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2024 Election Page
The 2024 United States presidential election will be the 60th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. It will be the first presidential election to be run with population data from the 2020 census.
U.S. presidential elections are scheduled on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Following that schedule, the 2024 elections are to be held on Tuesday, November 5, 2024. At present, general elections follow caucuses and primary elections held to determine the nominees of the major parties.
The Democratic nominee for the 2020 Presidential Election is Vice Preisdent Elizabeth Warren. Should she win, she will be eligable to seek a second term in ofice.
- Stacey Abrams, Chair of Fair Fight USA since 2019, Georiga State Representative, 2007-2017, Nominee for Governor of Georgia in 2018.
- Beau Biden, Governor of Delaware since 2017, son of President Joe Biden
- Joe Biden, President of the United States since 2017
- Pete Buttigieg, Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, since 2012
- Cory Booker, U.S. Senator from New Jersey since 2013
- Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York since 2011
- Jimmy Gomez, U.S. Representative from California since 2017
- Kamala Harris, U.S. Senator from California since 2017, candidate for President in 2020
- Jason Kander, U.S. Senator from Missouri since 2017, candidate for President in 2020
- Gavin Newsom, Governor of California since 2019
- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, U.S. Representative from New York since 2019
- Tim Ryan, Congressman from Ohio since 2003, candidate for President in 2020
- Kyrsten Sinema, U.S. Senator from Arizona since 2019
- Elizabeth Warren, Vice President of the United States since 2017, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, 2013 - 2017, nominee in 2020.
- Gretchen Whitmer, Governor of Michigan since 2019
- Andrew Yang, Activist, Entrepenur, and candidate for President for President in 2020.
|Poll source||Sample size||Date(s)||Margin of Error||Stacey Abrams||Beau Biden||Pete Buttigieg||Cory Booker||Andrew Cuomo||Kamala Harris||Jason Kander||Gavin Newsom||Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez||Gretchen Whitmer||Other||Don't Know|
|Politico||1,187||August 10 - 12th, 2020||± 2.1%||3%||9%||1%||5%||18%||14%||10%||2%||12%||3%||10%||13%|
The Republican nominee for the 2020 Presidential Election is former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Should she win, she will be eligable to seek a second term in ofice.
- Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas since 2015
- Justin Amash, U.S. Representative from Michigan since 2009
- Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts since 2015
- Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, 2010 - 2018
- Tom Cotton, U.S. Senator from Arkansas since 2015
- Ted Cruz, U.S. Senator from Texas since 2013
- Ron DeSantis, former U.S. Representative from Florida 2013 - 2019, nominee for U.S. Senate in 2018
- Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florida since 2011
- Nikki Haley, former Governor of South Carolina, 2011 - 2019, nominee for President in 2020.
- Adam Putnam, Governor of Florida since 2019
- Josh Hawley, U.S. Senator from Missouri since 2019
- Rand Paul, U.S. Senator from Kentucky since 2011
- Chris Sununu, former Commissioner on the Federal Opioid Response Coordination Commission, former Member of the New Hampshire Executive Council from the 3rd district, nominee for Governor in 2018, and candidate for Senate in 2020
- Paul Ryan, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives since 2015
- Donald Trump, Chairman of the America First PAC, candidate for President in 2020, nominee for President in 2016
- Donald Trump Jr., Businessman and eldest son of Donald Trump
- Ivanka Trump, businesswoman and eldest daughter of Donald Trump
- Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin since 2011
|Poll source||Sample size||Date(s)||Margin of Error||Greg Abbott||Charlie Baker||Tom Cotton||Ted Cruz||Ron DeSantis||Marco Rubio||Josh Hawley||Adam Putnam||Chris Sununu||Ivanka Trump||Scott Walker||Other||Don't Know|
|Politico||1,193||August 10 - 12th, 2020||± 2.3%||2%||5%||8%||5%||6%||3%||6%||4%||1%||11%||13%||14%||22%|
The Libertarian nominee, former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chaffee, will be eligible to seek re-election in 2024 should he win the presidency.
- Adam Kokesh, activist, talk show host, perennial candidate, and candidate for President and Vice President in 2020
- Eric Brakey, former State Senator from Maine, 2014 - 2018, Republican nominee for U.S. senate in 2018.
- Lincoln Chaffee, former Governor of Rhode Island, 2011 - 2015, former U.S. Senator from Rhode Island, 1999 - 2006, Libertarian Nominee for President in 2020, Democratic candidate for President in 2016
- Joe Miller, nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2016, perennial candidate
- John Monds, activist and nominee for Vice President in 2020
- Austin Petersen, activist, candidate for President in 2016 and 2020, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2018
- Nicholas Sawark, outgoing Libertarian National Committee Chair.
