After Elizabeth Warren announced her exploratory committee, many other Democrats followed suit. Although having multiple powerhouse candidates may be detrimental in the long run, having multiple options initially allows the candidates to see where they lack and how they can improve their policy to be more inclusive to the voters. Many campaigns and exploratory committees are being launched, but here are a few of the most prominent names in the running.
1. Kamala Harris
On January 21, Harris announced that she was running for president. Harris is a California lawmaker and prosecutor. If she is able to secure the nomination, she would become the first African-American woman to be a major party candidate. Harris is progressive in her policies and represents the opinions of many young voters. She will definitely be a contender due to her commanding presence.
2. Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar is a senator for Minnesota whose name does not really ring a bell to many. Klobuchar announced that she was running for president on February 10. Klobuchar is known for bridging the gap between the polarized parties, which is something we need for progress to be made in DC. She champions a homegrown campaign, which might not be helpful due to the lack of name recognition.
3. Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand went another route and announced her candidacy on "The Late Show" with Stephen Colbert. Gillibrand is a New York lawmaker and promotes the sentiment that women are the future. Her brand resonates with younger female voters, but name recognition is also an issue for her.
4. Julian Castro
Castro is a former cabinet member of Obama for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Castro's opinions seem to be similar to Obama's platform, which isn't surprising since they worked together. Castro will definitely appeal to those who miss the former president. Being the grandson of a Mexican immigrant, he fights for the immigration policies that plague the nation. I can definitely see him as a major contender.
5. Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard is a representative from Hawaii who serves on the House Armed Services Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee. She announced her candidacy on February 2nd, which seemed to be unplanned. Although there is controversy surrounding her support for foreign groups, I feel that she can make a substantial impact on the elections. However, I feel that she won't make it past the primaries due to the other candidates being more well known.
6. Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg is the mayor of South Bend, Indiana and announced his candidacy late January. Many people don't look at him as a serious candidate due to his lack of experience at a national level. I personally believe that he pales in comparison to the other candidates and will not make it far.
7. Cory Booker
As a New Jersey native, Booker's candidacy was a pleasant surprise for me. Booker is a senator for New Jersey and has a good reputation amongst the younger demographic. However, if I had to pick between him and Castro, I would pick Castro due to his experience in the White House. Booker's opinions follow most democratic opinions.
As said before, this list does not encompass all the current possible candidates. 2020 is closer than we think it is and we really need to make educated votes when it comes to the matter of the presidency.