Less than nine months out from the 2020 United States presidential election, the pool of Democratic candidates vying for their party’s nomination continues to shrink.
There are now only nine candidates in the race, down from more than 25 earlier this year. The field is likely to continue to shrink as leading candidates pull away in the polls and as the race heats up.
So far, the Democrats have held eight debates.
On Tuesday, candidates faced off in the first primary of the 2020 cycle. The New Hampshire primary came on the heels of a chaotic Iowa caucus in which no candidate has been declared the outright winner. Senator Bernie Sanders and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg – the two leading candidates – called for a recanvass of the results.
In New Hampshire, however, Sanders declared victory after narrowly edging out Buttigieg.
As the field narrows, here is a look at the current 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls.
Joe Biden, 77
Joe Biden served as vice president under former President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017 after nearly four decades serving as a senator from Delaware.
Biden is the most experienced politician in the race and among the oldest at 77. This will be his third presidential run. His first White House bid in 1987 ended after a plagiarism scandal.
In a video announcement of his candidacy posted on Twitter on April 25, Biden focused on the 2017 deadly clash between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. Biden noted US President Donald Trump’s comments that there were some “very fine people” on both sides of the violent encounter, which left one woman dead.
“We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,” Biden said. “If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation – who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen.”
Last year, Biden struggled to respond to comments from Lucy Flores, a 2014 lieutenant governor nominee in Nevada, who said he made her uncomfortable by touching her shoulders and kissing the back of her head before a campaign event. Several other women have made similar claims.
In a video, Biden pledged to be “more mindful” of respecting “personal space”, but Flores told Fox News this week that the former senator’s jokes on the matter have been “so incredibly disrespectful”.
The incident is just a glimpse of the harsh vetting from both Democrats and Republicans expected for Biden, who has run for president twice before but never from such a strong political starting position.