More than 460 candidates have registered with the Federal Election Commission to run for President in the upcoming 2020 election — and those numbers are expected to keep on climbing.
Elections can sometimes be unpredictable, but Paul Light, professor of Public Service at NYU and expert on elections and voter trends has made some predictions on how the upcoming election might look based on recent surveys.
Based on his research, Light said two-thirds of Americans favor major government reform and think candidates spend too much money. He divided these candidates into two key groups: the “dismantlers” and the “rebuilders.”
“Dismantlers” want a major reform and a smaller government with fewer services. The “dismantlers” have often been Trump supporters, but that number has declined from 43% to around 30% over the last few years as Trump failed to deliver any “dismantling” and debts continued to climb, Light said.
“Rebuilders” also want major reform, but favor a bigger government. These are typically Democrats, he added.
Light predicts a successful candidate would be a person that focuses on “a government that works better and costs less.” This could be someone like former President Jimmy Carter, who had the slogan “a government as good as its people” and focused on health care reform, reorganization and job training, Light said — but he does not yet see a Democratic candidate who meets that criteria.
“I have no clue how this is gonna sort out,” Light said.
Here is a look at some of the candidates that could be key players in the upcoming election.
President Trump announced in early 2017 he would seek reelection. Last week, it was announced GOP officials were considering draft resolutions to back Trump’s reelection in the 2020 election. Despite declining numbers from supporters since his presidency began nearly two years ago, Trump is confident in his run and could potentially be the lead Republican nominee in 2020.
Democratic Rep. and Hawaii native Tulsi Gabbard, 37, was the first Hindu member of the U.S. Congress and was also one of the first two female combat veterans elected to Congress. At 21, Gabbard was the youngest person from Hawaii elected to Senate. She served Hawaii’s Army National Guard, and between tours in the Middle East, worked as a legislate aide to Sen. Daniel Akaka. She was elected to Honolulu’s City Council in 2012 and two years later was elected to the House of Representatives. Gabbard has now served four terms and recently announced on a taping with CNN that she will run for presidency. Following her announcement, she apologized for past anti-LGBT statements, saying “my views have changed significantly.”
New Jersey native John K. Delaney, 55, is a former businessman-turned-politician. Delaney launched two of his own companies and was the youngest CEO on the New York Stock Exchange at one time with his first company. In 2012, he was elected as a Democratic representative for the House of Representatives for Maryland’s 6th district. In 2017, he announced he would not seek reelection and became the first candidate to challenge Trump and announce his run for presidency.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced Tuesday she was running for president on the Stephen Colbert show. Before working in politics, Gillibrand was a lawyer and served in the the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in D.C. She has served as a U.S. Senator since she won her first election to Congress in 2006, and currently serves as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Julian Castro, 44, would be the first Latino president of the U.S. if elected in 2020. The grandson of a Mexican immigrant, Castro grew up in San Antonio. He later served as mayor in his hometown, and was a Housing and Urban Development Secretary during the Obama administration. Last week, he called himself “the antidote to Donald Trump” when he announced his run for presidency.
Army veteran Richard Ojeda II was born in Minnesota, but was raised in West Virginia. He served in the military for 24 years until he retired in 2013. Beginning in 2016, Ojeda was West Virginia’s 7th District Senator for three years until he announced his resignation on Jan. 10 with plans to run for president in the upcoming election.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren has not officially announced her run for president, but in early January announced an exploratory committee in hopes of deciding soon. The Oklahoma native worked as a teacher and law professor before she was first elected senator in Massachusetts in 2012.
Sherrod Brown, 66, launched a tour Wednesday of three states that are key early primary voters — and he may announce an official run for presidency soon. Brown has represented Ohio as a U.S. senator since 2007. Prior to entering politics, Brown taught at public schools and Ohio State University. He was a Representative for Ohio’s 13th District, Secretary of State and a member of Ohio’s General Assembly. He is currently the Ranking member for the Senate Banking Committee.