- Larry Sharpe, Businessman, nominee for Governor in 2018, candidate for Vice President in 2016 and 2020
- Justin Amash, incumbent U.S. Representative from Michigan's 3rd Congressional District (Republican)
|Poll source||Sample size||Date(s)||Margin of Error||Jo Jorgensen||John Monds||Austin Petersen||Nicholas Sarwak||Larry Sharpe||Other||Don't Know|
|Politico||678||August 10 - 12th, 2020||± 2.3%||16%||9%||17%||10%||27%||15%||15%|
2021 Texas Senate Election
The 2021 United States senate special election in Texas will be held on November 2, 2021, to replace Vice President Elect Ted Cruz in the Class I U.S. Senate seat and fill the remainder of the term ending in 2025
Incumbent Governor Greg Abbott an interim senator to serve until the completion of the Special Election.
Media Speculation about potential candidates
- Matthew Dowd, former Strategist for President George W. Bush
- George P. Bush, incumbent Texas Land Commissioner, and Grandson of Former President George H.W. Bush
- Alan West, former U.S. Representative from Florida, candidate for State Party Chairman in 2020
- James Dickey, incumbent State party chairman since 2017
- Roger Williams, U.S. Representative and former State Secretary of State
- Ken Paxton, incumbent state Attorney General since 2015, former state Senator and State Representative
- Christi Craddick, incumbent member of the Texas Railroad Commission.
- Ruth R. Hughes, incumbent State Secretary of State
- Rex Tillerson, businessman and former President of the Boy Scouts of America
- James C. Ho, former State Solicitor General
- David Dewhurst, former Lt. Governor, 2003-2015
- Dan Patrick, incumbent Lt. Governor since 2015
- Kay Bailey Hutchinson, former U.S. Senator
- Mindy Finn, businesswoman and former Independent candidate for Vice President of the United States in 2016
- Jason Johnson, former Campaign Manager for the 2020 Ted Cruz Presidential Campaign, former staffer in Cruz's Senate office.
- Alan West, former U.S. Representative from FL-22.
- Dan Crenshaw, U.S. Representative from TX-02
- Dan Patrick, incumbent Lt. Governor
- George P. Bush, incumbent Texas Land Commissioner, and Grandson of Former President George H.W. Bush
- Roger Williams, U.S. Representative and former State Secretary of State
- Dan Patrick, incumbent Lieutenant Governor
- Pete Sessions, U.S. Representative from TX-17, former U.S. Representative from TX-32.
- Joe Straus, former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives
- Greg Abbott, incumbent Governor of Texas
- Royce West, Texas State Senator
- Joseph Kopser, retired Lt. Colonel in the United States Army, nominee for Texas's 21st congressional district in 2018
- John B. Love, Midland City Councilor, candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2020
- Amanda Edwards, Houston City Councilor, candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2020
- Sema Hernandez, organizer for the Poor People's Campaign, candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2018 and 2020
- Jack Martin, businessman and political consultant
- Pete Gallego, former U.S. Representative from TX-23
- Beto O' Rourke, outgoing U.S. Representative from TX-16
- Rafael Anchia, State Representative
- Lupe Valdez, former Dallas County Sheriff
- Dwight Boykins, former Houston City Councilor
- Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston
- Julian Castro, former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, former Mayor of San Antonio, and former 2020 Presidential Candidate
- Joaquin Castro, incumbent U.S. Representative
Current Make up: 48 Democrats, 50 Republicans, 2 Independents
- 2. Jeff Sessions (R)
- 3. Richard Shelby (R)
- 2. Dan Sullivan (R)
- 3. Lisa Murkowski (R)
- 1. Kyrsten Sinema (D)
- 3. Martha McSally (R)
- 2. Tom Cottton (R)
- 3. John Boozman (R)
- 1. Dianne Feinstein (D)
