California Senator Kamala Harris launched her candidacy for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination on Monday. Harris, who is the 2nd* African American Senator in U.S. history, made the announcement Monday on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Before joining the Senate, Harris was her state's first female Attorney General.
Harris becomes the 5th Democrat to formally announce a 2020 run. Two of her Senate colleagues, Elizabeth Warren (MA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) have created exploratory committees, which basically means they are running but are saving the 'formal' launch for a later date.
* Carol Moseley-Braun was the first, elected as U.S. Senator from Illinois in 1992.
The Map Color Palette, which was added to the congressional and gubernatorial interactive maps in 2018, is now available on the 2020 Electoral Map. The palette is located to the right of the electoral map, and includes options for tilt Democratic, tilt Republican and 3rd party.
Changing State(s) on the Map
Use -/+ buttons in the color palette area to display the ratings options you want to use. This can be changed at any time. As before, you can click a state repeatedly to change its rating. What's new here is that the rotation will only cycle through the ratings visible in the palette. So, if you only want to do a safe/toss-up map, there's no longer a need to cycle through all the other colors.
Alternately, select a single rating in the palette by clicking or tapping it. A small check mark will appear. This is now the active color. Any states you change will switch to that rating. To change the active color, just select a different one. You can return to 'rotation mode' by clicking the active color again (the check mark will disappear).
A single rating is available for a 3rd party candidate. To use the 3rd party color, click or tap the 3P box in the color palette. A check mark will replace 3P, and it will function as any other rating, as described in the preceding paragraph. 3rd party is only available this way, it will not appear if you are rotating through the colors on a state.
For those that want more precision in their forecast, we've added the tilt rating. Tilt sits between 'Leans' and 'Tossup'. In our 2016 Very Close map, all states decided by 5% or less are shown as tossup. In the image below, we've assigned those states to the winning 2016 candidate using the tilt rating. Therefore, in the aggregate, the map reflects Trump's 306-232 win*. Click the image for an interactive version.
For the new features, all the references to 'state' in this article also apply to the split districts capability in Maine and Nebraska.
* Trump and Clinton won states (and congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska) yielding this total. There were seven faithless electors in the 2016 presidential election. History will therefore record the 2016 electoral vote as 304-227 for Trump. As the occurrence of faithless electors is essentially random - if they occur at all - we ignore them in all our 2020 forecast maps.
GOP Rep. Tom Marino (PA-12) is resigning from Congress to take a job in the private sector. The departure is effective on January 23rd. Marino easily won a fifth term in November. He is resigning just two weeks after the 116th Congress was seated.
Marino was nominated in 2017 by President Trump to be his drug czar. However, he withdrew later that year after a report by The Washington Post and 60 Minutes that detailed how he helped pass a law making opioids more easily available.
Marino introduced a constitutional amendment just last week to change House terms from two to four years. The press release from his office quoted him as follows: "As I’ve committed to since first coming to Congress, I will serve 12 years and then let new blood and ideas take the reins." Marino has served eight years, he is leaving just weeks after indicating he would serve four more. The private sector opportunity must have arisen quickly.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf will call a special election to fill Marino's seat. This is a very conservative district, and the seat will likely remain under Republican control.
Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi will each elect a governor in 2019. About 10 months out, all three races look to be at least somewhat competitive*. 11 more states will follow in 2020. The 2020 races include New Hampshire and Vermont, the only two states where governors serve a two-year term. At least three of the 14 governors will be leaving. Phil Bryant (R-MS) and Steve Bullock (D-MT) cannot run due to term limits. In Utah, the country's longest-serving governor, Gary Herbert (R) is retiring.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is forming a presidential exploratory committee, she announced Tuesday during a taping of "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert." This is a step short of an official announcement, although she did let the obvious slip by telling Stephen that "I'm going to run for president of the United States" (see video at 00:47).
