,323,693
67
705,501 (53.3%)
31
306,388 (23.2%)
1
142,546 (10.8%)

128,030 (9.7%)

11,199 (0.9%)

8,414 (0.6%)

11,288 (0.9%)

10,327 (0.8%)
March 3–1013 Democrats Abroad
39,984
4
9,059 (22.7%)
9
23,139 (57.9%)

5,730 (14.3%) [lower-alpha 8]

892 (2.2%) [lower-alpha 9]

616 (1.5%)

224 (0.6%)

146 (0.4%)

178 (0.4%)
March 10
(352)
20 Idaho
108,649
12
53,151 (48.9%)
8
46,114 (42.4%)

2,878 (2.7%)

2,612 (2.4%)

1,426 (1.3%)

774 (0.7%)

876 (0.8%)

818 (0.8%)
125 Michigan
1,587,679
73
840,360 (52.9%)
52
576,926 (36.3%)

26,148 (1.7%)

73,464 (4.6%)

22,462 (1.4%)

11,018 (0.7%)

9,461 (0.6%)

27,840 (1.8%)
36 Mississippi
274,391
34
222,160 (81.0%)
2
40,657 (14.8%)

1,550 (0.6%)

6,933 (2.5%)

562 (0.2%)

440 (0.2%)

1,003 (0.4%)

1,086 (0.4%)
68 Missouri
666,112
44
400,347 (60.1%)
24
230,374 (34.6%)

8,156 (1.2%)

9,866 (1.5%)

3,309 (0.5%)

2,682 (0.4%)

4,887 (0.7%)

6,491 (1.0%)
14 North Dakota
14,413
6
5,742 (39.8%)
8
7,682 (53.3%)

366 (2.5%)

113 (0.8%)

164 (1.1%)

223 (1.5%)

89 (0.6%)

34 (0.2%)
89 Washington
1,558,776
46
591,403 (37.9%)
43
570,039 (36.6%)

142,652 (9.2%)

122,530 (7.9%)

63,344 (4.1%)

33,383 (2.1%)

13,199 (0.9%)

22,226 (1.4%)
March 146 Northern Mariana Islands
134
2
48 (36.4%)
4
84 (63.6%)

2 (1.5%)
March 17
(441)
67 Arizona
613,355
38
268,029 (43.7%)
29
200,456 (32.7%)

35,537 (5.8%)

[lower-alpha 10]

24,868 (4.1%)

[lower-alpha 10]

3,014 (0.5%)

81,451 (13.3%) [lower-alpha 10]
219 Florida
1,739,214
162
1,077,375 (62.0%)
57
397,311 (22.8%)

32,875 (1.9%)

146,544 (8.4%)

39,886 (2.3%)

17,276 (1.0%)

8,712 (0.5%)

19,235 (1.1%)
155 Illinois
1,674,133
95
986,661 (59.0%)
60
605,701 (36.2%)

24,413 (1.5%)

25,500 (1.5%)

9,729 (0.6%)

9,642 (0.6%)

12,487 (0.7%)
April 784 Wisconsin
925,065
56
581,463 (62.9%)
28
293,441 (31.7%)

14,060 (1.5%)

8,846 (1.0%)

4,946 (0.5%)

6,079 (0.7%)

5,565 (0.6%)

10,665 (1.2%)
April 1015 Alaska
19,589 [lower-alpha 11]
8
10,834 (55.3%)
7
8,755 (44.7%)
April 1714 Wyoming
15,118 [lower-alpha 11]
10
10,912 (72.2%)
4
4,206 (27.8%)
April 28136 Ohio
894,383
115
647,284 (72.4%)
21
149,683 (16.7%)

30,985 (3.5%)

28,704 (3.2%)

15,113 (1.7%)

11,899 (1.3%)

4,560 (0.5%)

6,155 (0.7%)
May 239 Kansas
143,183 [lower-alpha 11]
29
110,041 (76.9%)
10
33,142 (23.1%)
May 1229 Nebraska
164,582
29
126,444 (76.8%)

23,214 (14.1%)