- 3. Kamala Harris (D)
- 2. Cory Gardner (R)
- 3. Michael Bennet (D)
- 1.Richard Blumthenal (D)
- 3. Chris Murphy (D)
- 1. Tom Carper (D)
- 2. Chris Coons (D)
- 1. Bill Nelson (D)
- 3. Marco Rubio (R)
- 2. David Perdue (R)
- 3. Johnny Isakson (R)
- 1. Mazie Hirono (D)
- 3. Brian Schatz (D)
- 2. Jim Risch (R)
- 3. Mike Crapo (R)
- 2. Dick Durbin (D)
- 3. Tammy Duckworth (D)**
- 1. Mike Braun (R)
- 3. Todd Young (R)
- 2. Joni Ernst (R)
- 3. Chuck Grassley (R)
- 2. Pat Roberts (R)
- 3. Jerry Moran (R)
- 2. Mitch McConnell (R)
- 3. Rand Paul (R)
- 2. Bill Cassidy (R)
- 3. John Neely Kennedy (R)
- 1. Angus King (I)
- 2. Susan Collins (R)
- 1. Ben Cardin (D)
- 3. Chris Van Hollen (D)
- 1. Joe Kennedy (D)
- 2. Ed Markey (D)
- 1. Debbie Stabenow (D)
- 2. Gary Peters (D)
- 1. Amy Klobuchar (D)
- 2. Tina Smith (D)
- 1. Roger Wicker (R)
- 2. Thad Cochran (R)
- 1. Josh Hawley (R)
- 3. Jason Kander (D)**
- 1. Jon Tester (D)
- 2. Steve Daines (R)
- 1. Deb Fischer (R)
- 2. Ben Sasse (R)
- 1. Jacky Rosen (D)
- 3. Catherine Cortez Masto (D)
- 2. Jeanne Shaheen (D)
- 3. Maggie Hassan (D)**
- 1. Chris Smith (R)
- 2. Cory Booker (D)
- 1. Martin Heinrich (D)
- 2. Tom Udall (D)
- 1. Kristen Gillibrand (D)
- 3. Chuck Schumer (D)
- 2. Thom Tillis (R)
- 3. Richard Burr (R)
- 1. Kevin Cramer (R)
- 3. John Hoeven (R)
- 1. Sherrod Brown (D)
- 3. Rob Portman (R)
- 2. Jim Inhofe (R)
- 3. James Lankford (R)
- 2. Jeff Merkley (D)
- 3. Ron Wyden (D)
- 1. Bob Casey, Jr. (D)
- 3. Katie McGinty (D)**
- 1. Sheldon Whitehouse (D)
- 2. Jack Reed (D)
- 2. Lindsey Graham (R)
- 3. Tim Scott (R)
- 2. Mike Rounds (R)
- 3. John Thune (R)
- 1. Bob Corker (R)
- 2. Lamar Alexander (R)
- 1. Ted Cruz (R)
- 2. John Cornyn (R)
- 1. Orrin Hatch (R)
- 3. Mike Lee (R)
- 1. Bernie Sanders (I)
- 3. Patrick Leahy (D)
- 1. Tim Kaine (D)
- 2. Mark Warner (D)
- 1. Maria Cantwell (D)
- 3. Patty Murray (D)
- 1. Patrick Morrisey (R)
- 2. Shelley Moore Capito (R)
- 1. Tammy Baldwin (D)
- 3. Russ Feingold (D)**
- 1. John Barrasso (R)
- 2. Mike Enzi (R)
January: Biden's decision
Despite Congresswoman Gabbard formalizing her candidacy on January 9th, President Biden continued to put off his final decision on whether or not to enter the 2020 Primaries. Sources close to the President said that Biden's primary concern with running again where his personal legacy and the future of the party. In early January 2019, polling had Biden defeating only one of the four leading Republican party candidates, 2016 Nominee Donald Trump. Biden lead Trump 49-46%, but trailed Texas Senator Ted Cruz 47-45%, former Indiana Governor Mike Pence 48-44%, and Speaker Paul Ryan 49-46%. Biden was worried that if he ran and lost, it would forever haunt both his Presidency and his party. Furthermore, even if he had won re-election, Biden was worried that his party would face significant electoral losses in his second term if he managed to win. Electoral losses that Biden believed would handicap his Presidency.
Beyond those concerns, Biden faced serious questions about his age and fitness to serve. Over the course of his Presidency, Biden had noticeably aged. His once robust physical health had deteriorated. At times, mostly in private, Biden would walk with a cane (a side effect of a fall related injury in early 2018), and his speech in public had become muddled and less coherent. The Presidency had taken its tole on the elder statesman, and those close to him questioned his ability to get out and campaign again. The 2016 race had been hard on the President, and the 2020 race would be even harder. With these in mind, Biden's decision was made in late January, after significant meetings with Vice President Warren and Secretary of State Gary Locke. After one such meeting, on Janaury 20th, Locke announced his intention to resign as Secretary of State at the end of February.
