U.S. President

California 2020 Primary

The Democratic Party is expected to provide President Donald Trump with his top contender for the presidency during the 2020 general election. Pictured above, candidates Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer stand on stage at the start of the Democratic presidential primary debate in New Hampshire on Feb. 11. Yang has since suspended his campaign. Not pictured is Tulsi Gabbard, who did not qualify for the Feb. 11 debate, and Michael Bloomberg, who elected to skip the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

SAN DIEGO — The 2020 United States presidential election is less than nine months away, and California’s March 3 primary is fast approaching.

President Donald J. Trump will seek reelection as the incumbent Republican candidate. Several Democratic and third-party candidates have been campaigning for the opportunity to challenge him over the last year or longer, building their cases on why they should be selected to run against him in the fall.

The Democratic field has whittled down from more than two dozen candidates to eight who are still actively campaigning. Twenty Democratic candidates will appear on California’s primary ballot, though some on the list have already suspended their campaigns.

Meanwhile, a handful of Republican challengers are contesting Trump’s run during the primaries. Seven Republican candidates — including Trump — will appear on California’s primary ballot.

Other presidential contenders include five American Independent Party candidates, five Green Party candidates, 13 Libertarian Party candidates and two Peace and Freedom Party candidates.

These are the candidates who will be on the ballot when San Diego voters go to the polls March 3. Click on the candidates’ names for more information on their campaigns.

Democratic Party

The presidential race has been dominated thus far by debate over which Democratic candidate will rise to the top of the party’s packed field to challenge Trump in the general election.

Ten of the candidates who will appear on the March 3 ballot had already suspended their campaigns by March 1: Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, John Delaney, Deval Patrick, Joe Sestak, Tom Steyer, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.

Four lesser-known candidates will also be on California’s primary ballot: founder of True Grit Law Firm and leader of the Madam President PAC Mosie Boyd; entrepreneur and business owner Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente; businessman Michael Ellinger; and businessman and educator Mark Stewart Greenstein.

Coming out of the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, the race to the Democratic nomination has focused on these eight individuals:

Joe Biden has led a decades-long career in politics that culminated in his role as vice president during the Obama administration. Before his time in the White House, Biden served in the U.S. Senate representing Delaware from 1973 to 2009. Biden is running as a politician with a history of reaching across the aisle to secure bipartisan support on issues like civil rights and marriage equality. This is Biden’s third run for the presidency.

Michael Bloomberg is a businessman who launched the financial, software and media empire Bloomberg L.P. in the early 1980s. Just weeks after 9/11, Bloomberg was elected mayor of New York City, a position he held for 12 years. Bloomberg is running as a business-minded politician who reduced crime as mayor and guided New York City through the aftermath of both 9/11 and the 2008 financial crisis.

Tulsi Gabbard is a congresswoman representing Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district. Before she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012, she enlisted in the Hawaii Army National Guard and served two deployments in the Middle East, one each in Iraq and Kuwait. She is currently a major in the U.S. Army National Guard and has served on the Armed Services, Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs committees as a member of Congress.

Amy Klobuchar has been serving as a senator representing Minnesota since 2007. Before her time in Washington, D.C., Klobuchar worked as a prosecutor in Hennepin County, Minn. She launched her presidential campaign highlighting her ties to the midwest and is running as one of the Democratic Party’s moderate candidates. After a fifth-place finish in Iowa, Klobuchar came in third in the New Hampshire primary, giving her campaign a sudden surge leading into Super Tuesday.

Bernie Sanders launched his political career in 1981 when he was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Sanders went on to represent the state in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years and has been serving in the U.S. Senate since 2007, where he’s earned a reputation for his progressive agendas, including his Medicare for All proposal. After competing with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, Sanders launched his 2020 campaign buttressed by a devoted following that has thus far led him to a strong finish in the Iowa caucuses and a win in the New Hampshire primary.

Elizabeth Warren has served as a senator representing Massachusetts since 2013. Before launching her political career, Warren spent more than 30 years working as a law professor specializing in bankruptcy and commercial law. Following the 2008 financial crisis, she was invited to join the Congressional Oversight Panel to help supervise the government’s response. Warren has emerged as a progressive candidate who supports a wealth tax and is closely aligned with fellow progressive candidate Sanders on healthcare issues.

Republican Party

Having recently begun the fourth year of his presidential term, Donald Trump is presumed to be the Republican Party’s nominee heading into the 2020 general election. After defeating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016 in an election that surprised many Americans, Trump began his presidency with a divisive agenda that has continued to draw widespread criticism. Even so, Trump remains popular with his supporters and has retained support from the majority of Republicans in Congress due to his success filling federal judge seats, his dedication to a wide swath of conservative agendas and his aggressive stance on immigration policies. As the Democratic candidates were fine-tuning their pitches to Iowans during the January caucuses, Trump was securing his acquittal in the U.S. Senate’s impeachment trial following the House of Representatives’ move to pass two articles of impeachment late last year.

Trump officially launched his reelection bid the day he was sworn into office. Before he is confirmed as the Republican Party’s 2020 nominee, he will face these contenders on the primary ballot:

Robert Ardini is a businessman and former advertising executive who launched his political career with a run for Congress in 2016.

Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente is a businessman who ran for president in 2016 as an independent and ran for the U.S. Senate in several states in 2018.

Zoltan Istvan is an entrepreneur with a background in science and technology, two areas of study that hold significant sway over his campaign platform.

Matthew Matern is an entrepreneur and attorney who brings 30 years of courtroom experience to his campaign.

Joe Walsh served in the U.S. House of Representatives in Illinois’ 8th district from 2011-2013. After announcing his run for the presidency last August, Walsh suspended his campaign after a disappointing finish in the Iowa caucuses.

Bill Weld headed the Criminal Division of the U.S. Justice Department under President Ronald Reagan before serving two terms as governor of Massachusetts during the 1990s.

Third-Party Candidates

While the Democratic Party and Republican Party are expected to provide voters with the two main presidential candidates for the Nov. 3 general election, 25 third-party candidates will also appear on the primary ballot representing the American Independent Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party and the Peace and Freedom Party. The full list of third-party candidates is available on Calif. Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s website.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is California-Presidential-Primary-1.jpg


For more information on these races and candidates, check the links in our Voter Resources list.

Most Popular Stories

Latest News

More News