10,401 (6.3%)

4,523 (2.8%)
May 1961 Oregon
618,711
46
408,315 (66.0%)
15
127,345 (20.6%)

59,355 (9.6%)

10,717 (1.7%)

12,979 (2.1%)
May 2224 Hawaii
33,552 [lower-alpha 12]
16
21,215 (63.2%)
8
12,337 (36.8%)
June 2
(479)
20 District of Columbia
110,688
20
84,093 (76.0%)

11,116 (10.0%)

14,228 (12.9%)

442 (0.4%)

809 (0.7%)
82 Indiana
497,927
81
380,836 (76.5%)
1
67,688 (13.6%)

14,344 (2.9%)

4,783 (1.0%)

17,957 (3.6%)

3,860 (0.8%)

2,657 (0.5%)

5,802 (1.2%)
96 Maryland
1,050,773
96
879,753 (83.7%)

81,939 (7.8%)

27,134 (2.6%)

6,773 (0.6%)

7,180 (0.7%)

5,685 (0.5%)

4,226 (0.4%)

38,083 (3.6%)
19 Montana
149,973
18
111,706 (74.5%)
1
22,033 (14.7%)

11,984 (8.0%)

4,250 (2.8%)
34 New Mexico
247,880
30
181,700 (73.3%)
4
37,435 (15.1%)

14,552 (5.9%)

2,735 (1.1%)

11,458 (4.6%)
186 Pennsylvania
1,595,508
151
1,264,624 (79.3%)
35
287,834 (18.0%)

43,050 (2.7%)
26 Rhode Island
103,982
25
79,728 (76.7%)
1
15,525 (14.9%)

4,479 (4.3%)

651 (0.6%)

3,599 (3.5%)
16 South Dakota
52,661
13
40,800 (77.5%)
3
11,861 (22.5%)
June 6
(14)
7 Guam
388
5
270 (69.6%)
2
118 (30.4%)
7 U.S. Virgin Islands
550
7
502 (91.3%)

28 (5.1%)

20 (3.6%)
June 9
(133)
105 Georgia
1,086,729 [lower-alpha 13]
105
922,177 (84.9%)

101,668 (9.4%)

21,906 (2.0%)

7,657 (0.7%)

6,346 (0.6%)

4,317 (0.4%)

4,117 (0.4%)

18,541 (1.7%)
28 West Virginia
187,482
28
122,518 (65.3%)

22,793 (12.2%)

5,741 (3.1%)

3,759 (2.0%)

3,455 (1.8%)

3,011 (1.6%)

4,163 (2.2%)

22,042 (11.8%)
June 23
(328)
54 Kentucky
537,905
52
365,284 (67.9%)

65,055 (12.1%)

15,300 (2.8%)

9,127 (1.7%)

5,296 (1.0%)

5,859 (1.1%)
2 [lower-alpha 14]
71,984 (13.4%)
274 New York
1,759,039
231
1,136,679 (64.6%)
43
285,908 (16.3%)

82,917 (4.7%)

39,433 (2.2%)

22,927 (1.3%)

11,028 (0.6%)

9,083 (0.5%)

171,064 (9.7%)
July 7
(147)
21 Delaware
91,682
21
81,954 (89.4%)

6,878 (7.5%)

2,850 (3.1%)
126 New Jersey
958,762
121
814,188 (84.9%)
5
140,412 (14.7%)

4,162 (0.4%)
July 1154 Louisiana
267,286
54
212,555 (79.5%)

19,859 (7.4%)

6,426 (2.4%)

4,312 (1.6%)

2,363 (0.9%)

2,431 (0.9%)

1,962 (0.7%)

17,378 (6.5%)
July 1251 Puerto Rico
7,022
44
3,930 (56.0%)
5
932 (13.3%)

101 (1.4%)
2
894 (12.7%)

158 (2.3%)

31 (0.4%)

194 (2.8%)

782 (11.1%)
August 1160 Connecticut
264,416
60
224,500 (84.9%)

30,512 (11.5%)





3,429 (1.3%)