On January 22nd, 2019, Biden announced that he would not seek a second term in office, becoming the first President to willingly not seek re-election since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Vice President Warren entered the race five days later, on January 27th, 2019, followed by Bloomberg on January 31st. Warren entered the race as the clear favorite, but still failed to capture anywhere close to a majority of Democrats in the ongoing opinion polling.
|Polling Aggregation, January 2019||Warren||Gabbard||Bloomberg||Gravel||Yang||Undecided/Others|
|270 to Win||28.4%||12.1%||10.2%||2.4%||0%||36.8%|
February: The Race Begins
Many Democratic insiders bemoaned President Biden's decision to delay his announcement so long. Many Democrats looking at presidential were stuck in "low gear", waiting throughout the month of January to see what the President's decision would be. When Biden officially withdrew, many Democrats were left scrambling to plan announcements.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the third place finisher in the 2016 Primaries, announced his campaign next, on February 3rd. Sanders had lost the 2016 Democratic nomination resoundingly but his campaign had an indisputable impact on both the political stances of the party, especially when it came to healthcare, and the selection of then-Senator Elizabeth Warren as Vice President. Furthermore, Sander's campaign had built a large scale network of grassroots volunteers, and was overwhelmingly popular among younger voters. Immediately after his entry, Sanders polled consistently at 13-15%, in second behind Vice President Warren.
However, any bump the Sanders' campaign may have experienced was diminished by a slew of additional candidates. Next to enter was California based, billionaire, investor, and activist Tom Steyer, who focused his campaign launch on his efforts to combat climate change. buoyed by a vast personal wealth and a readiness to spend it. Steyer and Bloombeg blitzed TV, radio, and the internet with advertisements as soon as their campaigns started, with Steyer spending two million USD and Bloomberg spending six million. The vast personal fortunes made both of them viable presidential candidates, especially as they tried to familiarize themselves with voters.
Next to enter were two more high-powered U.S. senators; New Jersey Senator Cory Booker entered the race on February 11th and California Senator Kamala Harris on February 13th. Both candidates where running campaigns focused on attracting support from the "Obama Coalition" to try and catapult them to the nomination. Kamala Harris ran a campaign focused on generational and cultural change over the current front runners and President, while Booker focused his campaign on "inner city issues"; namely gun violence, criminal justice, and housing insecurity.
On February 14th, DNC Chairman Tom Perez announced the qualifying thresholds for the first debate. In order for a candidate to reach the first debate stage, they must have at least 1% in five DNC recognized polls from April 1st to June 14th, or have a total of 75,000 unique donors from 20 states. The change to the qualifying thresholds where largely seen as a move to appease Supporters of Senator Sanders' 2016 campaign, but were still praised by former President Obama and former candidate Hillary Clinton. Following the announcement, Bloomberg tripled his advertisement spending, from six million to 18 million before the end of February.
Bloomberg's heavy ad spending paid off; his polling average doubled, raising from 8-9% at the end of January to 16-18%. In polling conducted in mid-February, Bloomberg almost always placed in the top three, most often in second place behind the Vice President.
The next candidate to enter the race was recently-ex Governor John Hickenlooper from Colorado. Hickenlooper launched his campaign as a Washington outsider with moderate credentials but also a bit of a more liberal streak on marijuana and other related issues. Three moderate House members, Eric Swalwell of California, John Delaney of Maryland, and Seth Moulton of Massachusetts also announced their campaigns around this time. Swalwell was campaign, similar to Harris, on a concept of generational change, Delaney, like Bloomberg and Steyer, had a vast personal wealth for which to self-fund his campaign, and Moulton was running a platform focused on foreign policy and veterans issues.
The final notable candidate was former Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Flynn had worked for the Obama administration, but endorsed, supported, and campaigned for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, going so far as the speak at the Republican National Convention that year. Flynn, during his announcement, stated that his intention was to "expose deep seeded corruption within the ranks of the Democratic Party, the Biden Administration, and the Washington Establishment." He criticized big government, and was arguably more conservative than several of the Republicans running for President.
|Polling Aggregation, Feb. 2019||Warren||Bloomberg||Sanders||Steyer||Booker||Undecided/Other|
|270 To Win||23.6%||15.4%||13.2%||6.2%||3.1%||24.2%|
March: The Field Expands and Chaos Grows
March opened with the deceleration of another candidate. Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold announced his campaign on March 1st. He ran as a progressive, and toted his record on campaign finance reform, opposition to foreign interventions, and support for organized labor as the main pillars of his candidacy. Despite relatively low polling numbers, Feingold attracted an unusually high number of small donors within the first two days of his candidacy; Feingold had raised over 1.6 million USD within the first 48 hours of announcing from over 50,000 donors across the country.
