The 59th presidential election will take place on November 3, 2020. 263 days from today.

“It’s unlikely that the 2020 campaign will do anything but widen the distrust of our institutions and each other. The challenge of the 21st century is to understand and anticipate where this distrust and disruption lead. The tipping point has yet to be reached. But it feels like we sit on its precipice more awkwardly than ever.” [Amy Walter, Cook Political Report, 3/22/19]

“The person who defines that race is going to win the race. If this is about Donald Trump and his personality, he isn’t going to win it.” [Former Republican Speaker Paul Ryan]

All four sections of the country have produced at least 8 or more presidential nominees; Northeast (37-24 Democrats/13 Republicans), Midwest (30-16 Republicans /14 Democrats), South (15-11 Democrats/4 Republicans) and West (8-8 Republicans/0 Democrats).

There have been 49 Democrat and 41 Republican nominees.

Some 23 states have produced one or more presidential nominee. The following states have produced 5 or more nominees: New York (25), Illinois (9), Ohio (8), California (6), Massachusetts (5), Texas (5). [FiveThirtyEight 3/26/19]

If the election were held today, matching Donald Trump verses a yet-to-be-named Democratic candidate and a third-party candidate, who do you think would win?

Trump 43%
Dem Candidate 43%
3rd party candidate 9%
No answer 5%
[NBC Survey Monkey – 3/25/19]

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.

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 61 people who had been at least mentioned. Now there are 29 people on the list. 32 people are no longer involved in the hunt.

There are now two mayors seeking the Democratic nomination for president.

Pete Buttigieg, age 37, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana first ran for Treasurer of the state of Indiana and lost badly. He was then elected mayor of South Bend in 2011 with 74% of the vote and re-elected in 2015 with 80% of the vote. South Bend is a town of 102,245 people and best known as the home of Notre Dame University.

In an appearance on Meet the Press on Sunday, April 7th Buttigieg said, “I would stack up my experience against anybody, I know it’s not as traditional, I know I haven’t been marinating in Washington here for a very long time and I’m not part of the same establishment. But I would argue that being a mayor of a city of any size means you have to deal with the kinds of issues that really hit Americans…I think you can see pretty clearly, I’m about as different from this president as you get.

“Here you have this moment, probably the only moment in American history, where it just might make sense for somebody my age, coming from experience in the industrial Midwest, non-federal, different background, bringing something that will actually help Americans.”

The second mayor running is Wayne Messan, age 42, the Mayor of Miramar, Florida. Miramar is the 13th largest city in Florida, population 140,328 people.

Messan was first elected Mayor in 2015. He won having received 2,756 votes, 38.5% of the votes cast. He was re-elected in 2019 getting 5,847 votes, 86.05% of the votes cast.

WW asked a number of folks, who either live in Florida or are regular visitors whether they had heard of Miramar or the mayor. The two people who live in Florida had heard of Miramar but had not heard of the mayor. Of another dozen or so who are regular visitors, none had heard of the town let alone the mayor.

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
Wayne Messam (D) – Mayor of Miramar, Florida – Age 44
Beto O’Rourke – former U.S. Representative – Age 46
Tim Ryan (D) – U.S. Representative – Age 45
Bernie Sanders (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 77
Eric Swalwell (D) – U.S. Representative – 39
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
Howard Schultz – Founder & Exec. Chairman, Starbucks – Age 65 (May run as an Independent)


Steve Bullock (D) – Governor of Montana – Age 52
Terry McAuliffe (D) – former Governor of Virginia – Age 62 (May be getting closer to joining the race)
Stacy Abrams – former candidate for Governor of Georgia – Age 45
Mark Warner (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 64
Michael Bennet (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 54 (Diagnosed with prostate cancer. Surgery expected in April. Expects to run following surgery if all goes well.)
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
Seth Moulton – U.S. Representative – Age 40

There are various actions used to describe each candidate’s entry into the 2020 presidential race for the Democratic nomination; starting an exploratory committee, filing a campaign committee with the Federal Election Commission, and becoming publicly active in ways that garner media attention in the media without spending much money. Harry Enten of CNN uses the term “entered the race” which WW is adopting. The following chart is based on the surveys of Morning Consult.

  Entered the race Morning Consult 2/17 Morning Consult 3/17 Morning Consult 3/31
Cory Booker 1/1/19 5 4 4
Julian Castro 12/12/18 1 1 1
Pete Buttigieg 1/23/19 0 1 3
John Delaney 7/28/19 0 1 1
Tulsi Gabbard 1/11/19 1 1 1
Kirsten Gillibrand 1/15/19 1 1 1
Kamala Harris 1/21/19 11 8 8
John Hickenlooper 3/4/19 1 1 1
Jay Inslee 3/1/19 0 1 1
Amy Klobuchar 2/10/19 4 3 2
Wayne Messam 3/13/19 x x x
Beto O’Rourke 3/14/19 7 8 8
Bernie Sanders 2/19/19 21 27 25
Elizabeth Warren 12/31/19 7 7 7
Marianne Williamson 11/15/18 x x x
Andrew Yang 11/6/17 x x x
Joe Biden Not yet in 30 28 33

1st Quarter 2019 Fundraising – Reports due by 4/15/19

The following is based on press reports of fundraising as announced by candidates.

  $ raised # of contributions  
Buttigieg 7,000,000 158,000 raised in 68 days
Harris 12,000,000 218,000 raised in 70 days
O’Rourke 9,400,000 xx raised in 18 days
Sanders 18,200,000
+12,000,000 transferred from previous accounts
900,000 raised in 41 days
Booker 5,000,000
+1,500,000 transferred from previous accounts
xx raised in 59 days
Warren 6,000,000
10,000,000 transferred from previous accounts
213,000 raised in 91 days
Klobuchar 5,200,000
+3,000,000 transferred from previous accouts
11 raised in 50 days
Yang 1,700,000 80,000  

The Democratic nominating convention is scheduled for July 13-16, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Joe Solmonese, has been named to manage the convention.

Democratic Debates of the 2020 Nomination Season

1st Debate – June 26 & 27, Miami, Florida
2nd Debate – July 30 & 31, Detroit, Michigan

Republican Primary


Donald Trump – President – Age 72

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.