2020 Elections

Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg says President Donald Trump is "kind of like a Chinese finger trap — you know, the harder you pull, the more you get stuck" and warns that Democrats shouldn't get bogged down in trying to "knock him flat with some zinger."

In Iowa for the first time since officially launching his campaign , Buttigieg discussed how to defeat Trump after drawing an audience of more than 1,600 people at a Des Moines rally Tuesday night.

When the vaunted Democratic blue wall stretching across the Upper Midwest crumbled in Republican Donald Trump's 2016 presidential victory, Minnesota stood out on the map as a holdout.

Now President Trump sees the state as a personal challenge heading into the 2020 election, and his campaign is making it an early target.

Raising money isn't just a necessity for candidates hoping to make it through the long and expensive presidential primary process — it's a way to measure candidates' credibility and staying power in a crowded field.

Updated at 7:26 p.m. ET

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders released 10 years' worth of tax returns Monday. The documents underscore how much money the populist presidential candidate has earned in recent years, as his public profile has risen.

In an interview with the New York Times before the returns were made public, Sanders dismissed the idea that his newfound wealth undercut his billionaire-bashing message.

Sanders promises to win back Midwest states Trump captured

Apr 15, 2019
Amber Arnold / Wisconsin State Journal via AP

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders returned to the friendly terrain of Wisconsin on Friday, promising to build a coalition that will defeat President Donald Trump as he kicked off a swing through pivotal states that are part of the Democratic "blue wall" strategy for 2020.

Sanders, speaking to a crowd of about 2,400 who braved 40-degree (4 Celsiu) temperatures with a stiff 20 mph (32 kph) wind, pledged to flip Midwestern states such as Wisconsin that Trump narrowly won in 2016.

Workers' rights are a 2020 campaign focus this weekend

Apr 15, 2019
Paul Sancya / Associated Press

DENMARK, S.C. (AP) — The issue of workers' rights is a focus this weekend for some of the Democrats running for president.

At a rally in Warren, Michigan, where General Motors is closing a plant, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called on President Donald Trump to "go back to the drawing board" on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the tentative pact that would replace NAFTA. Sanders said the newly negotiated deal, which has yet to clear Congress, would still let companies such as GM continue to send U.S. jobs to Mexico.

Mayor Pete joins 2020 Dem race as face of new generation

Apr 15, 2019
Darron Cummings / Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Pete Buttigieg, the little-known Indiana mayor who has risen to prominence in the early stages of the 2020 Democratic presidential race, made his official campaign entrance Sunday by claiming the mantle of a youthful generation ready to reshape the country.

 

More than 4,500 supporters crammed into the freezing cold and leaking former Studebaker plant on Sunday to hear South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg officially declare that he’d seek the Democratic nomination for President.

  

 

Buttigieg goes from cordial to critical of Pence on campaign

Apr 12, 2019
Robert Franklin / South Bend Tribune via AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — On the campaign trail, Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg blasts Vice President Mike Pence's cultural and religious conservatism. But as the mayor of Indiana's fourth largest city, his tone toward the state's Republican former governor was more muted.

LGBT donors helping Pete Buttigieg defy 2020 expectations

Apr 9, 2019

GREENVILLE, South Carolina (AP) — Jonah Burrell first contributed to Pete Buttigieg's campaign after watching the first prominent openly gay presidential candidate on television. When Burrell later saw him in person in a cramped upstate South Carolina auditorium, he knew he had to do it again.

"I felt compelled to help," Burrell, a nursing student who is gay, said after the event. "It makes me proud he's a gay man."

Nam Y. Huh, Jose Luis Magana / Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — "Mayor Pete," as he's known to his growing fan base, is running a surprisingly strong and well-funded campaign for president. Lori Lightfoot has just won a landslide victory to become Chicago's mayor.

Together, the ascendance of Lightfoot and Pete Buttigieg — the two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana — highlights the remarkable progress made recently by gay and lesbian politicians, to the point where their sexual orientation is either an asset or a nonissue. Both Lightfoot and Buttigieg have talked comfortably about LGBT issues and their own same-sex marriages.

BOSTON (AP) — Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg is scheduled to visit Boston for a conversation about millennials in politics.

The mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is scheduled to speak at Northeastern University's campus Wednesday as part of an event series profiling emerging leaders in media, politics and policy.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg says he's raised more than $7 million this year.

