Updates from the Democratic Primary

Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota announces her presidential campaign in Minneapolis, February 11
Democratic senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota announces her presidential campaign in Minneapolis, February 11 (Lorie Shaull)
  • Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has announced a presidential bid. The three-term senator from a state Hillary Clinton nearly lost in 2016 could help win back the sort of blue-collar Midwestern voters who left the Democratic Party for Donald Trump. Although Klobuchar’s voting record is more left-wing than her image, she has notably not (yet) endorsed universal health care.
  • Elizabeth Warren has officially launched her presidential campaign with a combative speech focused on making life better for the American working class.
  • The Democratic political community is broadly and deeply pessimistic about Joe Biden‘s potential candidacy, McClatchy reports. Read more

Updates from the Democratic Primary

Former American secretary of state Hillary Clinton speaks with New Jersey senator Cory Booker in Newark, June 1, 2016
Former American secretary of state Hillary Clinton speaks with New Jersey senator Cory Booker in Newark, June 1, 2016 (Hillary for America/Barbara Kinney)
  • New Jersey senator Cory Booker, formerly a mayor of Newark, is officially running.
  • Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren have thrown their support behind Bernie Sanders’ proposal to replace private health insurance in the United States with Medicare-for-all.
  • Harris is hiring veterans of Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign.
  • Big Democratic donors aren’t writing cheques yet. Read more

Updates from the Invisible Democratic Primary

Democratic senator Kamala Harris of California listens to voters during a town hall meeting in Los Angeles, April 21, 2017
Democratic senator Kamala Harris of California listens to voters during a town hall meeting in Los Angeles, April 21, 2017 (Office of Senator Kamala Harris)

Is it really the invisible primary anymore when so many Democrats are officially running for president?

  • New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand has formed an exploratory committee.
  • California senator Kamala Harris has skipped the exploratory phase and announced she is running.
  • Former vice president Joe Biden has apologized for supporting tough-on-crime laws in the 1990s that disproportionately affected African Americans. Read more

Updates from the Invisible Democratic Primary

Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts speaks at a rally in support of Planned Parenthood in Washington DC, July 26, 2017
Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts speaks at a rally in support of Planned Parenthood in Washington DC, July 26, 2017 (American Life League)
  • Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren has formed an exploratory committee to run for president and is visiting the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
  • California senator Kamala Harris has closed her state campaign committee and is on a publicity tour for her new book.
  • Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York are planning trips to Iowa.
  • Many in the media continue to advise Joe Biden against running, most recently The Boston Globe, The Economist, Vox and WGBH.
  • Independent Vermont senator Bernie Sanders is shaking up his staff to make it less male and white. Read more

Democrats’ Invisible Primary Underway

Former American housing secretary Julián Castro speaks with a voter in Phoenix, Arizona, October 10
Former American housing secretary Julián Castro speaks with a voter in Phoenix, Arizona, October 10 (Gage Skidmore)

The “invisible primary” in America’s Democratic Party is underway.

In this phase — between the most recent congressional elections and the first official announcements — presidential hopefuls quietly court donors, party bosses, friendly journalists and affiliated interest groups.

Here are some of the latest developments: Read more

A New Generation of Democrats Is Waiting in the Wings

Democratic senator Kamala Harris of California listens to voters during a town hall meeting in Los Angeles, April 21, 2017
Democratic senator Kamala Harris of California listens to voters during a town hall meeting in Los Angeles, April 21, 2017 (Office of Senator Kamala Harris)

America’s Democratic Party looks old. Former and likely future House speaker Nancy Pelosi, former vice president Joe Biden and former presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are all in their seventies. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts senator who is expected to seek the presidency in 2020, turns seventy next year. The Democratic leader in the Senate, Chuck Schumer, is 67.

But a new generation is waiting in the wings.

As the “invisible primary” gets underway — during which presidential hopefuls test the waters with donors, fundraisers, party leaders, political operatives and sympathetic journalists — it is worth taking a look at the party’s potential future leaders. Read more

Now the Battle for the Democratic Party Begins

Voters listen to a speech by Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine in Davidson, North Carolina, October 12, 2016
Voters listen to a speech by Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine in Davidson, North Carolina, October 12, 2016 (Hillary for America/Alyssa S.)

Up until now, I think rumors of a Democratic civil war have been exaggerated. Democrats have wisely nominated center-left candidates, like Ralph Northam, in Republican-leaning territory, such as Virginia, and progressive candidates, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, in safe Democratic districts, for example in New York.

But as Democrats will need to coalesce around a single candidate for the 2020 presidential election next, the battle between the center and left could burst out into the open. Read more