5,975 (2.3%)
Total
3,979 pledged delegates
36,917,180 votes
2,716
19,080,153 (51.68%)
1,112
9,680,042 (26.22%)
67
2,831,566 (7.67%)
49
2,493,523 (6.75%) [lower-alpha 10]
24
924,279 (2.50%)
7
529,722 (1.43%) [lower-alpha 10]
2
273,977 (0.74%)
2
1,103,918 (2.99%) [lower-alpha 10]

Election day postponements and cancellations

2020 Democratic presidential primary and caucus calendar.svg

  February  March 3 (Super Tuesday)  March 10  March 14–17  March 24–29  April 4–7  April 28  May  June

2020 Democratic presidential primary and caucus calendar rescheduled.svg

  February  March 3 (Super Tuesday)  March 10  March 14–17  April 7–17  April 28  May  June  July–August

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, a number of presidential primaries were rescheduled. On April 27, New York cancelled its primary altogether on the grounds that there was only one candidate left with an active campaign. Andrew Yang responded with a lawsuit, arguing that the decision infringes on voting rights, [54] and in early May, the judge ruled in favor of Yang. [55]

2020 Democratic primaries altered due to COVID-19.
PrimaryOriginal
schedule
Altered
schedule
Vote in
person?
Last
changed
Ref.
Ohio March 17April 28 [lower-alpha 15] CancelledMarch 25 [56] [57]
Georgia March 24June 9HeldApril 9 [58] [59]
Puerto Rico March 29July 12HeldMay 21 [60] [61] [62]
Alaska April 4April 10 [lower-alpha 16] CancelledMarch 23 [63]
Wyoming April 4April 17 [lower-alpha 17] CancelledMarch 22 [64]
Hawaii April 4May 22 [lower-alpha 18] CancelledMarch 27 [65] [66] [67]
Louisiana April 4July 11 [lower-alpha 19] HeldApril 14 [68] [69]
Maryland April 28June 2HeldMarch 17 [70]
Pennsylvania April 28June 2HeldMarch 27 [71]
Rhode Island April 28June 2HeldMarch 23 [72]
New York April 28June 23HeldApril 27 [73] [74] [75]
Delaware April 28July 7HeldMay 7 [76] [77]
Connecticut April 28August 11HeldApril 17 [78]
Kansas May 2May 2 [lower-alpha 20] CancelledMarch 30 [79]
Guam May 2June 6HeldJune 4 [80]
Indiana May 5June 2HeldMarch 20 [81]
West Virginia May 12June 9HeldApril 1 [82]
Kentucky May 19June 23HeldMarch 16 [83]
New Jersey June 2July 7 [lower-alpha 21] HeldApril 8 [84]

In addition, the DNC elected to delay the 2020 Democratic National Convention from July 13–16 to August 17–20. [85]

Candidates

Major candidates in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries had held significant elective office or received substantial media coverage.

Nearly 300 candidates who did not receive significant media coverage also filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in the primary. [86]

Nominee

CandidateBornExperienceStateCampaign announcedPledged delegates [87] Popular vote [88] Contests wonArticleRef.
November 20, 1942
(age 78)
Scranton, Pennsylvania
Vice President of the United States (2009–2017)
U.S. senator from Delaware (1973–2009)
Candidate for President in 1988 and 2008
April 25, 20192,68718,431,136
(51.48%)
46
(AL, AK, AZ, AR, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, GU, HI, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VI, WA, WV, WI, WY)
[89]

