2020 Presidential Election

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

Viewers tuning in for the latest Democratic presidential candidates' debate Tuesday night may sense something missing in Des Moines.

In 1856, Frederick Douglass made a decision. He was an antislavery activist then, hoping to advance his cause by supporting a candidate in that fall's presidential election.

Sen. Cory Booker announced Monday he is dropping out of the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

In an email to his supporters, Booker cited a number of reasons: most notably, a lack of money to continue.

"Our campaign has reached the point where we need more money to scale up and continue building a campaign that can win — money we don't have, and money that is harder to raise because I won't be on the next debate stage and because the urgent business of impeachment will rightly be keeping me in Washington," Booker wrote.

During the final presidential debate of 2019, one of the moderators posed a question about a topic that rarely gets attention on the debate stage: What steps would candidates take to help disabled people get more integrated into the workforce and their local communities?

For Andrew Yang, the question was both political and personal. His oldest son, Christopher, is on the autism spectrum.

As other candidates report significant increases in fundraising, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren raised $21.2 million in the final three months of 2019, according to her presidential campaign, a drop from the $24.7 million she raised in the previous fundraising period.

The figure is also less than the totals that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg took in between September and December.

Campaigns are reporting fundraising in three-month windows.

Updated at 10:30 a.m. ET

Julián Castro, the only Latino candidate in the Democratic field, has ended his presidential campaign.

Castro released a video on Twitter on Thursday, saying that his campaign had "stood up for the most vulnerable people" and had "given a voice to those who are often forgotten."

He adds in the video: "I'm not done fighting. I'll keep working toward a nation where everyone counts."

Castro served as secretary of housing and urban development in the Obama administration and, before that, was mayor of San Antonio, Texas.

Updated at 2:06 p.m. ET

A three-month window that began with a heart attack ended as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' strongest fundraising quarter yet.

Sanders' campaign announced it raised $34.5 million in October, November and December — nearly $10 million more than he had raised in the previous quarter. According to the campaign, $18 million came in from 900,000 individual donations in December alone, as Sanders drew larger and larger crowds to rallies in early voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.

The divide among Democrats over "Medicare for All" has dominated the policy conversation in the 2020 Democratic primary. But another rift has opened among Democrats, this one about college affordability. The question: Who should get to go to college for free?

South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg jabbed at his more liberal opponents in a new ad airing in Iowa. It doesn't name other candidates, but it's clear he's taking aim at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who have pitched plans making free public college available to all.

Updated at 9:05 a.m. ET

Candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination took to the debate stage for the fifth time Wednesday night. There weren't any groundbreaking or game-changing moments, but here are five things that stood out:

1. Impeachment hearings may have taken some steam out of the debate

Let's face it: The biggest story of Wednesday was not the debate, it was the impeachment testimony of Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's team filed paperwork for a presidential run on Thursday — but he's not in the race yet.

While Bloomberg's team filed a statement with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday creating a presidential campaign committee, aides to Bloomberg say the move should not be viewed as a final decision or announcement.

The Democratic presidential primary has taken a back seat to the impeachment inquiry over the past few months, so it's fitting that the fifth candidate debate will take place on the same day that the most anticipated impeachment witness, Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, testifies before the House Intelligence Committee.

But a lot more than the path to impeachment has changed since the Democratic candidates last gathered on the debate stage.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is officially joining the 2020 Democratic presidential race less than three months before voters start casting ballots.

"I admire and respect the candidates in the Democratic field. They bring a richness of ideas and experiences and depth of character that makes me proud to be a Democrat. But if the character of the candidates is an issue in every election, this time is about the character of the country," Patrick said in an announcement video published online Thursday morning.

Klobuchar: Woman with Buttigieg's record would miss debate

Nov 13, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — Sen. Amy Klobuchar says she and other top female presidential candidates wouldn't be on the debate stage if they had the same experience as Mayor Pete Buttigieg (BOO'-tuh-juhj).

The Minnesota Democrat said Sunday on CNN that she believes the 37-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is qualified but that she's the better candidate.

Klobuchar says, "I'm the one from the Midwest that has actually won in a statewide race over and over again." She says of the female candidates: "Maybe we're held to a different standard."

Updated at 6:10 p.m. ET

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke ended his presidential campaign on Friday after struggling to translate the energy from his 2018 Senate bid into a successful White House campaign.

"Our campaign has been about seeing clearly, speaking honestly and acting decisively in the best interests of America," O'Rourke wrote in a statement on Medium.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has built a reputation as the presidential candidate with a plan for almost anything. Plans are her brand, so much so that her campaign shop sells T-shirts proclaiming "Warren has a plan for that."