Another New Yorker would announce on March 7th; New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Gillibrand had long been seen as a rising star within the party, and entered her race to much fanfare from her party. Known as a moderate during her tenure in the House, Gillibrand had become a progressive firebrand during her tenure in the Senate, especially with Women's issues. Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro would become the next candidate to enter the race. He focused his campaign launch on housing inequality and immigration, and emphasized his tenure as Mayor of San Antonio in his announcement video.
Former Secretary of State John Locke would be the next candidate to announce his candidacy on March 9th. Locke entered the race as a top-tier candidate, and represented the more moderate wing of the Democratic party, alongside Mayor Bloomberg and others. He heavily emphasized his experience in his announcement. Locke opened his candidacy with a two-week long bus tour across Iowa, with a similar tour scheduled for New Hampshire as well. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Congressman Tim Ryan would announce shortly after Locke, also representing the moderate wing of the party, on March 11th and March 13th respectively. Klobuchar honed in on her tenure as a pragmatic deal maker, whil Ryan boasted his pro-worker record.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg stepped up his ad spending, spending an additional 30 million USD in the first two weeks of March, targeted primarily on the first four contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. The increased ad spending, combined with more traditional campaigning, raised the former New York City Mayor into a near tie for first placeduring the early weeks of March, surpassing Vice President Warren in several polls.
Jeff Merkley, U.S. Senator from Oregon, entered the race on March 19th. He was running as a staunch progressive, and opened his campaign taking swipes at Mayor Bloomberg for his past record on stop-and-frisk and endorsements of Republicans as recently as 2018. Merkley explained that he was running because of the Republican Party's recent successes at retaking the U.S. Senate and the need for "new leadership in the party."
At this time, former Attorney General and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced that he would not seek the Democratic nomination, a decision he would later reverse.
Throughout the month of March, Mayor Bloomberg and Vice President Warren continued to dominate the field. John Sides, writing for the Washington Post argued that two lanes had emerged in the Democratic Primary, the "moderate" lane and the "progressive" lane. Sides wrote that Mayor Bloomberg was dominating in the moderate lane while Vice President Warren was leading in the progressive lane, contributing to their leads in the polls.
|Polling Aggregation, Feb. 2019||Warren||Bloomberg||Sanders||Locke||Steyer||Undecided/Other|
|270 To Win||21.6%||23.2%||12.0%||8.4%||7.0%||25.0%|
April: The field grows further
As April opened, other candidates began to take a more aggressive stance against Bloomberg. Senators Sanders and Feingold and Vice President Warren regularly attacked Bloomberg for attempting to buy the election. Vice President Warren in particular attacked Bloomberg as "Donald Trump but richer," and launched her first wave of digital ads as attacks against Bloomberg. Bloomberg responded by spending launching a six million dollar wave of digital ads, branding Senator Sanders and Vice President Warren as "extremists."
Missouri Senator Jason Kander and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would be the next candidates to enter the race, on April 2nd and April 8th respectively. Kander, a veteran of Afghanistan, had become a consistently liberal voice in the Senate since his upset win over Senator Roy Blunt in 2016, and was widely considered to be a future leader in the party. He had a public struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and had earned respect from both sides of the political aisle for his outspokenness on veteran's issues. Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo branded himself as a "progressive with results," but his actual record was more moderate than Senator Sanders or Vice President Warren.
On April 13th, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio launched his presidential campaign. Brown, a populist Democrat, was a staunch ally of Senator Sanders in the Senate, and had been vetted by both Biden and Clinton as a prospective vice Presidential candidate in 2016. The Ohio senator was well respected in the party, and had a credible "electablity" argument having recently won re-election in a Republican-leaning swing state.
Meanwhile, as the Presidential field continued to expand, Mayor Bloomberg stepped up his advertisement blitz, launching another wave of TV ads in the four early states and a new batch of digital advertisements as well. Bloomberg continued to climb upwards in the polls at a steady pace. Bloomberg sllowly slid into first place, and for the first time, surpassed both Senator Sanders and Vice President Warren in national name recognition. Bloomberg's candidacy started to gain more and more endorsements during this time as well, jumping to the lead of FiveThirtyEight's "endorsement primary."
As Bloomberg gained more traction nationwide, other candidates began to find their own "lanes" as well. California Activist Tom Steyer, who's campaign was based on combating climate change, began to rise in the polls as well, as he increased his personal spending as well. Like Bloomberg, and to a lesser extent Congressman John Delaney, Steyer was using his personal wealth to flood the airwaves with advertisements, and like Bloomberg, Steyer was beginning to rise in the polls as a result. Steyer's polling numbers increased from 6% to 8% throughout the month, securing his spot as the fifth place candidate.