Withdrew during the primaries

CandidateBornExperienceStateCampaign announcedCampaign suspendedDelegates won [87] Popular vote [88] Contests wonArticleRef.
September 8, 1941
(age 79)
Brooklyn, New York
U.S. senator from Vermont (2007–present)
U.S. representative from VT-AL (1991–2007)
Candidate for president in 2016
February 19, 2019April 8, 2020
(endorsed Biden as presumptive nominee) [90]
1,0739,531,092
(26.63%)
9
(CA, CO, DA, NV, NH, ND, MP, UT, VT)
[91] [92]
April 12, 1981
(age 39)
Leloaloa, American Samoa
U.S. representative from HI-02 (2013–present)January 11, 2019March 19, 2020
(endorsed Biden) [93]
2270,620
(0.76%)
0 [94] [95]
June 22, 1949
(age 71)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
U.S. senator from Massachusetts (2013–present)February 9, 2019
Exploratory committee: December 31, 2018
March 5, 2020
(endorsed Biden as presumptive nominee) [96]
632,780,873
(7.77%)
0 [97] [98]
February 14, 1942
(age 78)
Boston, Massachusetts
Mayor of New York City, New York (2002–2013)
CEO of Bloomberg L.P.
November 24, 2019
Exploratory committee: November 21, 2019
March 4, 2020
(endorsed Biden) [99]
592,475,130
(6.92%)
1
(AS)
Mike Bloomberg 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[100] [101]
May 25, 1960
(age 60)
Plymouth, Minnesota
U.S. senator from Minnesota (2007–present)February 10, 2019March 2, 2020
(endorsed Biden) [102]
7524,400
(1.47%)
0 [103] [102]
January 19, 1982
(age 39)
South Bend, Indiana
Mayor of South Bend, Indiana (2012–2020)April 14, 2019
Exploratory committee: January 23, 2019
March 1, 2020
(endorsed Biden) [104]
21912,214
(2.55%)
1
(IA)
Pete for America logo (Strato Blue).svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[105] [106]
June 27, 1957
(age 63)
Manhattan, New York
Hedge fund manager
Founder of Farallon Capital and Beneficial State Bank
July 9, 2019February 29, 2020
(endorsed Biden as presumptive nominee) [107]
0258,848
(0.72%)
0 Tom Steyer 2020 logo (black text).svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[108] [109]
July 31, 1956
(age 64)
Chicago, Illinois
Governor of Massachusetts (2007–2015)November 14, 2019February 12, 2020
(endorsed Biden) [110]
027,116
(0.08%)
0 Devallogo2020.png
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[111] [112]
November 28, 1964
(age 56)
New Delhi, India
U.S. senator from Colorado (2009–present)May 2, 2019February 11, 2020
(endorsed Biden as presumptive nominee) [113]
062,260
(0.17%)
0 Michael Bennet 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[114] [115]
January 13, 1975
(age 46)
Schenectady, New York
Entrepreneur
Founder of Venture for America
November 6, 2017February 11, 2020
(endorsed Biden) [116]
0160,231
(0.45%)
0 Andrew Yang 2020 logo.svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[117] [118]

Other notable individuals who were not major candidates terminated their campaigns during the primaries:

