More than two dozen Democrats launched presidential campaigns in 2019 — but just 15 remain in the race as the year comes to a close.
The race for the Democratic nomination has so far been marked by a fight between centrist candidates and those from the progressive camp over who is best suited to take on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE in 2020.
As Democrats across the country prepare to cast votes in primaries in 2020, here’s a look back at some of the year’s key moments of the early stages of the primary race:
Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE
April 25: Officially enters crowded race, becoming an instant front-runner after skipping the 2016 race.
June 27: Comes under attack from Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) during the second night of the first primary debate over his stance on racial busing.
August 2019: Becomes embroiled in the impeachment inquiry against Trump after a whistleblower complaint details a call in which the president pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.)
Feb. 19: Launches second race for the Democratic nomination after an unexpectedly strong, but unsuccessful, challenge against 2016 nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE.
Oct. 4: Suffers heart attack, reviving concerns about age for the 78-years-old candidate. He took a brief time off before returning to his campaign.
Oct. 19: Sanders is endorsed by progressive star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezAttorney says 75-year-old man shoved by Buffalo police suffered brain injury How language is bringing down Donald Trump Highest-circulation Kentucky newspaper endorses Charles Booker in Senate race MORE (D-N.Y.) at a Queens rally. Fellow freshman “squad” members Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHow language is bringing down Donald Trump Biden, Democrats seek to shut down calls to defund police McEnany, Ocasio-Cortez tangle over ‘Biden adviser’ label MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibHow language is bringing down Donald Trump Defunding the police: Put it to a vote McEnany, Ocasio-Cortez tangle over ‘Biden adviser’ label MORE (D-Mich.) also back Sanders.
Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.)
Feb. 9: Formally kicks off her campaign, going on to unveil a slew of progressive policy proposals that she turns into a campaign slogan: “Warren has a plan for that.”
Nov. 1: Releases her “Medicare for All plan” with details on cost after coming under heavy attack by opponents that she was not being transparent about a signature campaign issue.
Dec. 19: Clashes with rival South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE at the sixth Democratic debate over fundraising after weeks of sniping between the two candidates.
South Bend., Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg
April 13: Officially launches his campaign after unexpectedly gaining traction despite being the youngest candidate and less well known than some of the other front-runners. He also becomes the first openly gay major Democratic presidential candidate.
June 16: Buttigieg takes time off from his campaign to deal with a police-involved shooting of a black man in South Bend as his lack of support from minority voters continue to dog his campaign.
November: Several polls show a surge for Buttigieg in Iowa, bringing momentum to his campaign, though he remains fourth in most national polls.
Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardGabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic MORE (D-Hawaii)
Jan. 11: Officially launches her campaign, focusing on her foreign policy experience as a military combat veteran.
Oct. 18: Comes under attack from Hillary Clinton, who suggests that Gabbard is the “favorite of the Russians” to win the 2020 presidential election.
Dec. 18: Gabbard comes under fire from Democrats after voting “present” on the two articles of impeachment against Trump.
Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-N.J.)
Feb. 1: Officially files for election. Booker launches his campaign a few months later in April, with a call for unity from Newark, the city that launched him to national stardom after serving as mayor for two terms.
December: Calls for lower criteria for primary debates after failing to make it to the event in December, saying the party needs more diverse voices represented on stage.
Former tech entrepreneur Andrew YangAndrew YangGeorge Floyd protests show corporations must support racial and economic equality Andrew Yang discusses his universal basic income pilot program Andrew Yang on the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis MORE
Nov. 6, 2017: Enters the field as a relative unknown, pushing a central campaign proposal: a universal basic income of $1,000 a month for every American adult.
Dec. 19: Becomes the only candidate of color and outsider to make the debate stage, signaling a campaign that has caught fire on the strength of his personality, viral momentum, grassroots enthusiasm and guerrilla marketing.
Former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergEngel scrambles to fend off primary challenge from left It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Liberals embrace super PACs they once shunned MORE
Nov. 21: Files an official statement of candidacy as part of a series of steps to officially launch his presidential campaign after citing concerns that none of the existing candidates can take on President Trump.
Nov. 22: Unveils a multi-million ad blitz as part of an unorthodox campaign that will see him skip the first few nominating states to focus on the Super Tuesday states, raising strong criticism from his Democratic rivals about his spending.
Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.)
Feb. 11: Officially launches her campaign in the middle of a snow storm, calling herself a pragmatist and touting the work she’s done in the senate.
Dec. 19: Receives strong reviews over her debate performance, bringing renewed attention to her candidacy as she places most of her focus on the Iowa caucus.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
Jan. 21: Launches campaign as one of highest-profile Latinos to ever run for president.
Nov. 10: Castro came out in support of replacing Iowa and New Hampshire as the first two voting states with others that are more diverse.
Former hedge fund executive Tom SteyerTom SteyerBloomberg wages war on COVID-19, but will he abandon his war on coal? Overnight Energy: 600K clean energy jobs lost during pandemic, report finds | Democrats target diseases spread by wildlife | Energy Dept. to buy 1M barrels of oil Ocasio-Cortez, Schiff team up to boost youth voter turnout MORE
July 9: Launches campaign vowing to end corruption in the political system after making a name for himself as one of the leading proponents to impeach Trump.
Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetSome realistic solutions for income inequality Democratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd 21 senators urge Pentagon against military use to curb nationwide protests MORE (D-Colo.)
May 5: Kicks off presidential campaign just months after a memorable speech on the Senate floor in January in which he tore into Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote The Hill’s Morning Report – Trump’s public standing sags after Floyd protests GOP senators introduce resolution opposing calls to defund the police MORE (R-Texas) amid heightened tensions over the government shutdown.