On the other end of the polls, New York based tech investor Andrew Yang was beginning to find a solid niche within online communities. The candidate had struggled to gain mainstream traction since his announcement in 2018, but had become popular in online communities, where his supporters proclaimed themselves the "Yang Gang." These supporters massively increased Yang's network of grass roots donors, bringing him from 10,000 unique donors to 55,000 in the span on one month, and his numbers in the polls rose as well. Prior to gaining support online, Yang consistently polled below 1%, if he was included at all, but as his candidacy grew, Yang consistently polled between 1 and 2%. Although a relatively small gain, it was enough to put Yang into the top 10 candidates.
Similarly, Lt. General Michael Flynn drew his own niche; Trump supporters. Online pro-Trump forms began to promote Flynn's candiacy. A surge of donations breathed financial life into Flynn's campaign. The conservative Democrat's total number of donors jumped, from a little more than 10,000 to nearly 60,000, putting Flynn into contention for qualifying for the first debate. The candidate pointed to this as evidence that he could build a more inculsive coaliton that any of the current frontrunners, although his charges were largely ignored by candidates at the top of the polls.
Former Secretary of the Treasury Jack Markell, a close ally of President Biden, also entered the Presidential race on April 19th, running as a liberal-leaning moderate. Markell centered his campaign on experience, touting his time as Governor and Secretary. The former Delaware Governor was running as a alternative in the "middle lane" to Mayor Bloomberg and Secretary Locke.
Towards the end of April, CNN began holding a series of town hall events for both Republican and Democratic candidates. Most notably was Senators Kander and Brown's town hall events. Senator Brown's town hall was notable for his scathing attack on trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and unleashed a less-scathing but still notable critique of Senator Sander's and Vice President Warren's single-payer healthcare plan, which he argued would harm rganized labor several as millions of workers would lose their union-negotiated healthcare.
Several moments in Senator Kander's town hall gained wide scale traction online, including one where he discussed his public struggle with PTSD, as well as one where he discussed reaching out to Republican voters. In all, Kander's town hall was well recieve, with the New York Times writing "Jason Kander is young, charismatic, likable and a stark contrast to the current frontrunners." The town hall event was part of a broader media strategy by Kander to increase his coverage. "Jason [Kander] took nearly every interview he was offered, every offer for a magazine profile or chance to give a speech, everything that would get him in front of a reporter," said his campaign communications director Lis Smith. The Missouri Senator even took a somewhat controversial step when he accepted an invitation to a Fox News town hall. Despite this minor controversy, Kander began to climb steadily in the polls, growing from 1-2% to 5-6% in the course of the month. The bump catapulted him into sixth place in the primaries, and consequently further increased the candidate's media coverage.
By the end of April, a clear "top tier" of candidates began to emerge. Vice President Warren and Mayor Bloomberg made up the top two, followed consistently by Senator Sanders, Secretary Locke, Mr. Steyer, and Senator Kander, with the rest of the candidates in a muddled mess behind those six. Furthermore, April was the first month in which candidates could qualify for the Democratic debate. Those who qualified include the aforementioned top six, as well as Senators Brown, Booker, Harris, Gillibrand, Feingold, Merkley and Klobuchar, Congresswoman Gabbard, Governors Cuomo and Hickenlooper, and Secretaries Markell and Castro, filling 18 out of the 20 spots for the first debate. There were several candidates, including Yang and Flynn, who found themselves at the cusp of qualifying, but still stuck competing for one of the last two spots.
|Polling Aggregation, Apr. 2019||Bloomberg||Warren||Sanders||Locke||Steyer||Undecided/Other|
|270 To Win||24.7%||20.2%||11.5%||8.7%||6.5%||23.2%|
May: Bloomberg as the Frontrunner
By early May, Bloomberg had emerged as the consistent first place in the polls. His vast personal wealth allowed him to run advertisements across the country, easily broadcasting himself to millions of voters. Furthermore, Bloomberg's activism through organizations such as Everytown for Gun Safety gave him national connections rivaled only by Vice President Warren Senator Sanders, Secretary Locke, and Senator Brown. These two factors combined made the rise of Bloomberg relatively easy for the candidate.
However, the field was still growing. On May 8th, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio, Bloomberg successor, entered the Presidential race. De Blasio opened his candidacy with a scathing attack on Bloomberg, and argued of the need for a "real Democrat" to head the ticket. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet would be the next candidate to enter the Democratic field. Running on an "education first" platform, the Senator made education reform the primary focus of his candidacy. Finally, the last major candidate to enter the race in May was Montana Governor Steve Bullock. A Liberal Governor of a traditionally Red-state, Bullock was running on a platform of his electablity first and foremost. He explained his late entry into the race as being the result of Republican legislative efforts to slow down his candidacy. He argued that this added credence to his claim to be the strongest general election candidate.