Withdrew before the primaries

CandidateBornExperienceStateCampaign
announced
Campaign
suspended
Popular voteArticleRef.
April 16, 1963
(age 57)
Wood-Ridge, New Jersey
U.S. representative from MD-06 (2013–2019)July 28, 2017January 31, 2020
(endorsed Biden) [125]
19,342 John Delaney 2020 logo.svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[126] [127]
April 27, 1969
(age 51)
Washington, D.C.
U.S. senator from New Jersey (2013–present)
Mayor of Newark, New Jersey (2006–2013)
February 1, 2019January 13, 2020
(ran for re-election) [128]
(endorsed Biden) [129]
31,575 Cory Booker 2020 Logo.svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[130] [131]
July 8, 1952
(age 68)
Houston, Texas
Author
Founder of Project Angel Food
Independent candidate for U.S. House from CA-33 in 2014
January 28, 2019
Exploratory committee:
November 15, 2018
January 10, 2020
(endorsed Sanders, then Biden as nominee) [132] [133]
22,334 Marianne Williamson 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[134] [135]
September 16, 1974
(age 46)
San Antonio, Texas
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (2014–2017)
Mayor of San Antonio, Texas (2009–2014)
January 12, 2019
Exploratory committee: December 12, 2018
January 2, 2020
(endorsed Warren, then Biden as presumptive nominee) [136] [137]
37,037 [138] [139]
October 20, 1964
(age 56)
Oakland, California
U.S. senator from California (2017–2021)
Attorney General of California (2011–2017)
January 21, 2019December 3, 2019
(endorsed Biden [140] who later chose her as vice presidential running-mate)
844 Kamala Harris 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[141] [142]
April 11, 1966
(age 54)
Missoula, Montana
Governor of Montana (2013–2021)
Attorney General of Montana (2009–2013)
May 14, 2019December 2, 2019
(ran for U.S. Senate, endorsed Biden as nominee) [143]
549 Steve Bullock 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[144] [145]
December 12, 1951
(age 69)
Secane, Pennsylvania
U.S. representative from PA-07 (2007–2011)
Former Vice Admiral of the United States Navy
June 23, 2019December 1, 2019
(endorsed Klobuchar, then Biden as nominee) [146] [147]
5,251 Campaign
FEC filing
[148] [149]
June 7, 1974
(age 46)
South Bay, Florida
Mayor of Miramar, Florida (2015–present)March 28, 2019
Exploratory committee: March 13, 2019
November 19, 20190 [lower-alpha 22] [150] [151]
September 26, 1972
(age 48)
El Paso, Texas
U.S. representative from TX-16 (2013–2019)March 14, 2019November 1, 2019
(endorsed Biden) [152]
1 [lower-alpha 22] [153] [154] [155]
July 16, 1973
(age 47)
Niles, Ohio
U.S. representative from OH-13 (2013–present)
U.S. representative from OH-17 (2003–2013)
April 4, 2019October 24, 2019
(ran for re-election) [156]
(endorsed Biden)
[157]
0 [lower-alpha 22] Timryan2020.png
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[158] [159]
May 8, 1961
(age 59)
Manhattan, New York
Mayor of New York City, New York (2014–present)May 16, 2019September 20, 2019
(endorsed Sanders, then Biden as presumptive nominee) [160] [161]
0 [lower-alpha 22] [162] [163]
December 9, 1966
(age 54)
Albany, New York
U.S. senator from New York (2009–present)
U.S. representative from NY-20 (2007–2009)
March 17, 2019
Exploratory committee: January 15, 2019
August 28, 2019
(endorsed Biden) [164]
0 [lower-alpha 22] Gillibrand 2020 logo.png
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[165] [166]
October 24, 1978
(age 42)
Salem, Massachusetts
U.S. representative from MA-06 (2015–present)April 22, 2019August 23, 2019
(ran for re-election) [167]
(endorsed Biden) [168]
0 [lower-alpha 22] Seth Moulton 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[169] [170]
February 9, 1951
(age 69)
Seattle, Washington
Governor of Washington (2013–present)
U.S. representative from WA-01 (1999–2012)
U.S. representative from WA-04 (1993–1995)
March 1, 2019August 21, 2019
(ran for re-election) [171]
(endorsed Biden as presumptive nominee) [172]
1 [lower-alpha 22] [173] Jay Inslee 2020 logo3.png
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[174] [175]
February 7, 1952
(age 68)
Narberth, Pennsylvania
Governor of Colorado (2011–2019)
Mayor of Denver, Colorado (2003–2011)
March 4, 2019August 15, 2019
(ran for U.S. Senate) [176]
(endorsed Bennet, then Biden as presumptive nominee) [177]
[178]
1 [lower-alpha 22] [173] John Hickenlooper 2020 presidential campaign logo.png
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[179] [180]
May 13, 1930
(age 90)
Springfield, Massachusetts
U.S. senator from Alaska (1969–1981)
Candidate for president in 2008
Candidate for Vice President in 1972
April 2, 2019
Exploratory committee: March 19, 2019
August 6, 2019
(co-endorsed Gabbard and Sanders) [181]
0 [lower-alpha 22] Gravel Mg web logo line two color.svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[182] [181]
November 16, 1980
(age 40)
Sac City, Iowa
U.S. representative from CA-15 (2013–present)April 8, 2019July 8, 2019 [183]
(ran for re-election)
(endorsed Biden) [184] [185]
0 [lower-alpha 22] Eric Swalwell 2020 presidential campaign logo.svg
__________
Campaign
FEC filing
[186] [187]
September 25, 1970
(age 50)
Rochester, Minnesota
West Virginia state senator from WV-SD07 (2016–2019)November 11, 2018January 25, 2019
(ran for U.S. Senate; lost primary) [188]
(endorsed Biden) [189]
0 [lower-alpha 22]