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ended his campaign for president on Friday morning, acknowledging that he was unable to successfully pitch his progressive ideas to the Democratic electorate.

"I feel like I have contributed all I can to this primary election. It's clearly not my time, so I'm going to end my presidential campaign," de Blasio said on MSNBC's Morning Joe.

De Blasio's exit makes him the sixth candidate to drop out of the field, bringing the total number of Democrats seeking the nomination to 19.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke gave a staunch defense of his gun control plan during Thursday's Democratic presidential primary debate, saying that as president, he would prioritize mandatory buybacks of assault-style weapons.

Quoting the candidate's past comment about selling back AR-15s and AK-47s, moderator David Muir asked O'Rourke: "Are you proposing taking away their guns? And how would this work?"

O'Rourke answered, "Hell, yes, we're going to take your AR-15, your AK-47."

Here's more of what he said:

The fate of the filibuster — a 60-vote threshold for most legislation in the U.S. Senate — is again an issue of controversy among Democratic presidential candidates.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the supermajority requirement is preventing Congress from passing popular bills — such as a background check bill.

Once again, health care took up a large chunk of a Democratic primary debate. Once again, there were fights over costs, coverage and whether the party is growing too extreme.

But this time, all of the front-runners were onstage together, providing the first opportunity for all of them to take direct aim at each other and their vastly differing health care plans. It made for some heated exchanges, putting "Medicare for All" supporters on defense. But it also showed clearly that some candidates are cautious not to criticize others' proposals too harshly.

Heading into Thursday's Democratic presidential debate, the third this campaign season, we had five political questions.

Here are those questions and how they got answered:

More than 16 years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, former Vice President Joe Biden is still struggling to explain his vote for the war and when his feelings about intervention evolved.

On Thursday night, during the third Democratic debate, which took place in Houston, Biden said he "never should have voted to give [President] Bush the authority to go in and do what he said he was going to do."

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September's Democratic presidential debate has been narrowed to one night only, as more candidates have called it quits altogether.

There are now less than five months to go before the first votes are cast in the Democratic presidential nominating contest. So the spotlight is going to be even hotter on the 10 candidates who made the cut for Thursday's debate in Houston. (Follow NPR's live analysis here.)

Donald Trump's immigration stances — family separation, a ban on immigrants from several majority-Muslim nations, the cancellation of the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals program, to name a few — have given Democrats much to criticize as the 2020 presidential election approaches.

It means that the Democratic candidates are pretty uniform in coming out hard against the president on immigration. However, they differ on the particulars of what policies they would like to put into place instead and, in many cases, have not articulated what they would do specifically.

Democrats running for president next year have worked hard to differentiate themselves from President Trump on issues such as immigration, tax cuts and health care. When it comes to trade, that hasn't been so easy.

Trump, after all, came to office as a fierce critic of U.S. trade policy, arguing that previous administrations had been duped into signing free trade agreements that had cost Americans millions of manufacturing jobs.

The current tally of 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls is enough to set a record in any previous primary season. But even with the giant number of candidates, the reality is that the winnowing has already begun.

The field is shrinking — slowly — but what's different this time compared to past campaigns is what's driving candidates to pack it in.

Here's what it's not — voters.

Many heads got scratched this week when President Trump doubled down on his erroneous claim that Alabama had been in the path of Hurricane Dorian.

Apparently relying on a map that warned of high winds, or another showing hypothetical paths for the storm, the president over the weekend insisted Alabama was "in the crosshairs." At midweek, sitting in the Oval Office, he held up a map on which someone using a marking pen had ballooned the area of actual hurricane threat to include Alabama.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is the latest Democratic presidential candidate to drop out of the 2020 race.

She announced her exit Wednesday afternoon in a video posted on Twitter.

"It's important to know when it's not your time and to know how you can best serve your community and country," Gillibrand said. "I believe I can best serve by helping to unite us to beat Donald Trump in 2020."

Gillibrand thanked her volunteers and supporters in the video, saying "I'm so proud of this campaign and everything we've achieved."

The Sept. 12 Democratic debate stage is set with just 10 candidates, ensuring there will be a one-night event in which the front-runners will finally come face to face.

Back in April, things looked a little different in the Democratic presidential primary.

Elizabeth Warren's first-quarter fundraising was disappointing; she was eschewing big-money fundraisers, and her campaign was spending a lot — 87 cents of every dollar it was taking in on 160 or so staffers in early states.

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