But none of these candidates made a significant impact on the race. Of the two remaining spots for the first Democratic debate, it was unclear as to who would claim them. Maryland Congressman John Delaney had crossed the polling threshold in early May, as had California Congressman Eric Swalwell, but so had Bullock, de Blasio, Bennet and Yang. Of those, only Yang was close to the donor threshold to make the debate stage. The DNC remained silent, only clarifying that the qualified candidates would be formally invited on June 12th.
With regards to the campaign trail, few candidates where focused on attacking Bloomberg at this time. "Despite his frontrunner status, candidates seem content to ignore Bloomberg's existence for the time being," said one writer for the New York Times. Instead, candidates at the bottom of the polling pack tended to attack each other more often than the frontrunners. Steve Bullock attacked Congressmen Delaney and Swalwell, calling them "Washington do-nothings," while also attacking the DNC for a lack of clarity with regards to the debate qualifications. De Blaiso accused Delaney of attempting to buy his way onto the debate stage, citing the heavy spending of personal funds by the Maryland congressman. Delaney attacked de Blasio back, criticizing his record as New York Mayor in a T.V. advertisement in Iowa.
Vice President Warren was the only one who took on Bloomberg directly. The Washington Post described her attacks against Bloomberg as a "personal crusade," and described the relationship as "purely antagonistic." Bloomberg and Warren directly attacked each other in nearly every advertisement and campaign event. At this point, Vice Preisdent Warren firmly sworn off big ticket fundraisers, despite being previously non-committal on the issue. Senators Feingold and Sanders had already taken this move, and all three, alongside Senators Kander and Brown had sworn off SuperPAC money.
By the end of May, Senator Kander had firmly secured a place in the top five. Despite heavy spending from Tom Steyer, his poll numbers continued to fall throughout the month of may, eventually sliding into seventh place, behind Senator Booker and tied with Senator Harris. The gap between Bloomberg and Warren only expanded over the course of the month, with Bloomberg rising into the high 20s.
|Polling Aggregation, May 2019||Bloomberg||Warren||Sanders||Locke||Kander||Undecided/Other|
|270 To Win||27.0%||19.2%||10.5%||8.6%||7.0%||24.0%|
June: The race heats up
The month of June kicked off to a frenzy of lower tier candidates doing whatever they could to break out of the pack. Particularly, for the first half of the month, there was a dog pile among the "D tier" candidates, as described by FiveThirtyEight. These candidates included Congressmen Delaney, Ryan, Swalwell, and Moulton, Senator Bennet, Secretary Markell, Governor Bullock, Andrew Yang and Michael Flynn among others. These candidates were all desperate to make the debate stage, hoping it would be their tickets to the top tier. Privately, Congressmen Swalwell and Delaney both allegedly planned to withdraw from the race if they failed to make the debate stage. Meanwhile, Senator Bennet believed that without the first debate, his campaign would have to "significantly adjust his strategy."
For those candidates whose spots on the debate stage was more secure, the first half of June was used to prepare talking points and field attacks against the other candidates. One New York Times reporter dubbed it the "appetizer" to the debate. Vice President Warren doubled down on her attacks against Mayor Bloomberg, and focused on her wealth tax proposal on the "ultra-rich." Mayor Bloomberg ran more advertisements, painting Warren and Sanders as extreme, while painting Senator Kander and Tom Steyer as inexperienced. Senator Sanders doubled down on his charge for a single-payer Medicare4All proposal. As promised, on June 12th, the Democratic National Committee announced the 20 candidates who had qualified for the debate: Bennet, Bloomberg, Booker, Brown, Castro, Cuomo, Delaney, Feingold, Gabbard, Gillibrand, Harris, Hickenlooper, Kander, Klobuchar, Locke, Markell, Merkley, Sanders, Steyer, and Warren. Yang, Flynn, and Bullock's campaigns all floated lawsuits against the DNC, alledging that they had been unfairly disqualified from the debates and that the lack of clarity on the debate rules were targeted attempts to keep insugent candidates off stage. Only Flynn followed through on this threat, although a judge later dismissed the lawsuit. This would become a rallying cry for the Flynn campaign, as the judge who dismissed the lawsuit was an Obama appointee. After failing to make the debate stage, Congressman Eric Swalwell ended his campaign, becoming the first major Democrat to exit the race on June 17th. Mike Gravel would also end his campaign two days later. The DNC split the first debate across two nights, with ten candidates on each stage. Unlike the 2016 Republican Primary debates, candidates where split across the stage in a mostly random fashion. The 20 candidates were divided into two groups: The top tier candidates, those polling in the top eight, and the second tier candidates, the other 12. Each night featured four of the top tier candidates and six of the second tier candidates. On stage the first night was Delaney, Feingold, Hickenlooper, Harris, Locke, Bloomberg, Steyer, Gillibrand, Cuomo, and Markell. The second night featured Castro, Merkley, Klobuchar, Booker, Sanders, Warren, Kander, Brown, Gabbard, and Bennet.