Campaign
FEC filing

[190] [191]

Other notable individuals who were not major candidates terminated their campaigns before the primaries:

Political positions

Debates and forums

In December 2018, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced the schedule for 12 official DNC-sanctioned debates, set to begin in June 2019, with six debates in 2019 and the remaining six during the first four months of 2020. Candidates are allowed to participate in forums featuring multiple other candidates as long as only one candidate appears on stage at a time; if candidates participate in any unsanctioned debate with other presidential candidates, they will lose their invitation to the next DNC-sanctioned debate. [200] [201]

The DNC also announced that it would not partner with Fox News as a media sponsor for any debates. [202] [203] Fox News had last held a Democratic debate in 2003. [204] All media sponsors selected to host a debate will as a new rule be required to appoint at least one female moderator for each debate, to ensure there will not be a gender-skewed treatment of the candidates and debate topics. [205]

Debate schedule
DebateDateTime
(ET)
ViewersLocationSponsor(s)Moderator(s)
1A June 26, 20199–11 p.m.~24.3 million
(15.3m live TV; 9m streaming) [206]
Arsht Center,
Miami, Florida [207]
NBC News
MSNBC
Telemundo
José Díaz-Balart
Savannah Guthrie
Lester Holt
Rachel Maddow
Chuck Todd [208]
1BJune 27, 20199–11 p.m.~27.1 million
(18.1m live TV; 9m streaming) [209]
2A July 30, 20198–10:30 p.m.~11.5 million
(8.7m live TV; 2.8m streaming)
Fox Theatre,
Detroit, Michigan [210]
CNN Dana Bash
Don Lemon
Jake Tapper [211]
2BJuly 31, 2019 [212] 8–10:30 p.m.~13.8 million
(10.7m live TV; 3.1m streaming) [213]
3 September 12, 20198–11 p.m.14.04 million live TV [214] Health and Physical Education Arena,
Texas Southern University,
Houston, Texas [215]
ABC News
Univision
Linsey Davis
David Muir
Jorge Ramos
George Stephanopoulos [216]
4 October 15, 2019 [217] 8–11 p.m.~8.8 million
(8.34m live TV; 0.45m streaming) [218]
Rike Physical Education Center,
Otterbein University,
Westerville, Ohio
CNN
The New York Times [219]
Erin Burnett
Anderson Cooper
Marc Lacey [220]
5 November 20, 2019 [221] 9–11 p.m.~7.9 million
(6.6m live TV; 1.3m streaming) [222]
Oprah Winfrey sound stage,
Tyler Perry Studios,
Atlanta, Georgia [223]
MSNBC
The Washington Post
Rachel Maddow
Andrea Mitchell
Ashley Parker
Kristen Welker [224]
6 December 19, 20198–11 p.m. [225] ~14.6 million
(6.17m live TV; 8.4m streaming) [226]
Gersten Pavilion,
Loyola Marymount University,
Los Angeles, California [227]
PBS
Politico
Tim Alberta
Yamiche Alcindor
Amna Nawaz
Judy Woodruff [228]
7 January 14, 20209–11:15 p.m. [229] ~11.3 million
(7.3m live TV; 4.0m streaming) [230]
Sheslow Auditorium,
Drake University,
Des Moines, Iowa [231] [232]
CNN
The Des Moines Register
Wolf Blitzer
Brianne Pfannenstiel
Abby Phillip [233]
8 February 7, 20208–10:30 p.m. [234] ~11.0 million
(7.8m live TV; 3.2m streaming) [235]
Thomas F. Sullivan Arena,
Saint Anselm College,
Manchester, New Hampshire [231] [236]
ABC News
WMUR-TV
Apple News
Linsey Davis
Monica Hernandez
David Muir
Adam Sexton
George Stephanopoulos [234]
9 February 19, 20209–11 p.m. [237] ~33.16 million
(19.66m live TV; 13.5m streaming) [238] [239] [240]
Le Théâtre des Arts,
Paris Las Vegas,
Paradise, Nevada [237]
NBC News
MSNBC
Telemundo
The Nevada Independent
Vanessa Hauc
Lester Holt
Hallie Jackson
Jon Ralston
Chuck Todd [237]
10 February 25, 20208–10 p.m. [241] ~30.4 million
(15.3m live TV; 15.1m streaming) [242]
Gaillard Center,
Charleston, South Carolina [231]
CBS News
BET
Twitter
Congressional Black Caucus Institute [243]
Margaret Brennan
Major Garrett
Gayle King
Norah O'Donnell
Bill Whitaker [243]
11 March 15, 20208–10 p.m. [244] ~11.4 million
(10.8m live TV; 0.6m streaming) [245]
CNN studio
Washington, D.C. [246]
CNN
Univision
Congressional Hispanic Caucus BOLD
Dana Bash
Ilia Calderón
Jake Tapper [246]