Former Mass. Gov. Deval PatrickDeval PatrickIt’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden Andrew Yang endorses Biden in 2020 race MORE
Nov. 14: Launches campaign, vowing to unify the party among its centrist and progressive camps.
Former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what ‘policing’ means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight Minnesota AG Keith Ellison says racism is a bigger problem than police behavior; 21 states see uptick in cases amid efforts to reopen The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan says there will be consequences from fraying US-China relations; WHO walks back claims on asymptomatic spread of virus MORE (D-Md.)
August 10, 2017: Becomes the earliest contender to launch their campaign, though he has struggled to gain traction since.
Author Marianne WilliamsonMarianne WilliamsonMarianne Williamson touts endorsements for progressive congressional candidates The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Warren becomes latest 2020 rival to back Biden The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden looks to stretch lead in Tuesday contests MORE
Feb. 4: Launches campaign as an outsider who has authored self-help books and was also previously known as Oprah WinfreyOprah Gail WinfreyMinnesota health officials say graduation ceremony exposed people to coronavirus The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Trump threatens coronavirus funds for states easing voting Oprah Winfrey doles out coronavirus relief grants to home cities MORE’s spiritual adviser.
14 candidates have dropped out of the race this year. Here are some of their most memorable moments.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
Launch: Jan. 21, ends: Dec. 3
June 27: Surges in polls and sees bump in fundraising after a strong performance in the first Democratic debate, where she faced-off with Biden, but her campaign falters and she eventually ends her campaign over a lack of funding.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas)
Launch: March 14, ends: Nov. 1
August: Takes time off campaigning after a mass shooting in his home town of El Paso, drawing praise among Democrats for his call for more action on gun control, but is unable to overcome a series of missteps including a widely panned cover interview with Vanity Fair.
Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers MORE (D-N.Y.)
Launch: March 17, ends: Aug. 28
March 17: Gillibrand faced criticism as soon as she launched her campaign over her call in 2017 for Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenPolitical world mourns loss of comedian Jerry Stiller Maher to Tara Reade on timing of sexual assault allegation: ‘Why wait until Biden is our only hope?’ Democrats begin to confront Biden allegations MORE (D-Minn.) to resign after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct.
Montana Gov. Steve BullockSteve BullockKoch-backed group launches ad campaign to support four vulnerable GOP senators Overnight Energy: US Park Police say ‘tear gas’ statements were ‘mistake’ | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues in battle to save seats MORE
Launched: May 14, ends: Dec. 2
May 14: Bullock pitches himself as a strong candidate to take on Trump, noting that he was the only candidate to win in a state-wide race in a state Trump carried in 2016, but his campaign failed to catch fire.
New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioProtesters splash red paint on NYC streets to symbolize blood De Blasio: Robert E Lee’s ‘name should be taken off everything in America, period’ House Democratic whip pushes back on calls to defund police: We need to focus on reform MORE
Launch: May 16, ends: Sept. 20
May 16: The New York City mayor’s race never gained traction despite leading one of the biggest cities in the world and boasting strong progressive credentials.
Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperGun control group rolls out first round of Senate endorsements The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ Hickenlooper ethics questions open him up to attack MORE
Launch March 4, ends: Aug. 15
Aug. 15: Hickenlooper ends his long-shot campaign in August to run for senate, becoming a strong challenger to vulnerable Republican Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Interior faces legal scrutiny for keeping controversial acting leaders in office | White House faces suit on order lifting endangered species protections | Lawmakers seek investigation of Park Police after clearing of protesters The Hill’s Campaign Report: Republicans go on attack over calls to ‘defund the police’ MORE.
Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeInslee calls on Trump to ‘stay out of Washington state’s business’ Seattle mayor responds to Trump: ‘Go back to your bunker’ Trump warns he will take back Seattle from ‘ugly Anarchists’ if local leaders don’t act MORE
Launch: March 1, ends: Aug. 21
Aug. 21: Decides to seek reelection in Washington after making climate change the central focus of his presidential campaign.
Rep. Seth MoultonSeth MoultonEx-CBO director calls for more than trillion in coronavirus stimulus spending Overnight Defense: Trump’s move to use military in US sparks backlash | Defense officials take heat | Air Force head calls Floyd’s death ‘a national tragedy’ Democrats blast Trump’s use of military against protests MORE (D-Mass.)
Launch: May 7, ends: Aug. 23
Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanMinnesota AG Keith Ellison says racism is a bigger problem than police behavior; 21 states see uptick in cases amid efforts to reopen Congress must fill the leadership void Pelosi pushes to unite party on coronavirus bill despite grumbling from left MORE (D-Ohio)
Launch: April 11, ends: Oct. 24
Rep. Eric SwalwellEric Michael SwalwellNASCAR bans display of Confederate flag from events and properties Gloves come off as Democrats fight for House seat in California Grenell says intelligence community working to declassify Flynn-Kislyak transcripts MORE (D-Calif.)
Launch: April 8, ends: July 8
Miramar, Fla., Wayne MessamWayne Martin MessamKey moments in the 2020 Democratic presidential race so far Wayne Messam suspends Democratic presidential campaign 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the November forum MORE
Launch: March 15, ends: Nov. 20
Former West Virginia state Sen. Richard Ojeda
Launch: Nov. 11, ends: Jan. 25
Former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.)
Launch: July 1, ends: Dec. 1
Former Sen. Mike Gravel (Alaska)
Launch: April 2, ends: July 31