The first night of the debate, June 22nd, was one of the most watched Presidential primary debates in history. Senators Harris and Feingold were widely hailed as the winners of the first debate, while Mayor Bloomberg, Congressman Delaney, and Governor Cuomo where widely seen as the losers of the debate, with everyone else resting somewhere in-between. Senator Harris in particular became the focus of many media outlets, after her attack against Bloomberg's "stop and frisk" policies went viral. The California Senator was heavily critical of Bloomberg's record on race, and argued that black voters "couldn't and shouldn't trust Mike with their safety." Bloomberg's response was characterized as "blundering." He apologized, saying "[stop and frisk] got a little out of hand," which drew sharp criticism from Senator Harris for underplaying the impact of stop and frisk. Senator Feingold also drew praise for his attacks on Mayor Bloomberg, Congressman Delaney and Tom Steyer on the issue of campaign finance, calling for their campaigns to "get real." Following the debates, Harris and Feingold both experienced an upswing in the polls, while Mayor Bloomberg's polling numbers dropped by nearly ten points.
The second night of the debate, June 23rd, was comparatively uneventful. Castro, Kander and Brown were both praised for their performances, as was Sanders. Klobuchar and Bennet were seen as the losers of the night in particular. The other candidates were all criticized for bland performances. Castro had a viral moment when he attacked Senator Klobuchar's record on immigration, particularly her vote to make English the national language, and used the chance to bolster his position on immigration decriminalization. Meanwhile, Senator Brown ripped into Senator Bennet's past support of the Trans Pacific Partnership, while Senator Kander was praised for a generally strong performance, despite him not wading into the fray often.
On June 24th, former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak entered the Presidential race. Sestak entered the race with little name recognition and even less support, and recognized the long shot nature of his campaign upon his entry. He focused his campaign on "the importance of leadership." Similarly, in late June, speculation began to grow about the possibility of a late entry by former Attorney General Deval Patrick, who had previously declined to run.
By the end of June, the top tier of the race had become much more muddled. Mayor Bloomberg was "hobbled" by the first debate, while Senator Kander had risen past Secretary Locke in the polling. Harris, Feingold, and Brown had also seen noticeable increases in their polling numbers.
July: Warren, Harris, Kander, Yang on the rise
Much like June, July held a critically important primary debate. This time, however, technology investor Andrew Yang and retired Lt. General Michael Flynn were able to work their way onto the debate stage, knocking out Congressman John Delaney and Senator Bennet.
After failing to qualify for the second debate, Congressmen Ryan and Moulton both withdrew from the race, endorsing Senator Brown and Kander respectively.
Once again, the debate was split randomly across two nights. This time, the first line up consisted of Flynn, Markell, Gabbard, Booker, Sanders, Kander, Brown, Feingold, Hickenlooper, Delaney. The second line up consisted of Yang, Klobuchar, Castro, Harris, Bloomberg, Warren, Steyer, Gillibrand, Cuomo, and Merkley.
On the first night, Kander, Brown, Feingold and Sanders were all praised for their performances. Flynn, Hickenlooper, and even Sanders were criticized for weak performances. The New York Times argued that "While Senator Sanders is a top tier candidate, you certainly wouldn't believe that from his performance last night." Meanwhile, Flynn and Hickenlooper were attacked consistently for their records, with candidates focusing on Flynn's support of Donald Trump, and Hickenlooper's support for fracking.
On the second night, Yang, Warren, Gillibrand and Harris were praised for strong showing, while Bloomberg, Cuomo, and Steyer had weaker performances. Bloomberg in particular faced a two-sided attack from Vice President Warren and Senator Harris, and separate attacks from Senator Gillibrand. Meanwhile, Yang was praised for his strong showing and defense of Universal Basic Income.
On July 19th, Deval Patrick announced his late entry into the Presidential contest. Patrick announced that he was running because he believed that the current front runners were too "divisive" to create a winning coalition.
Throughout the month of July, Harris, Kander and Yang began to rise in the polls, while Vice President Warren was able to knock Bloomberg out of first place. Sanders maintained his third place position as Kander rose to fourth place, followed by Harris.
Candidate Color Schemes