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2020 United States presidential election

The 2020 United States presidential election, scheduled for Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will be the 59th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Voters will select presidential electors who in turn will either elect a new president and vice president through the electoral college or reelect the incumbents. The series of presidential primary elections and caucuses are likely to be held during the first six months of 2020. This nominating process is also an indirect election, where voters cast ballots selecting a slate of delegates to a political party's nominating convention, who then in turn elect their party's presidential nominee.

2020 United States presidential election

← 2016 November 3, 2020 2024 →

538 members of the Electoral College
270 electoral votes needed to win

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The electoral map for the 2020 election, based on populations from the 2010 Census

Incumbent President

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump of the Republican Party, who was elected in 2016, is seeking reelection to a second term. The winner of the 2020 presidential election is scheduled to be inaugurated on January 20, 2021.




Article Two of the United States Constitution states that for a person to serve as President of the United States the individual must be a natural-born citizen of the United States, at least 35 years old and a United States resident for at least 14 years. Candidates for the presidency typically seek the nomination of one of the various political parties of the United States, in which case each party develops a method (such as a primary election) to choose the candidate the party deems best suited to run for the position. The primary elections are usually indirect elections where voters cast ballots for a slate of party delegates pledged to a particular candidate. The party's delegates then officially nominate a candidate to run on the party's behalf. The nominee then personally chooses a vice presidential running mate to form that party's presidential ticket (with the exception of the Libertarian Party, which nominates its vice presidential candidate by delegate vote regardless of the nominee's preference). The general election in November is also an indirect election, where voters cast ballots for a slate of members of the Electoral College; these electors then directly elect the President and Vice President.[1]

In August 2018, the Democratic National Committee voted to disallow superdelegates from voting on the first ballot of the nominating process, beginning with the 2020 election. This would require a candidate to win a majority of pledged delegates from the assorted primary elections in order to win the party's nomination. The last time this did not occur was the nomination of Adlai Stevenson II at the 1952 Democratic National Convention.[2]

The Twenty-second Amendment to the Constitution states that an individual can not be elected to the presidency more than twice. This prohibits former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama from being elected president again. Former president Jimmy Carter (a nonagenarian), having served a single term as president, is not constitutionally prohibited from being elected to another term in the 2020 election.

Demographic trends

The age group of what will then be people in the 18- to 45-year-old bracket is expected to represent just under 40 percent of the United States' eligible voters in 2020. It is expected that more than 30 percent of eligible American voters will be nonwhite.[3]

A bipartisan report indicates that changes in voter demographics since the 2016 election could impact the results of the 2020 election. African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and other ethnic minorities, as well as "whites with a college degree" are expected to all increase their percentage of national eligible voters by 2020, while "whites without a college degree" will decrease. This shift is potentially an advantage for the Democratic nominee, however due to geographical differences, this could still lead to President Trump (or a different Republican nominee) winning the Electoral College while still losing the popular vote, possibly by an even larger margin than in 2016.[4]

Additionally, Washington, D.C. may lower its voting age from 18 to 16. Legislation was introduced by City Councilman Charles Allen in April 2018, with a public hearing in June, and a vote by the end of the year. Unlike other cities with a voting age of 16 such as Berkeley, California, this would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to vote for President of the United States for the first time in 2020. Allen said that he was inspired by the high school students that participated in the March for Our Lives, which occurred at the capital in March.[5]

Simultaneous elections

The presidential election will occur at the same time as elections to the Senate and the House of Representatives. Several states will also hold state gubernatorial and state legislative elections. Following the election, the United States House will redistribute the seats among the 50 states based on the results of the 2020 United States Census, and the states will conduct a redistricting of Congressional and state legislative districts. In most states, the governor and the state legislature conduct the redistricting (although some states have redistricting commissions), and often a party that wins a presidential election experiences a coattail effect that also helps other candidates of that party win elections.[6] Therefore, the party that wins the 2020 presidential election could also win a significant advantage in the drawing of new Congressional and state legislative districts that would stay in effect until the 2032 elections.[7]

General election polling


Republican Party

Donald Trump is eligible to run for reelection and intends to do so.[8] His reelection campaign has been ongoing since his victory in 2016, leading pundits to describe his tactic of holding rallies continuously throughout his presidency as a "never-ending campaign".[9] On January 20, 2017, at 5:11 p.m., he submitted a letter as a substitute of FEC Form 2, by which he reached the legal threshold for filing, in compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act.[10]

