4 Highlights From Seventh Democratic Debate in Des Moines

With six candidates on stage, Tuesday’s debate was the smallest of the election cycle

There’s just over a year to go until the 2020 presidential election, but the competition to potentially replace Donald Trump in the White House is already stiff. 

There’s a lot to keep track of, but we’re here to help. Here’s TheWrap’s list of everyone who is running for president so far — and who has dropped out.

  • Joe Biden – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: April 25, 2019 

    The former Obama VP was a late entry to the race, formally declaring his run for the presidency on April 25. But he’s long been a presumed frontrunner, leading many early polls. This is his third presidential run, and for months he’s been telling anyone who’ll listen that he’d be the most qualified candidate for the job. He’s also already been under scrutiny over criticism about his behavior with women, prompting him to post a video promising he’d be “more mindful and respectful” of a woman’s “personal space.”

    Biden has also been prone to embarrassing slips of the tongue, among them placing the assassinations of RFK and MLK in “the late ’70s,” mistaking his campaign’s text number for a website, waxing nostalgic about his friendships with Senate segregationists, and saying “poor kids are just as bright and just as talented as white kids.”

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  • Elizabeth Warren – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: Feb. 9, 2019 

    The Massachusetts Senator formally announced her candidacy on Feb. 9 at a rally in her home state, and shortly after followed up with a tweet that read: “I believe in an America of opportunity. My daddy ended up as a janitor, but his little girl got the chance to be a public school teacher, a college professor, a United States Senator – and a candidate for President of the United States. #Warren2020.”

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  • Bernie Sanders – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: Feb. 19, 2019 

    Bernie Sanders, the runner-up in the 2016 contest for the Democratic nomination, has recorded a campaign video in which he says he is running for president in 2020, according to a report in Politico.

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  • Pete Buttigieg – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: April 14, 2019 

    The 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana would become the first openly gay presidential nominee from a major political party. Buttigieg’s platform includes a plan to further empower Black America and economic reform. 

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  • Tulsi Gabbard – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: Jan. 11, 2019 

    Gabbard, a U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016, but in 2020 she’s all-in on herself. Gabbard is running on immigration and criminal justice reform. 

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  • Andrew Yang – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: Nov. 6, 2017  

    The entrepreneur and son of immigrant parents from Taiwan became a contender a year ago, telling The New York Times that he will advocate for a universal basic income. 

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  • John Delaney – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: July 28, 2017

    The U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 6th district declared back in July 2017. He says he’ll “end reckless trade wars and expand trade,” “create a universal health care system” and “launch a national AI strategy.”  

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  • Amy Klobuchar – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: Feb. 10, 2019 

    The Minnesota Democrat, first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, announced her bid on Feb. 10, 2019, saying that she wanted to work for “everyone who wanted their work recognized.”  Klobuchar’s key issues she wants to tackle if elected president include revising voting rights protections and prioritizing cybersecurity. 

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  • Michael Bennet – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: May 2, 2019 

    The Colorado senator has been a vocal supporter on advancing the field of artificial intelligence and expanding the Child Tax Credit.  He didn’t qualify for the fourth Democratic debate but he’s vowed to keep running.

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  • Wayne Messam – Democratic Candidate 

    Entered Race: March 28, 2019 

    The mayor of Miramar, Florida, a city near Miami, is a first-generation American who has called for end the filibuster and erasing student debt. He only raised $5 — five — during the quarter that ended Sep. 30, but he’s still in the race.

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  • Tom Steyer – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: July 9, 2019 

    The billionaire and climate change activist entered the race in July, saying in a video “if you think that there’s something absolutely critical, try as hard as you can and let the chips fall where they may. And that’s exactly what I’m doing. My name’s Tom Steyer, and I’m running for president.”

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  • Joe Sestak – Democratic Party

    Entered Race: June 23, 2019 

    The former Pennsylvania Congressman has a plan for America that includes investing in American manufacturing and strengthening antitrust laws. 

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  • Deval Patrick – Democratic Party

    Entered Race: Nov. 14, 2019

    The former governor of Massachusetts acknowledged the challenge of jumping into the Democratic primary so late in the game. But in his announcement he took a veiled swipe at other candidates, saying the party was torn between “nostalgia” and “our big idea or no way.”

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  • Michael Bloomberg – Democratic Party

    Entered Race: Nov. 24, 2019

    The former mayor of New York is the second billionaire to enter the crowded Democratic field with just one year until the election. Bloomberg plans to fund his own campaign and is reportedly spending $30 million in TV ads to launch his campaign. 

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  • Bill Weld – Republican Party

    Entered Race: April 15, 2019 

    Weld is a former Governor of Massachusetts who has been on the record about his displeasure of Trump, specifically Trump’s desire to be more of a “king than a president.”  

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  • Joe Walsh – Republican Party 

    Entered Race: Aug. 25, 2019 

    The former congressman from Illinois turned conservative talk show host announced in August 2019 that he would enter the GOP primaries to challenge President Trump. “I’m running because he’s unfit; somebody needs to step up and there needs to be an alternative. The country is sick of this guy’s tantrum — he’s a child,” he told ABC News.

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  • Cory Booker – Democratic Party

    Entered Race: Feb. 1, 2019

    Dropped Out: Jan. 13, 2020 

    The New Jersey senator and former mayor of Newark formally tossed his name into the presidential hat on Feb. 1, the first day of Black History Month. Booker ran on a platform of ending mass incarceration if he were to be elected president. His absence in the race ahead of the caucuses made the remaining Democratic field significantly less diverse.

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  • Marianne Williamson – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: Jan. 28, 2019 

    Dropped Out: Jan. 10, 2020

    The “Healing the Soul of America” author and founder of Project Angel Food announced her candidacy during a political rally at the Saban Theater in Los Angeles on Jan. 28. Williamson ran on a platform of reparations and “economic justice for women and children.”

