With the news that Montana Governor Steve Bullock and former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak dropped out of the presidential race this week, the Democratic primary is down to its sweet sixteen two months before the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 3.
Neither Bullock or Sestak were able to cultivate significant support in the race. Bullock made a one-time appearance on the first night of the second round of the Democratic debates held in July, and Sestak never made it close to qualifying for a podium on stage.
Prior to Bullock and Sestak’s leaving the race, nine other major candidates had already called it quits, including prominent rivals who were once seen as viable candidates likely to go the distance such as New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke.
The race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination has already developed a reputation for its turbulence, at one point including 25 candidates all vying for the party’s coronation in Milwaukee next summer with lesser-known candidates breaking into the top-tier field while other power players see dramatic drops in support.
Last month, after it seemed as if the race was permanently narrowing down, two more candidates entered the ring signaling anxieties among Democrats that none of the options currently leading the field have what it takes to capture the party’s nomination and defeat President Donald Trump next fall.
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick jumped into the contest in earlier November and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg followed soon after.
While Patrick’s plunge into the race came with little fanfare, Bloomberg’s entrance came with a resounding boom shocking the airwaves with more than $31 million in ads dropped on the week of the announcement. Bloomberg, worth an estimated $54.6 billion, according to Forbes, is the wealthiest candidate in the race, dwarfing the fortunes of Tom Steyer whose net worth clocks in at an approximate $1.6 billion by the financial magazine.
Bloomberg has previously pledged to self-fund his own presidential campaign, and has continued to dump large sums of money into paid-advertising to drum up support for his last-minute presidential campaign, spending in critical primary states past the early nominating contest as Democrats prepare for a long, competitive process past Iowa and New Hampshire.
Advertising Analytics, a firm tracking the digital ad buys of candidates throughout the 2020 cycle has reported Bloomberg is kicking off another round of advertising this week with about $15 million spent on ads, bringing the former mayor’s total spent in the race to $52 million so far.
.@MikeBloomberg has bought air time in 96 markets from 12/4-12/9. His total for that week is currently $15M, and his overall total sits at $52M, putting Bloomberg just behind @TomSteyer who has been spending since July. #Election2020
— AdImpact Politics (@AdImpact_Pol) November 27, 2019
The late entry candidates reflect a growing concern among many hoping to oust Trump in 2020 that the candidates leading the field will be unable to mount a successful campaign next year. The race’s frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden is being dragged down by the impeachment efforts exposing his family’s shady dealings with a Ukrainian energy company while Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont are worried by many as being too radical. Meanwhile, 37-year-old South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is now leading in Iowa and New Hampshire while Sanders and Warren are poised to be pulled off the campaign trail for an inevitable Democrat impeachment trial in Washington.
Here are the candidates currently remaining in the race two months away from the first votes of the 2020 election cast joined by their standing in the national polls aggregated by Real Clear Politics:
- Former Vice President Joe Biden (27 percent)
- Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (16.6 percent)
- Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (15 percent)
- South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (11.8 percent)
- California Senator Kamala Harris (4 percent)
- Tech Entrepreneur Andrew Yang (3.2 percent)
- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (2.8 percent)
- Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (2.4 percent)
- New Jersey Senator Cory Booker (2 percent)
- Billionaire Tom Steyer (1.6 percent)
- Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (1.2 percent)
- Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro (1.2 percent)
- Colorado Senator Michael Bennet (0.8 percent)
- Former Maryland Congressman John Delaney (0.5 percent)
- Self-help author Marianne Williamson (0.5 percent)
- Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (0.4 percent)