The crowded 2020 Democratic field is down to 17 contenders, after former Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s exit last week, but billionaire Michael Bloomberg could soon bring the total back up to 18.
Advisers to Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, signaled Thursday that he hasn’t made a final decision on whether to enter the Democratic presidential primary, but he’s taking steps toward a campaign.
The party’s White House field has contracted only somewhat over the past four months, with nine politicians dropping out of the race for the 2020 nomination. Former Vice President Joe Biden continues to lead the pack in national polls, though Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts ranks No. 1 in polls focused on Iowa, which has a critical role thanks to its first-in-the-nation caucuses.
The other Democrats seeking to take on President Donald Trump next year include Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent; Sen. Kamala Harris of California; and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Author and activist Marianne Williamson and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro also remain in the mix.
On Oct. 24, Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio exited the race, after New York Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped out in September. Their announcements followed departures in August by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska. Rep. Eric Swalwell of California bowed out in July.
In a RealClearPolitics moving average of national polls on Friday, Biden scored 28.3% support vs. Warren’s 20.6%. Sanders drew 17.6%, topping Buttigieg at 7%, Harris at 4.5%, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota at 2.6%, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker at 2.3% each. All other Democratic candidates are below 2%. Despite his advantage in national polls, Biden ranked fourth in the field in third-quarter fundraising, meaning he doesn’t have as much money in the bank as other top-tier candidates.
The fifth Democratic debate is scheduled for Nov. 20 in Atlanta, and an unofficial tally by NBC News had 10 contenders qualifying so far: Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Gabbard, Harris, Klobuchar, Sanders, Steyer, Warren and Yang. MSNBC and the Washington Post co-host the event.
The first voter verdicts will come Feb. 3 with the Iowa caucuses.
Here is the MarketWatch list of contenders and the status of their deliberations, based on their statements:
|Name||Age||State of candidacy|
|Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams||45||Said Aug. 13 that she’s not running for president.|
|Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado||54||Running for president.|
|Former Vice President Joe Biden||76||Running for president.|
|Billionaire former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg||77||Taking steps toward a campaign, hasn’t made a final decision.|
|Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey||50||Running for president.|
|Montana Gov. Steve Bullock||53||Running for president.|
|South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg||37||Running for president.|
|Ex-HUD chief Julián Castro||45||Running for president.|
|New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio||58||Was running for president, dropped out Sept. 20.|
|Former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland||56||Running for president.|
|Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii||38||Running for president.|
|Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York||52||Was running for president, dropped out Aug. 28.|
|Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel||89||Was running for president, dropped out Aug. 6.|
|Sen. Kamala Harris of California||55||Running for president.|
|Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper||67||Was running for president, dropped out Aug. 15.|
|Washington Gov. Jay Inslee||68||Was running for president, dropped out Aug. 21.|
|Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota||59||Running for president.|
|Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam||45||Running for president.|
|Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts||41||Was running for president, dropped out Aug. 23.|
|Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas||47||Was running for president, dropped out Nov. 1.|
|Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio||46||Was running for president, dropped out Oct. 24.|
|Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont||78||Running for president.|
|Former Rep. Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania||67||Running for president.|
|Tom Steyer, billionaire investor and activist||62||Running for president.|
|Rep. Eric Swalwell of California||38||Was running for president, dropped out July 8.|
|Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts||70||Running for president.|
|Marianne Williamson, author and activist||67||Running for president.|
|Andrew Yang, founder of Venture for America||44||Running for president.|