Primary election polling

The following graph depicts the standing of each candidate in the poll aggregators from December 2018 to April 2020.

Polling aggregates
Active candidates
  Joe Biden
  Others/Undecided
Withdrawn candidates
 Bernie Sanders
 Tulsi Gabbard
 Elizabeth Warren
 Michael Bloomberg
 Amy Klobuchar
 Pete Buttigieg
 Andrew Yang
 Cory Booker
 Kamala Harris
 Beto O'Rourke
Events
  Debates
  Caucuses and primaries
  COVID-19 pandemic
national emergency declaration

Timeline

Richard Ojeda 2020 presidential campaignEric Swalwell 2020 presidential campaignMike Gravel 2020 presidential campaignJohn Hickenlooper 2020 presidential campaignJay Inslee 2020 presidential campaignSeth Moulton 2020 presidential campaignKirsten Gillibrand 2020 presidential campaignBill de Blasio 2020 presidential campaignTim Ryan 2020 presidential campaignBeto O'Rourke 2020 presidential campaignWayne Messam 2020 presidential campaignJoe Sestak 2020 presidential campaignSteve Bullock 2020 presidential campaignKamala Harris 2020 presidential campaignJulián Castro 2020 presidential campaignMarianne Williamson 2020 presidential campaignCory Booker 2020 presidential campaignJohn Delaney 2020 presidential campaignAndrew Yang 2020 presidential campaignMichael Bennet 2020 presidential campaignDeval Patrick 2020 presidential campaignTom Steyer 2020 presidential campaignPete Buttigieg 2020 presidential campaignAmy Klobuchar 2020 presidential campaignMichael Bloomberg 2020 presidential campaignElizabeth Warren 2020 presidential campaignTulsi Gabbard 2020 presidential campaignBernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaignJoe Biden 2020 presidential campaign2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries
Nominee
Exploratory
committee
Suspended
campaign
Midterm
elections
Iowa
caucuses
New Hampshire
primary
South Carolina
primary
Super
Tuesday
National emergency
declared due to
coronavirus
Wisconsin primary
Democratic
convention
General
election

2017

John Delaney (46743402692).jpg
Rep. John Delaney was the first major candidate to announce his campaign, two and a half years before the 2020 Iowa caucus.
Andrew Yang (48571517517).jpg
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang was the second major Democratic candidate to announce his campaign.
Tulsi Gabbard (48011616441).jpg
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard became the first major female candidate to announce her candidacy on January 11, 2019.
Kamala Harris announcing her candidacy for presidency.png
Sen. Kamala Harris launched her bid on January 21, 2019.
Cory Booker (48021663307).jpg
Sen. Cory Booker launched his bid on February 1, 2019.
Announcement Day - Lawrence, MA - 47108769091 (1).jpg
Sen. Elizabeth Warren launched her bid on February 9, 2019.
Amy Klobuchar (46330784464) (cropped).jpg
Sen. Amy Klobuchar launched her bid on February 10, 2019.
Bernie Sanders (48235588017).jpg
Sen. Bernie Sanders launched his second campaign on February 19, 2019.
Jay Inslee (48609760062).jpg
Governor Jay Inslee launched his presidential bid on March 1, 2019, becoming the first incumbent governor to do so.
Beto O'Rourke in Cleveland (40456935723).jpg
Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke launched his bid on March 14, 2019.
PeteButtigieg2020SBI.jpg
Mayor Pete Buttigieg launched his bid on April 14, 2019.