Beginning in August 2017, reports arose that members of the Republican Party were preparing a "shadow campaign" against Trump, particularly from the moderate or establishment wings of the party. Now late Arizona Senator John McCain said that "[Republicans] see weakness in this president."[11] Maine Senator Susan Collins, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie all expressed doubts in 2017 that Trump will be the 2020 nominee, with Collins stating "it's too difficult to say."[12][13] Senator Jeff Flake claimed in 2017 that Trump is "inviting" a primary challenger by the way he is governing.[14] Longtime political strategist Roger Stone, however, predicted in May 2018 that Trump may not seek a second term if he succeeds in keeping all of his campaign promises and "makes America great again".[15]

Declared candidates

Name Born Experience State Announced Ref
Donald Trump
June 14, 1946
(age 72)
Queens, New York
President of the United States (2017–present)  
New York
February 17, 2017
FEC filing

Individuals who have publicly expressed interest

Individuals in this section have expressed an interest in running for president within the last six months.

Convention site

On July 20, 2018, the Republican National Convention chose Charlotte, North Carolina as the site for their 2020 national convention.[25] The convention will be held from August 24 until August 27, 2020.[26]


Donald Trump

Democratic Party

After Hillary Clinton's loss in the previous election, the Democratic Party was seen largely as leaderless[27] and fractured between the centrist Clinton wing and the more progressive Sanders wing of the party, echoing the rift brought up in the 2016 primary election.[28][29]

This establishment/progressive divide was reflected in several elections leading up to the 2020 primaries, most notably in 2017 with the election for DNC Chair between Tom Perez and Sanders-backed progressive Keith Ellison:[30] Perez was elected Chairman, but Ellison was appointed as the Deputy Chair, a largely ceremonial role. In 2018, several U.S. House districts that Democrats hope to gain from the Republican majority had contentious primary elections. These clashes were described by Politico's Elena Schneider as a "Democratic civil war".[31] Meanwhile, there has been a general shift to the left in regards to college tuition, healthcare, and immigration among Democrats in the Senate, likely to build up credentials for the upcoming primary election.[32][33]

Perez has commented that the 2020 primary field will likely go into double-digits, rivaling the size of the 2016 GOP primary, which consisted of 17 major candidates.[34] In the wake of the Me Too movement, several female candidates are expected to enter the race, increasing the likelihood of the Democrats nominating a woman for the second time in a row.[35] Speculation also mounted that Democrats' best bet to defeat President Trump would be to nominate their own celebrity or businessperson with no government experience, most notably Oprah Winfrey after her memorable speech at the 75th Golden Globe Awards.[36]

The topic of age has been brought up among the most likely front-runners: former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who will be 78, 71, and 79 respectively on inauguration day. Former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (who will be age 81 on inauguration day) described the trio as "an old folks' home", expressing a need for fresh faces to step up and lead the party.[37]

Declared major candidates and exploratory committees

In addition to having announced that they are running for president in 2020 or having formed exploratory committees for the 2020 presidential election, the candidates in this section have held public office or have been included in a minimum of five independent national polls:

  Formed exploratory committee but has not officially declared their candidacy
Name Born Experience State Campaign
Announcement date
Pete Buttigieg
January 19, 1982
(age 37)
South Bend, Indiana
Mayor of South Bend, Indiana (2012–present)  
Formed exploratory committee:
January 23, 2019

Julian Castro
September 16, 1974
(age 44)
San Antonio, Texas
U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (2014–2017)
Mayor of San Antonio, Texas (2009–2014)
Announced campaign committee:
January 12, 2019

FEC filing
John Delaney
April 16, 1963
(age 55)
Wood-Ridge, New Jersey
U.S. Representative from MD-06 (2013–2019)  
Announced campaign:
July 28, 2017

FEC filing
Tulsi Gabbard
April 12, 1981
(age 37)
Leloaloa, American Samoa
U.S. Representative from HI-02 (2013–present)  
Announced campaign:
January 11, 2019

FEC filing
Kirsten Gillibrand
December 9, 1966
(age 52)
Albany, New York
U.S. Senator from New York (2009–present)
U.S. Representative from NY-20 (2007–2009)
New York
Formed exploratory committee:
January 15, 2019

FEC filing
Kamala Harris
October 20, 1964
(age 54)
Oakland, California
U.S. Senator from California (2017–present)  
Announced campaign:
January 21, 2019

FEC filing
Richard Ojeda
September 25, 1970
(age 48)
Rochester, Minnesota
West Virginia State Senator (2016–2019)
Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative from WV-03 in 2018
West Virginia
Announced campaign:
November 11, 2018

FEC filing
Elizabeth Warren
June 22, 1949
(age 69)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
U.S. Senator from Massachusetts (2013–present)  
Formed exploratory committee:
December 31, 2018

FEC filing

Other declared candidates

As of January 2019, 149 individuals have filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for President in the Democratic Party primary,[47] including the following notable candidates:

