SALT LAKE CITY — Hillary Clinton may be considering a third run for the presidency in 2020.
But if she runs, she'll have a lot of competition from other Democrats.
CNN White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny reported Sunday that “Clinton is telling people that she’s not closing the doors to the idea of running in 2020.” He added that three people told him media coverage of the ongoing indictments in the Russia investigation, especially the indictment of Roger Stone and several other former associates of President Donald Trump, sparked Clinton to say, “‘Look, I’m not closing the doors to this.’”
Whether the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and former secretary of state will actually run again is far from certain. Zeleny added that the rumors don’t mean “that there’s a campaign-in-waiting, or a plan in the works.” Nevertheless, he said, “I think we have to at least leave our mind open to the possibility that she is still talking about it. She wants to take on Trump. Could she win a Democratic primary to do it? I don’t know the answer to that.”
The Democratic field is already getting crowded, with a couple of dozen candidates jostling in the ring. According to The New York Times, eight Democrats are officially running for president, with two “all but certain” to run, four more likely to run, and nine who might run. The Times classified Clinton as “unlikely to run.” Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is also considering a presidential run as an independent.
According to a recent poll from CNN, former vice president Joe Biden is in the lead for the Democratic nomination, with 30 percent of the potential Democratic electorate saying they'd support his nomination. In second place is Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, with 14 percent, followed by former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke with 9 percent, Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., with 5 percent, and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., with 4 percent.
Here’s a breakdown of the Democratic presidential frontrunners.
First, of the eight Democrats who have officially declared candidacies, the three frontrunners are women. In order of Vox’s ranking by public profile, they are:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., 69
- Served as Massachusetts senator since 2013.
- Taught law at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.
- Has faced controversy over her purported Native American heritage.
- Progressive who wants to "fix capitalism, not end it," according to Vox.
- Focus: income inequality, according to the Times.
Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., 54
- Served as California senator since 2017.
- Former California attorney general and San Francisco district attorney.
- Half Tamil Indian and half Jamaican, young and female, she would bring "history-making potential,” according to the Times.
- Focus: She’s proposed major middle-class tax cuts, the Times reported.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., 52
- Served as New York senator since 2009.
- Former U.S. representative from New York’s 20th congressional district.
- Has sponsored legislation to improve prosecution of sexual assault in the military and supports Medicare for all and universal paid family leave, Vox reported.
- Focus: Women’s equality, according to the Times.
The other Democratic candidates who have confirmed their candidacies, ranked by public profile, are Julian Castro, former mayor of San Antonio and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii; John Delaney, a former representative from Maryland; and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Candidates yet to launch formal presidential bids:
According to the Times, the two candidates who are “all but certain to run” are:
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., 49
- Served as New Jersey senator since 2013.
- Former mayor of Newark, New Jersey.
- Rhodes scholar and first black senator from New Jersey.
- Focus: Criminal justice reform, according to the Times.
John Hickenlooper, 66
- Former governor of Colorado.
- Former mayor of Denver.
- Political moderate.
- Focus: “Consensus-building around issues like expanding Medicaid, gay rights and gun control,” the Times reported
Other likely candidates:
Of the four candidates that are likely to run, two have especially big names:
Former Vice President Joe Biden, 76
- Vice president under Obama who has run for president twice before.
- Former Delaware senator.
- One of the most well-liked members of the Democratic Party, according to the Times.
- Focus: Increasing economic protections for low-income workers, according to the Times
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., 77
- Served as Vermont senator since 2007.
- Runner-up for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.
- Describes himself as a democratic socialist.
- Focus: Medicare for all, free college tuition, curtailing the influence of billionaires and Wall Street, according to the Times.
The other two candidates likely to run are Steve Bullock, Montana governor and former attorney general; and Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles.
Some other big names in the “might run” category are media mogul and former mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, who has considered running for president for more than a decade, according to the Times; and Beto O’Rourke, a former Texas congressman who enjoys a large social media following. O’Rourke burst onto the national scene when he ran for a Senate seat against incumbent Ted Cruz in 2018. Although he didn’t win the race, he quickly became something of a “political celebrity” and built up a successful fundraising machine, the Times reported.
It’s unclear what this crowded field will mean for the Democratic Party’s chances against Trump as it heads into the 2020 election.
Reporter Matthew Rosza outlined two possible outcomes in Salon. If the Democrats choose “someone who appeals to the party faithful and can win the primaries because the bar for what is deemed ‘victory’ has been lowered,” he writes, “they could get wiped out by Donald Trump. But if the size of the field forces the eventual nominee to become a better and tougher candidate, then we’ll all look back and say it was a good thing that so many people threw their hats in the ring.”
Helaine Olen, an opinion writer for The Washington Post, argued the high number of candidates will be advantageous for Democrats.
“The sheer number of candidates considering a run greatly increases the chances of a gradual winnowing of the flock, something that will allow supporters to slowly coalesce around one candidate and then another, instead of feeling forced into an allegiance, come hell or high water,” she wrote. “You know, like in the last Democratic presidential primary.”42 comments on this story
So far, Trump remains unchallenged for the 2020 Republican nomination, although a series of Republicans have expressed interest in running. Trump has already raised $100 million for the 2020 election, according to the Guardian.
Another potential opponent is Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, who tweeted Sunday, “I love our country, and I am seriously considering running for president as a centrist independent.”
Trump responded to this with a tweet of his own Monday morning, writing that Schultz “doesn’t have the ‘guts’ to run for President.”