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The potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders to watch

Adam Wollner, McClatchy Washington Bureau on

Published in News & Features

WASHINGTON -- The 2020 race is on.

Without a clear front-runner, Democrats are bracing for the possibility of their largest presidential field in recent memory. As many as 30 contenders, ranging from former candidates to current officeholders to political outsiders, are weighing a bid for the White House. However, many Democrats believe that ultimately only about half that many candidates will officially jump in into the race against President Donald Trump.

The prospective candidates have already spent much of the last two years checking off the traditional pre-presidential race boxes: publishing books, delivering speeches, traveling to early-voting states and wooing influential activists, donors and politicians. Rep. John Delaney of Maryland even skipped the usual exploratory phase and launched his long-shot campaign outright in the summer of 2017.

"It's been overwhelming the number of potential candidates that have reached out," said Gene Martin, who chairs the Manchester, N.H., Democratic Party.

Delaney won't be alone for long. A handful of Democrats considering a run have said they will decide by the end of this year.

Here are the potential 2020 Democratic presidential contenders to watch.

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FORMER CANDIDATES

Perhaps no contender will have a more outsized impact on the shape of the field than former Vice President Joe Biden. After spending the final stretch of the midterms barnstorming for fellow Democrats, Biden has said he will decide whether to run by year's end.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, the runner-up in the last Democratic primary, appears inclined to run again, as does fellow 2016 candidate Martin O'Malley, the former Maryland governor who finished a distant third.

And John Kerry, the former secretary of state and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, has not ruled out another bid.

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