Kirsten Gillibrand released a video Sunday in which she officially joined the 2020 presidential race. The New York Senator had launched an exploratory committee back in January. She has several events lined up in the days ahead, culminating in a rally next Sunday outside Trump Tower in New York City.
Gillibrand has not yet gained much traction in the crowded Democratic field. Polling thus far has seen her receive 1% or less support in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Beto O'Rourke, who raised his national profile during a 2018 campaign for U.S. Senate, will enter the 2020 presidential race.
The video announcement coincided with the release of a cover story about O'Rourke in the April issue of Vanity Fair.
The 46 year old Texan served three terms in the U.S. House, representing the El Paso area 16th congressional district. He ran for U.S. Senate against incumbent Ted Cruz in 2018. His campaign - and narrow loss to a Senator deeply disliked by Democrats (and even some Republicans) - made O'Rourke a celebrity in progressive circles.
O'Rourke joins a crowded 2020 field of 15 Democrats. In a recent national poll, he received 6% support, almost identical to the 5% who chose him in a poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers. By comparison, Biden and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders - both household names - received about 25% each.
A new poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers finds Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders well ahead in a large Democratic field. The former vice-president receives 27% support, essentially tied with the 25% garnered by the Vermont Senator. While eleven others had measurable support, none received more than 10%.
It is not surprising to see Biden and Sanders as frontrunners. This far out - the caucus is February 3, 2020 - name recognition goes a long way in a poll. That these two are running neck-and-neck is also interesting, as the two represent different wings of the Democratic party that will eventually need to settle on a single nominee that can effectively take on President Trump. Sanders, who challenged eventual nominee Hillary Clinton from the left in 2016, has seen the party move in his direction during the Trump administration. Biden is seen as more centrist - 70% of poll respondents said his political views are "about right", not too conservative or liberal.
Biden has still not announced if he will pursue the presidency in 2020. We should know his decision in the next few weeks. The race takes on a whole new dynamic if he passes, as it is unclear if a single candidate would pick up the bulk of that centrist support, or if it would fragment among others, including former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (if he runs) and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown announced Thursday that he will not pursue the Democratic nomination in 2020. His decision followed a recently completed 'Dignity of Work' tour of several states that have early primary and caucus dates.
Brown is the fifth Democrat to take a pass on 2020 in recent days. The others are 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton, former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon and former Attorney General Eric Holder.
Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that he will not be a candidate for president in 2020. Despite his immense personal wealth, the pro-business Bloomberg would have faced an uphill battle to win the nomination in an increasingly progressive Democratic Party. He published an op-ed discussing his decision, as well as a number of initiatives he will pursue, including one called Beyond Carbon.
Bloomberg is also expected to focus his efforts on stopping Donald Trump from winning a second term. It was reported earlier this year that he is building a data-driven political organization to achieve that goal, which was to be active regardless of whether or not he entered the race.
This week has seen three other Democrats announcing their decision not to run. This includes the party's 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, as well as former Attorney General Eric Holder.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley both said they will not run for president in 2020. Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, had not been expected to run but this is the first time she has said that on camera. The statement came during an interview with News 12 of Long Island.
Separately, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley released a video announcing he will seek a third term in 2020 rather than pursue a long-shot bid for the Democratic nomination. Under Oregon law, he could not be on the ballot for both offices.
There are 12 Democrats in the 2020 field, including six of Merkley's Senate colleagues. Another 12 prospective candidates have yet to make their plans known. The list includes several high-profile names, led by former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Biden's drawn-out process for making a 2020 decision, while strategically smart for him, is affecting the timing and prospects of a number of other potential candidacies.
9th District: The North Carolina Board of Elections has set September 10th as the date for a special election to fill the vacancy in the state's 9th congressional district. The seat has been vacant since the beginning of the 116th Congress in January. An apparent narrow GOP win in the midterm elections was not certified due to election fraud.
There will not be a rematch of the November race. While Democrat Dan McCready will seek his party's nomination to try again, Republican Mark Harris will not run. The primaries will be held on May 14th. If a second primary is required*, it will take place on September 10th, with the general election pushed to November 5th.
3rd District: This district became open in February, when Rep. Walter Jones (R) passed away. Gov. Roy Cooper has set July 9th as the special election date. A primary will be held on April 30th. If a second primary is required, it will take place on July 9th, and the general election will take place on September 10th.
There is a third congressional vacancy, in Pennsylvania's 12th district. Rep. Tom Marino (R) resigned in January. A special election will be held May 21st.
In terms of competitiveness, NC-3 and PA-12 are very likely to stay under GOP control. NC-9 is a toss-up.
* Per North Carolina law, a second primary (runoff) is held when no candidate receives 30% of the vote in the regular primary.
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper joined an increasingly crowded 2020 Democratic field on Monday.
It's official: I'm asking you to interview me for President. Our country is in crisis, and we need someone who knows how to bring people together and get things done. This is my record, but I've never done it alone. Join me: https://t.co/ta7aY0lTeY pic.twitter.com/HaCnK5paBU— John Hickenlooper (@Hickenlooper) March 4, 2019
Hickenlooper served two terms as Colorado's governor; he was unable to run again in 2018 due to term limits. He joins Washington's Jay Inslee as the only state executives among the 12 announced Democratic candidates; 6 of whom are U.S. Senators. Hickenlooper is socially liberal and pro-business, and is among the more centrist candidates in the field.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Friday that we will seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. Inslee made the announcement via a video focused almost entirely on climate change. In the video, Inslee says he's running for president "because I'm the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation's number one priority."
VIDEO: This is our moment, our climate, our mission — together, we can defeat climate change. That's why I'm running for president. Join #OurClimateMoment today https://t.co/zg8ILGyk0Z pic.twitter.com/pUZVxyzfc5— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) March 1, 2019
Inslee is the 11th Democrat to join the 2020 race.
The team at Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball is out with their initial look at the 2020 presidential election. They see the race starting as a toss-up, although few states are individually characterized that way. Their analysis gives the GOP a 248-244 edge, although Democrats have the edge in states that are safely in their column. The map is below; click for an interactive version.
Notably, Florida starts with a leans Republican designation, while Michigan is seen as leans Democratic. Both these states were narrowly carried by President Trump in 2016. Florida statewide elections, while always close, have mostly broken for the GOP in recent years. This includes the Senate and gubernatorial races in the just-completed midterms. Of the blue wall states flipped by Trump in 2016, Michigan was the closest, with 2018 results and demographics making the eventual Democratic nominee a slight favorite next year.
Both these rating characterizations appear to have been close calls. Perhaps the most important takeaway at this early stage is the implication should the ratings shift in the opposite direction: "Just as we think Florida going blue would probably mean a Democratic presidential victory, so too do we believe that a Republican win in Michigan probably would mean that the GOP is retaining control of the White House. So if we move either to Toss-up, it may mean that a favorite is emerging in the presidential race overall."
The Road to 270
This feature can be found below the interactive electoral map. As you shift the forecast, the number of paths to 270 electoral votes will automatically update. Click 'View all Combinations' to see the specific combinations associated with the undecided states on your electoral map.
For the initial Sabato forecast, with only four states (and one Nebraska district) starting as toss-up, the number of pathways to 270 for each party is very small. Two tie scenarios remain possible. The image below is a composite from the details page associated with the map.
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