[604 days to the 2020 general election]

The 59th presidential election will take place on November 3, 2020.

As there is increasing attention to the 2020 election it will be useful to keep in mind the following recent note circulated by Peter Hart with the NBC/WSJ poll.

“The political intelligentsia will spend much of their efforts dissecting the machinations of the candidates–this election, like all elections, comes back to the view of the voters. Start with the voters, stay there, and you will be in very good shape.”

Hispanics are projected to become the largest minority group in the 2020 electorate. They will represent 13.3% of the electorate. 23% of the electorate will be 65 years of age or older.

  2000 2020
Hispanics 7.4% 13.3%
Black 11.5% 12.5%
Asian 2.5% 4.7%
White 76.4% 66.7%
[Pew 2/20/19]

The list of potential candidates from both parties will be sorted into three categories: “Announced/Running”, “Testing the Waters” and “Mentioned”.

The reason folks end up in the “Announced/Running/Formed Committee” category is obvious.

The “Testing the Waters” category is for those folks who make some statement or take some action that suggests they are considering a candidacy, such as traveling to various early primary states or announcing in some fashion that they are testing the waters.

At this time, potential candidates are not required to file a campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission. The rules relating to limits on contributions from individuals, etc. do apply and internal records must be maintained. If and when a person decides to be a candidate for president, financial activity for this period must be reported.

The “Mentioned” category is for everyone else who gets mentioned, on their own behalf or by someone else.

When a person is no longer part of a category, a line will be drawn through his or her name in the next issue of the Watch and in the subsequent issue it will be erased.

This list started with 57 people who had been at least mentioned. Now there are 26 people on the list. 31 people are no longer involved in the hunt.

Announced/Running/Formed Committee

Cory Booker (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 49
Pete Buttigieg (D) – Mayor of South Bend, Indiana – Age 37
Julian Castro (D) – Former HUD Secretary – Age 44
John Delaney (D) – former U.S. Representative – Age 55
Tulsi Gabbard (D) – U.S. Representative – Age 37
Kirsten Gillibrand (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 52
Kamala Harris (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 54
John Hickenlooper (D) – Governor of Colorado – Age 67
Jay Inslee (D) – Governor of Washington – Age 68
Amy Klobuchar (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 58
Bernie Sanders (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 77
Elizabeth Warren (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 69
Marianne Williamson – Spiritualist, teacher – Age 66
Andrew Yang – Entrepreneur – Age 44

Testing the Waters

Joe Biden (D) – former Vice President, former U.S. Senator – Age 76
Beto O’Rourke – former U.S. Representative – Age 46
Tim Ryan (D) – U.S. Representative – Age 45
Howard Schultz – Founder & Exec. Chairman, Starbucks – Age 65 (May run as an Independent)
Eric Swalwell (D) – U.S. Representative – 39


Michael Bloomberg – Businessman and former Mayor of New York – Age 77
Steve Bullock (D) – Governor of Montana – Age 52
Terry McAuliffe (D) – former Governor of Virginia – Age 62
Sherrod Brown (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 66
Mark Warner (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 64
Jeff Merkley (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 62
Michael Bennet (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 54
Eric Holder (D) – former Attorney General – Age 68
John Kerry (D) – former U.S. Senator, former Secretary of State, former presidential candidate – Age 75
Bill de Blasio (D) – Mayor of New York City – Age 57
Governor Andrew Cuomo – Governor of New York – Age 61

The Democratic nominating convention is scheduled for July 13-16, 2020 at a site to be determined (Miami, Houston or Milwaukee).

Republican Primary


Donald Trump – President – Age 72

41% of voters say they will definitely vote for Donald Trump for president in 2020 while 48% say they will vote for the Democratic candidate. [NBC/WSJ 2/27/19]

Testing the Waters

Larry Hogan (R)– Governor of Maryland – Age 62
John Kasich I (R)– former Governor of Ohio – Age 66
William Weld (R)– former Governor of Massachusetts – Age 73

The Republican nominating convention is scheduled for August 24-27, 2020 in Charlotte, NC.

37% of Republican primary voters would like to see another Republican challenge Trump for the nomination in 2020. [NBC/WSJ 2/27/19]

An Early Look at the 2020 Presidential electoral vote – Jennifer Duffy/Cook Political Report

Solid D 188 Solid R 125
Likely D 22 Likely R 56
Lean D 22
ME (2)
MN (10)
NH (4)
NV (6)
Lean R 39
GA (16)
IA (6)
ME (1)
NE (1)
NC (15)
Total 232   220

Toss Up – 86
AZ 11
FL 29
MI 16
PA 20
WI 10

62% of Americans are very uncomfortable or have some reservations about someone over the age of 75 running for president. They have even more reservations or are uncomfortable with someone who purports to be a socialist. [NBC/WSJ 2/27/19]

In 2016, Donald Trump won the electoral vote while Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. Donald Trump is the president.

If the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact had been in place, Clinton would be the president.

For those, like WW, who are or were not aware of the Compact here is what it is.

“Under the Constitution, states have the power to determine how they award their electoral votes in national elections.” Currently, most state laws award all of its electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes within the state. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC) is an agreement among a group of U.S. states and the District of Columbia to award all their electoral votes to whichever presidential candidate wins the overall popular vote in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Compact does not take effect until states controlling 270 electoral votes adopt it legislatively. When that number is reached, all of the legislation that has been enacted takes effect immediately but not until then.

Five U.S. presidents have been elected despite losing the popular vote; John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016.

There are a number of states, that in presidential elections are reliably Democratic or Republican. As a result, those states tend to be ignored in presidential election campaigns. According to Reed Hundt, who is one of the founders of Making Every Vote Count, in the 2012 and 2016 elections and likely the 2020 election as well, “nearly 40 states, with about 80 percent of the country’s population were and likely will be ignored by both candidates.”

So far, 12 states with a total of 172 electoral votes among them have enacted the legislation. The Colorado legislature has enacted the requisite legislation and it will join the compact when the governor signs it, bringing the total to 181 electoral votes. New Mexico appears to be on the cusp. The states including Colorado are Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Washington, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, California and the District of Columbia. Maine and Nebraska allocate their electoral votes differently and as you can see, neither has joined the Compact.

So, if New Mexico (5 votes) takes the plunge, states with at least 84 electoral votes between them must act before the Compact is effective. Accumulating the last 84 votes will be a very high hill, not soon conquered.