The South Bend, Indiana, mayor tweeted Monday his team's initial report shows he and his supporters "are out-performing expectations at every turn."

Buttigieg promised over the weekend there'd be a "celebration" with his announcement Monday, two months since he launched his exploratory committee.

Beto O'Rourke got lots of attention from his campaign kickoff in Keokuk, Iowa. And thanks to some of his comments, not all of that attention was good.

At the start of his speech, O'Rourke referenced a call from his wife, Amy, "who's back in El Paso, Texas, where she is raising, sometimes with my help, Ulysses, who's 12 years old, Molly, who's 10, and their little brother, Henry, who is 8 years old."

To some Democratic voters, that seemed like a flip acknowledgment that he was handing off parenting duties to his wife while he pursued his political dreams.

A version of this story was first posted by member station WBUR.

Minnesotans like Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She was re-elected in the purple state in 2018 by 24 points, and in January Morning Consult polling found her to be one of the most popular senators in the country.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has long been known as a consumer advocate and a critic of big corporations. But she's not the only progressive seeking the right to challenge President Trump in 2020 who is highlighting economic inequality.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, for one, fired up the base with these issues in 2016, after Warren passed on a bid. But this time, she isn't sitting on the sidelines.

After a flurry of people jumping into the presidential race, this past week a rare thing happened: A bunch of people jumped out. But their decision to pass on the race could be an indication that an even bigger candidate is close to launching a campaign: former Vice President Joe Biden.

Updated at 1:26 p.m. ET

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke is running for president, hoping to build on the momentum the Democrat generated in a Senate contest last year.

Updated at 2:46 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris says she was bent toward a career fighting for civil rights almost since birth.

The Democrat is the daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father who met at the University of California, Berkeley, and were active in the movement during the 1960s.

"I was born realizing the flaws in the criminal justice system," she told NPR's Steve Inskeep.

Looking out over a crowd of firefighters chanting, "Run, Joe, run," former Vice President Joe Biden urged patience.

"Save it a little longer; I may need it in a few weeks," he said, adding, "Be careful what you wish for."

Biden isn't officially running for president — at least not yet — but Tuesday's speech to the International Association of Fire Fighter's annual conference blocks from Capitol Hill served as the latest warmup act to a potential 2020 campaign.

Over the weekend in Austin, Texas, South by Southwest became a major presidential forum. More than half a dozen candidates showed up to the annual music, arts and technology convention. Democrats competed with each other to be the tough-on-tech candidate, a development in line with the party's move to the left but at odds with its reliance on tech donors.

New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) made a splash announcing her exploratory committee for the 2020 presidential election with Stephen Colbert in January.

Gillibrand is a liberal Democrat from a blue state, but she was once considered a Blue Dog or a more conservative Democrat, from a redder part of Upstate New York.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced Thursday that he will not be running for president in 2020.

Brown, who recently conducted a multistate "dignity of work" tour, announced that he decided "the best way for him to continue his fight for workers is by serving Ohio in the U.S. Senate."

Brown was re-elected to the Senate last fall and has been one of the few Democrats to win a statewide race in Ohio in recent years, raising hopes among some in the party that he could carry his home state against President Trump.

Updated at 9:55 a.m. ET

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has announced he will seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, becoming the second governor to join a crowded field of candidates.

Most of the Democrats running for president want to create a national single-payer health care system. They want to begin a massive transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. They want to legalize marijuana, pass broad family leave policies, and do a whole lot of other things that previous generations of presidential candidates have balked from fully endorsing.

When bipartisan immigration discussions pop up, Democrats often insist it's hard to find a solution because of the GOP's immigration evolution. The days of Ronald Reagan endorsing an amnesty program and denouncing walls are long gone, replaced by President Trump's talk of "rapists" and quest for a wall.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is giving it another go, launching a second campaign for the White House four years after surprising Democrats with a strong bid for the party's 2016 nomination.

"We began the political revolution in the 2016 campaign, and now it's time to move that revolution forward," the independent senator told Vermont Public Radio in an interview airing Tuesday morning.

The Democratic Party is increasingly focused on and organized around diversity. It also has the most diverse field of candidates in the history of presidential politics. And voters in South Carolina, the first primary state with a predominantly African-American Democratic electorate, have been inundated with 2020 hopefuls in these early weeks of the campaign.

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