In the weeks following the election of Donald Trump in the 2016 election, media speculation regarding potential candidates for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries began to circulate. As the Senate began confirmation hearings for members of the cabinet, speculation centered on the prospects of the "hell-no caucus", six senators who went on to vote against the majority of Trump's nominees. According to Politico, the members of the "hell-no caucus" were Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, and Elizabeth Warren. [247] [248] Other speculation centered on then-Vice-President Joe Biden making a third presidential bid following failed attempts in 1988 and 2008. [249]

July 2017

November 2017

2018

March 2018

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) made changes to the role of superdelegates, deciding to allow them to vote on the first ballot only if the nomination is uncontested. [252]

August 2018

Democratic Party officials and television networks began discussions as to the nature and scheduling of the following year's debates and the nomination process. [253]

November 2018

December 2018

  • December 20: The DNC announced the preliminary schedule for the 12 official DNC-sanctioned debates, set to begin in June 2019, with six debates in 2019 and the remaining six during the first four months of 2020. [256]
  • December 31: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts announced the formation of an exploratory committee to run for president. [257]

2019

Joe Biden kickoff rally May 2019.jpg
Former Vice President Joe Biden launched his third campaign on April 25, 2019.
Eric Swalwell (48016366662).jpg
Rep. Eric Swalwell became the first representative to suspend their campaign following the first debate on July 8, 2019.
Steyer2 (48907647822).jpg
Billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer launched his campaign on July 9, 2019.
John Hickenlooper (48589565821).jpg
Former Governor John Hickenlooper suspended his campaign on August 15, 2019 and subsequently launched a bid for the United States Senate. He later endorsed Michael Bennet.
Kirsten Gillibrand (48563631611).jpg
Kirsten Gillibrand became the first incumbent Senator and first female major candidate to suspend her campaign on August 28, 2019.
Bill de Blasio (48609239938).jpg
Mayor Bill de Blasio suspended his campaign on September 20, 2019 and endorsed Bernie Sanders after the New Hampshire primary.
Tim Ryan (48582715861).jpg
Rep. Tim Ryan suspended his campaign on October 24, 2019 and subsequently endorsed Joe Biden.
Michael Bloomberg (48604023932).jpg
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched his campaign via video on November 24, 2019.
Steve Bullock - 48261163227.jpg
Governor Steve Bullock suspended his campaign and declined to run for the United States Senate on December 2, 2019. He later reversed his decision and challenged Senator Steve Daines after meeting with Barack Obama and Chuck Schumer.
Julian Castro (47696430842).jpg
Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro suspended his campaign on January 2, 2020 and subsequently endorsed Elizabeth Warren.
Marianne Williamson (48541662667).jpg
Spiritual author Marianne Williamson suspended her campaign on January 10, 2020 and subsequently endorsed Bernie Sanders.
Michael Bennet (48641062713).jpg
Sen. Michael Bennet suspended his campaign on February 11, 2020, after the polls closed in the New Hampshire primary.
Chamber of Commerce Breakfast (16580720990).jpg
Former Governor Deval Patrick suspended his campaign on February 12, 2020, prior to the Nevada caucus.
Michael Bloomberg (49474987843).jpg
Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg suspended his campaign on March 4, 2020 after a distant third place finish on Super Tuesday.

January 2019

February 2019

March 2019

April 2019

May 2019

June 2019

July 2019

August 2019

September 2019

October 2019