Name Born Experience State Campaign

Announcement date

Michael E. Arth
April 27, 1953
(age 65)
RAF Burtonwood, England
Artist, builder, architectural designer, and political scientist
Independent candidate for Governor of Florida in 2010
Announced campaign:
November 4, 2018

FEC filing
Harry Braun
November 6, 1948
(age 70)
Compton, California
Renewable energy consultant and researcher
Candidate for U.S. Representative from GA-11 in 2018
Candidate for President in 2012 and 2016
Independent candidate for President in 2004
Democratic nominee for U.S. Representative from AZ-01 in 1984 and 1986
Announced campaign:
December 7, 2017

FEC filing
Ken Nwadike Jr.
December 29, 1981
(age 37)
San Diego, California
Documentary filmmaker, motivational speaker, and peace activist  
Announced campaign:
October 18, 2017

FEC filing
Robby Wells
April 10, 1968
(age 50)
Bartow, Georgia
Former college football coach
Independent candidate for President in 2016
Constitution candidate for President in 2012
Announced campaign:
May 12, 2018

FEC filing
Andrew Yang
January 13, 1975
(age 44)
Schenectady, New York
Entrepreneur and founder of Venture for America  
New York
Announced campaign:
November 6, 2017

FEC filing

Individuals who have a scheduled announcement

Individuals who have publicly expressed interest

Individuals in this section have expressed an interest in running for president within the last six months. Some already have leadership PACs that function as campaign committees.[54]

Potential convention sites

Bids for the National Convention were solicited in the fall of 2017, with finalists being announced in June 2018. The winning bid was supposed to be revealed in the summer of 2018. The convention is scheduled to be held from July 13 to 16, 2020.[104]


Julian Castro
U.S. Executive Branch officials
U.S. Representatives
State legislators
Local officials
John Delaney
U.S. Representatives
Kamala Harris
U.S. Executive Branch officials
Richard Ojeda
Andrew Yang

Libertarian Party

Declared candidates

These candidates have established campaign websites.

Name Born Current or previous positions State Announced Ref
Adam Kokesh
February 1, 1982
(age 36)
San Francisco, California
Libertarian and anti-war political activist
Candidate for U.S. Senate in 2018
Candidate for U.S. Representative from New Mexico in 2010
July 18, 2013
FEC Filing
John McAfee
September 18, 1945
(age 73)
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire,
Founder and CEO of McAfee, Inc. 1987–1994
Candidate for President in 2016
June 3, 2018
Vermin Supreme
June 1961
(age 57)
Rockport, Massachusetts
Performance artist and activist
Candidate for President in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016
Candidate for Mayor of Detroit, Michigan in 1989
Candidate for Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland in 1987
May 28, 2018
Arvin Vohra
May 9, 1979
(age 39)
Silver Spring, Maryland
Vice Chair of the LNC 2014–2018
Libertarian nominee for U.S. Senate from Maryland in 2018
Libertarian nominee for U.S. Representative in 2012 and 2014
Candidate for U.S. Senate in 2016
July 3, 2018


Publicly expressed interest

Convention site

On December 10, 2017, the Libertarian National Committee chose Austin, Texas as the site of their 2020 national convention. The convention will be held between May 22–25, 2020.[130][131]

Green Party

  Formed exploratory committee but has not officially declared their candidacy

Declared major candidates and exploratory committees

Name Born Current or previous positions State Announced Ref
Dario Hunter
(age 36)
New Jersey
Youngstown Board of Education (2016–present)  
Formed exploratory committee:
January 21, 2019
Ian Schlakman
December 15, 1984
(age 34)
Long Island, New York State
Former Co-Chair of the Maryland Green Party
Green Nominee For Governor of Maryland in 2018
Announced campaign: December 14, 2018
Filed December 3, 2018 FEC Filing

Individuals who have publicly expressed interest

Individuals in this section have expressed an interest in running for president within the last six months.

Independent or unaffiliated

Individuals who have publicly expressed interest

Individuals in this section have expressed an interest in running for president within the last six months.

Party conventions

The 2020 Democratic National Convention is scheduled from July 13–16 at a city to be announced,[104] while the 2020 Republican National Convention is planned to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina from August 24–27.[141] This will be the first time since 2004 that the two major party conventions will be held at least one month apart with the Summer Olympic Games in between (in 2008 and 2012, the Democratic and Republican conventions were held in back-to-back weeks following the Olympics, while in 2016 both were held before the Rio Games).[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b c This individual is not a member of the Democratic Party, but has been the subject of speculation or expressed interest in running under this party.
  1. ^ a b c d This individual is not a Libertarian Party member, but has been the subject of speculation and/or expressed interest in running under this party.


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