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  • Eric Swalwell 

    Entered Race: April 8, 2019 
    Dropped Out: July 8, 2019

    The California congressman wrote in a statement on his campaign’s website about his decision to bow out of the 2020 presidential race, “I’ll never forget the people I met and lessons I learned while travelling [sic] around our great nation – especially in the communities most affected by gun violence.”

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  • Seth Moulton – Democratic Party  

    Entered Race: April 22, 2019 

    Dropped Out: August 23, 2019

    The Massachusetts congressman and Iraq War veteran ended his campaign for president in a speech to the DNC in San Fransisco. “I think it’s evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders, and really it’s a debate about how far left the party should go,” Mr. Moulton told the New York Times. 

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  • Tim Ryan – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: April 4, 2019 

    Dropped Out: Oct. 24, 2019

    The Ohio congressman was running on a platform that included education reform and promoting renewable energy.

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  • John Hickenlooper 

    Entered Race: March 4, 2019 
    Dropped Out:
    Aug. 15, 2019 

    The former Colorado governor supported stricter gun control laws and free trade.  

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  • Jay Inslee – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: March 1, 2019 
    Dropped Out:
    Aug. 21, 2019 

    The Governor of Washington ran on a platform focused on climate change, proposing a “100% Clean Energy for America Plan” that would see emissions drop to zero by 2035. 

    He announced he was dropping out of the race during an appearance on “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

    “It’s become clear that I’m not going to be carrying the ball,” Inslee told Maddow. “I’m not going to be the President, I’m withdrawing tonight from the race.”

    Inslee added that he’s optimistic that climate change will be a major part of the Democratic party’s priorities.

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  • Kirsten Gillibrand – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: Jan. 15, 2019 

    Dropped Out: Aug. 28, 2019 

    The senator from New York announced her bid Tuesday, Jan. 15 on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” Gillibrand, whose campaign slogan is “Brave Wins,” supported paid family leave and protecting women’s rights.

    On August 28, 2019, she announced her withdrawal. “To our supporters: Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Now, let’s go beat Donald Trump and win back the Senate,” she tweeted. 

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  • Howard Schultz – Independent 

    Dropped Out: Sept. 6, 2019

    In January the former Starbucks CEO expressed initial interest in running. In August, Schultz reportedly suspended his campaigning until after Labor Day, citing medical issues. In September, Schultz cited those issues and more in a letter on his website as reasons he had to take himself out of the running.

    “My belief in the need to reform our two-party system has not wavered, but I have concluded that an independent campaign for the White House is not how I can best serve our country at this time,” he wrote.

    Schultz is a co-founder of the venture capital firm Maveron, which is an investor in TheWrap.

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  • Bill De Blasio – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: May 16, 2019 

    Dropped Out: Sept. 20, 2019

    The New York City mayor was looking for more taxes for the wealthy and regulating “gig jobs” under his proposed Universal Labor Standards. 

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  • Beto O’Rourke – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: March 14, 2019

    Dropped Out: November 1, 2019 

    The former congressman from El Paso, Texas, announced he is running for president on March 14, saying: “This is a defining moment of truth for this country and for every single one of us,” and that the challenges have never been greater. “They will either consume us, or they will afford us the greatest opportunity to unleash the genius of the United States of America,” he added. O’Rourke has already made a name for himself as a record-breaking fundraiser, the subject of an HBO documentary and a favorite among Hollywood elite. He dropped out Nov 1., tweeting, “I am announcing that my service to the country will not be as a candidate or as the nominee.”

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  • Mark Sanford – Republican Party 

    Entered Race: Sept. 8, 2019

    Dropped Out: Nov. 12, 2019

    The former governor of South Carolina — who resigned in disgrace in 2007 after lying about an extramarital affair — announced his challenge to Trump, saying, “We have lost our way.” Sanford, who was also a U.S. congressman from 1995 to 2001 and 2013 to 2019, pledged to tackle the nation’s ballooning national debt and reverse Trump’s policies on trade protectionism. He dropped out in November saying the issues on his platform were overshadowed by the ongoing impeachment process.

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  • Steve Bullock – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: May 14, 2019 

    Dropped Out: Dec. 2, 2019

    The Montana governor said in a statement, “While there were many obstacles we could not have anticipated when entering this race, it has become clear that in this moment, I won’t be able to break through to the top tier of this still-crowded field of candidates.”

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  • Kamala Harris – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: Jan. 21, 2019 

    Dropped Out: December 3, 2019

    The California senator announced her bid for the presidency on Martin Luther King Jr. Day,  Jan. 21, while appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” As a possible indication of her chances, her January CNN town hall was the network’s highest rated single presidential candidate town hall ever. Harris is pro Medicare-for-all and raising teacher pay.

    Harris came out of the gate strong with a solid showing at the first debate, but failed to carry that momentum. Reports of staff mismanagement and fundraising challenges led to her to suspend her candidacy in early December.

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  • Julián Castro – Democratic Party 

    Entered Race: Jan. 12, 2019

    Dropped Out: Jan. 2, 2020 

    The former mayor of San Antonio — and former Obama cabinet member — supports immigration reform and eliminating lead poisoning. Castro was the only Latino candidate in the running, and he said in a video released by his campaign that he’s “not done fighting.”

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  • The Democratic candidate field remains robust as late entries including Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick join the race

    There’s just over a year to go until the 2020 presidential election, but the competition to potentially replace Donald Trump in the White House is already stiff. 

    There’s a lot to keep track of, but we’re here to help. Here’s TheWrap’s list of everyone who is running for president so far — and who has dropped out.

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