November 7, 2018 / 6:50 AM / 9 days ago

Factbox: Potential U.S. presidential contenders in 2020

(Reuters) - Buoyed by Tuesday’s takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats can now turn their attention to the 2020 presidential race.

FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden addresses the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) dinner in Washington, DC, U.S., September 15, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

For the first time since the start of the 2004 campaign, Democrats are entering the cycle without a dominant front-runner. More than two dozen possible contenders have had their names floated or have actively begun exploring their chances.

President Donald Trump filed for re-election the day he was inaugurated in January 2017, and his popularity with the Republican Party’s core supporters means any possible challenge for the party’s nomination will be a longshot.

Here are some of the potential contenders in each party:

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden wears sunglasses at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) dinner in Washington, U.S., September 15, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

DEMOCRATS

JOE BIDEN - The former vice president, 75, is the early Democratic leader in polls, and that is partly a function of familiarity given his decades as a senator and eight years as a No. 2 to Barack Obama. If he makes his third run for the presidency, Biden will have easy access to top-shelf staff, donors and an extensive network of supporters. Biden’s age could work against him in a party looking for fresher faces, and his ties with Obama would make him an easy target for Republican attacks.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks before Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testifies about the President's 2019 budget before the Senate Budget Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 13, 2018. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

BERNIE SANDERS - The Vermont senator, 77, still has a loyal following from his 2016 challenge to Hillary Clinton, and his focus on issues such as universal healthcare, reducing income inequality and tuition-free public college has been adopted widely by the party. But while he was an insurgent candidate two years ago, Sanders would facemore intense scrutiny as a major contender in 2020.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at the Netroots Nation annual conference for political progressives in New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman/File Photo


ELIZABETH WARREN - The Massachusetts senator, 69, is a leader of the party’s progressives and a fierce critic of Wall Street who was instrumental in creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Her recent decision to take a DNA test to prove her distant Native American ancestry after Trump’s taunts of “Pocahontas” was roundly criticized and raised questions among some Democrats about her political agility.

KAMALA HARRIS - The black first-term senator from California, 54, is considered one of the candidates most likely to break out from the pack of lesser known Democrats. Her aggressive questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and her decision to swear off corporate PAC money - large donations from businesses - won her plaudits from activists. But as a newcomer to national politics, Harris still needs to introduce herself to the public while defying Republican attempts to define her negatively.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., listen as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, DC. Picture taken September 27, 2018. Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS

CORY BOOKER - The black two-term senator from New Jersey, 49, a former Rhodes Scholar and Stanford University football player, won notice as the mayor of Newark, New Jersey, when he saved a neighbor from a burning house in 2012. Some liberals have criticized him for having close ties to Wall Street and for helping to kill a proposal that would have lowered prescription drug prices.

Democratic Texas U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Beto O'Rourke concedes to Senator Ted Cruz at his midterm election night party in El Paso, Texas, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar

BETO O’ROURKE - The three-term congressman, 46, became a Democratic sensation with his underdog U.S. Senate campaign in deeply conservative Texas. He lost the race but smashed fundraising records running as an unabashed liberal and offering a possible template for Democrats in 2020. O’Rourke is still untested on the national stage.

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) pauses during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

 KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND - The senator from New York, 51, was appointed to the Senate from the House of Representatives to replace Hillary Clinton in 2009, when Clinton became secretary of state, and has become a leader in the #MeToo movement. Her statement last year that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency in the Monica Lewinsky scandal drew a rebuke from the former president, who said “she’s living in a different context,” and alienated some Clinton allies.

FILE PHOTO: Michael Bloomberg attends a news conference during the One Planet Summit at the Seine Musicale center in Boulogne-Billancourt, near Paris, France, December 12, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG - The former New York City mayor, and former Republican, has in the past considered running for the White House as an independent. But this time Bloomberg, 76, is considering running as a Democrat. His money and name recognition are formidable, and his advocacy for gun control has won him friends among activists. But progressives could find some of his positions hard to take, including his opposition to a Democratic proposal that would break up Wall Street banks and his doubts about the #MeToo movement.

Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo holds up an I voted sticker after casting his vote during the midterm election at the Presbyterian Church in Mt. Kisco, New York, U.S., November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs

ANDREW CUOMO - The New York governor, 60, easily defeated a primary challenge from the left by actress Cynthia Nixon in September. A big re-election win makes him a possible contender.

Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks at a Politics and Eggs event at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

ERIC HOLDER - A close ally of Obama, he served as his first attorney general and has launched a committee to fight battles over redistricting, the drawing of district lines that can cement a party’s hold on power. Holder, 67, drew rebukes from Republicans, and some groans from Democrats, when he said in October of Republicans: “When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.” He later told critics to “stop the fake outrage.”

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) wells up with tears, as she speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting to vote on the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 28, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

AMY KLOBUCHAR - The two-term senator from Minnesota, 58, a former prosecutor, won praise from activists for her questioning of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh at his confirmation hearing. He memorably turned the question back to her when she asked if he had blacked out from drinking. “I don’t know, have you?” he asked Klobuchar, who had revealed that her 90-year-old father was a recovering alcoholic. Kavanaugh later apologized.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe campaigns during a rally in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Julia Rendleman

TERRY McAULIFFE - Like Biden, the former Virginia governor has broad access to donors and influential Democrats. McAuliffe, 61, is a former chairman of presidential campaigns for both Bill and Hillary Clinton, and a former head of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005.

Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

STEVE BULLOCK - The Montana governor, 52, has asserted an interest in running for president with multiple trips to early primary states, including a well-publicized trip to the Iowa State Fair. He has emphasized the need for a national 50-state campaign, saying as a governor he knows how to reach across the aisle to get things done.

REPUBLICANS

DONALD TRUMP - The president, 72, already has a campaign slogan, “Keep America Great,” and between his campaign committee and two joint fundraising committees has raised $106 million for his re-election, with $47 million cash on hand, according to campaign finance reports. He has turned his attention to the race, punctuating his political rallies with frequent put-downs of his possible Democratic rivals.

U.S. President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One prior to holding a campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio., U.S., November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks as he withdraws as a U.S. Republican presidential candidate in Columbus, Ohio, U.S., May 4, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

JOHN KASICH - After a failed presidential campaign in 2016, the Ohio governor has become one of the party’s few notable critics of Trump. Kasich, 66, a moderate on some social issues, has pointedly refused to rule out a primary challenge to the president. But Kasich is famous for his aversion to fundraising, which could make success elusive. Concerns about potential primary opposition from Trump’s base have encouraged Kasich’s allies to view him as a possible independent candidate.

Slideshow (2 Images)
U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) speaks at the Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., October 1, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

JEFF FLAKE - The conservative first-term Arizona senator, 55, declined to seek re-election after becoming one of the leading Republican critics of Trump. He has criticized his fellow Republicans in Congress for failing to stand up to the president. But he would have difficulty gaining traction in Republican primaries, which Trump’s loyal supporters could dominate.

Reporting by John Whitesides; Editing by Frances Kerry and Howard Goller

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