As expected, Julian Castro launched his 2020 presidential campaign Saturday morning in San Antonio. Castro previously served as mayor of that Texas city, departing in 2014 when confirmed as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro served in that role until in the end of Barack Obama's presidency in January, 2017.
Castro is the fourth Democrat to formally declare for 2020. He joins former U.S. Rep. from Maryland, John Delaney, West Virginia State Sen. Richard Ojeda and U.S. Rep Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. These four will be joined by many others over the next couple of months. These include Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who announced an exploratory committee On December 31st. She is very likely to formally join the race in the near future. Another Senator, Kamala Harris of California is reportedly looking to make an announcement over the long weekend that includes Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Cook Political Report is out with their first look at the 2020 electoral map. Click or tap it to create your own 2020 presidential election forecast.
Seems to be a reasonable baseline map based on 2016 and the midterms, but the political environment could be completely different by 2020 - if not sooner. We do note the toss-up states of Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These were previously 'blue wall' states that Donald Trump flipped in 2016 on his way to victory. The margin in each of those states was under 1%. If the 2020 election is competitive, those states - as well as Minnesota - will go a long way to determining Trump's reelection prospects.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii will seek the Democratic nomination in 2020, it was reported Friday. Gabbard will make a formal announcement within the next week.
Gabbard is in her 4th term representing Hawaii's 2nd congressional district. If her presidential bid is successful, she will be the youngest president in U.S. history -- 39 years old on Inauguration Day in 2021. The record is currently held by Teddy Roosevelt, who was 42 when he ascended from the vice-presidency in 1901 after the assassination of William McKinley. The youngest elected president was John F. Kennedy, 43 years old when inaugurated in 1961. President Trump is the oldest --- age 70 when he took the oath of office in 2017.
Meanwhile, Julian Castro, the HUD Secretary under President Obama and former Mayor of San Antonio, is expected to announce his 2020 candidacy in that city Saturday morning.
California billionaire Tom Steyer announced Wednesday that he would not seek the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. He will instead continue his impeachment activism, spending at least $40 million more during 2019 in his effort to remove President Trump from office.
There are still over two dozen names - 27 to be exact - on our list of Democrats that might run in 2020. Thus far, former Maryland U.S. Rep. John Delaney and West Virginia State Sen. Richard Ojeda are the only formally declared candidates. Ojeda announced Wednesday that he is resigning his seat to focus on the 2020 race.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren launched an exploratory committee as 2018 came to a close, and will visit New Hampshire this weekend. She is very likely to run. Julian Castro, HUD Secretary under President Obama and former mayor of San Antonio visited Iowa this week, and will be announcing his 2020 plans this Saturday.
All these names are available on the 2020 Interactive Electoral Map. Just click/tap 'Democrat' above the electoral counter and choose from the drop-down list.
Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts announced Friday that he would not seek a fifth term in 2020. The decision is not a complete surprise. At age 82, Roberts is the fifth oldest* member of the Senate. His last reelection campaign, in 2014, was difficult. He first had to fend off a Tea Party challenge to win renomination; he won that race by less than 8%. Roberts then won a surprisingly competitive general election against independent Greg Orman.
A number of names have already emerged as possible replacements. These include Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - a former member of the U.S. House from Kansas, current U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, and outgoing Gov. Jeff Colyer. Whomever emerges will likely be favored - the state has not elected a Democratic Senator since George McGill in 1932. McGill left the Senate in January, 1939 after losing reelection. The subsequent 80 year period of single-party Senate representation in Kansas is the longest such active streak in the country.
Roberts is the 3rd^ member of Congress to forego the 2020 election cycle. Fellow GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander announced his retirement last month. In the House, North Carolina Republican Rep. Walter Jones is also leaving.
*Oldest Senators by date of birth: Dianne Feinstein (D of CA is 85), Chuck Grassley (R of IA is 85), Richard Shelby (R of AL is 84), Jim Inhofe (R of OK is 84)
^In addition, Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop said back in 2017 that his 9th term - the one that began yesterday - would be his last. However, no "official" announcement has yet been made.