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The RS Politics 2020 Democratic Primary Leaderboard

Ranking a crowded field as two dozen contenders jockey to confront Trump

Joe Biden has surged to the front of the 2020 Democratic field on the strength of support from voters over 50.

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Joe Biden is cementing his frontrunner status.

At his official launch speech in Philadelphia on May 18th, Biden showcased his skills on the stump, and trained his fire at Trump and the threat the president poses to our republic: “We have to remember who we are, what we stand for, what we believe,” Biden said. “And every day, we’re reminded, there’s nothing guaranteed about our democracy. We have to fight for it. We have to defend it. We have to earn it.”

The secret behind Biden’s eye-popping poll numbers? Old people. Touting his record governing with President Barack Obama, the 76-year-old is cornering the market on voters of a certain age — nearly half of Democrats over 50 back him, according to a recent CNN poll — and particularly older voters of color.

Despite our misgivings about his record (on the War on Drugs, the Anita Hill hearings, student debt, school busing, etc.) and his fondness for Dick Cheney, Biden has shot to the top of our rankings. If the Democratic primaries and caucuses were held tomorrow, Biden would be the nominee.

Biden’s big launch has stolen thunder from Bernie Sanders (who drops to second), and from Kamala Harris (who falls to fourth). But the former Delaware senator now has a front-runner’s target on his back, and that’s good news for his longtime sparring partner Elizabeth Warren — who has been calling out Biden’s support for banking interests for decades. Warren stands firm at third.

The Rolling Stone leaderboard is now tracking two dozen presidential hopefuls. Some of them — including the latest entrant, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who starts his campaign at the bottom of our list— may have a hard time surviving the summer. The Democratic National Committee has mercifully capped the field for the first round of debates at 20 candidates.

1) Joe Biden

Website: JoeBiden.com
Lord knows Biden has baggage, but so far it’s not weighing him down. The former Vice President offers America a seductive promise a reset from the Trump catastrophe. And rather than risk falling in love with a progressive New Hope, many rank-and-file Democrats, particularly older voters, seem more than happy to fall in line behind Biden. At his Philadelphia kickoff rally, Biden declared: “I’m running to offer our country, Democrats, Republicans, and independents, a different path. Not back to a path that never was, but to a future that fulfills our true potential as a country.” Taking a dig at those who question his nostalgia for bipartisanship, Biden insisted, “I know how to make government work.”
Signature Policy: Biden has peerless foreign policy credentials and isn’t afraid to tout them: “I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president,” he’s said. “I know as much about American foreign policy [as] anyone around, including even maybe Kissinger.”
Signature Apology: “I’m sorry I didn’t understand more,” Biden told reporters after being rebuked by multiple women for his space-invader style of politics. “I’m not sorry for any of my intentions. I’m not sorry for anything that I have ever done. I have never been disrespectful intentionally to a man or a woman. So that’s not the reputation I’ve had since I was in high school, for God’s sakes.”

2) Bernie Sanders

Website: BernieSanders.com
Sanders remains a force thanks to a potent combination of people-power and cash. His campaign raised $18 million from more than 500,000 donors in the opening months. And the campaign’s focus on grassroots organizing is peerless in the 2020 field. The Democratic Socialist does not have the left lane to himself anymore — many candidates have embraced his once-distinctive proposals. But Sanders is seen as an uncompromising champion of policies like Medicare for All. The 77-year-old has made appealing changes for 2020: He has jettisoned his consultants and put people of color at the fore of his campaign. And he finally released his tax returns — revealing Bernie’s rise to the one percent (awkward!).
Signature Policy: Sanders’ 2016 campaign set the table for 2020. He gets full credit for mainstreaming a $15 minimum wage and tuition-free college. Sanders recently introduced the “For the 99.8% Act” that would sharply increase the estate tax, including imposing a 77 percent tax on estates in excess of $1 billion, raising an estimated $315 billion over a decade.
Signature Apology: Sanders apologized to former female staffers for a 2016 campaign marred by pay disparities and allegations of sexual harassment by male staffers, promising to “do better” moving forward.

3) Elizabeth Warren

Website: ElizabethWarren.com
Warren continues to outpace her competitors on policy, most recently calling to wipe out student debt for tens of millions of Americans — and even putting out a calculator for voters to see how much they would save. The Massachusetts senator is targeting Democrats who seek progressive purity from their 2020 champion. (She recently rejected a town hall invitation from Fox News, calling the network “a hate-for-profit racket… designed to turn us against each other.”) But unlike Democratic Socialist Sanders, the 69-year-old Warren is a capitalist at heart, having spent a career trying to make the system work for working people. Prior to becoming a senator, Warren launched the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And before that, as a law professor, she sparred with then Senator Joe Biden about the 2005 bankruptcy bill he backed, which Warren argued favored special interests. “At a time when the biggest financial institutions in this country were trying to put the squeeze on millions of hardworking families,” Warren said recently. “Joe Biden was on the side of the credit card companies.” 
Signature Policy: Warren wants to address American inequality with a wealth tax, imposed annually on “ultra-millionaires,” to pay for benefits, including universal free or low-cost childcare, for “yacht-less Americans.” Fortunes greater than $50 million would be taxed at 2 percent. Billionaires would pay 3 percent. The proposal has greater than 60 percent support and would raise $2.75 trillion over 10 years.
Signature Apology: Warren has apologized for conflating “family stories” about Cherokee heritage with native identity. “I am sorry,” Warren said, “for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted.”

4) Kamala Harris

Website: KamalaHarris.org
Harris — the 54-year-old former prosecutor — continues to show star power on the trail and in the Senate. If the way she dismantled Attorney General Bill Barr in hearings about the Mueller report is any indication, Harris will be a force on the debate stage. The Californian stands astride the tectonic plates of the Democratic Party — an establishment politician who has adopted a platform responsive to the passion of the grassroots, including a Green New Deal and marijuana legalization. Her fundraising in the first quarter reflects success in sustaining this tricky balance: Harris raised $12 million from nearly 140,000 donors. Black women are the heart of the Democratic Party, and seeing themselves reflected in the Howard University-educated Harris (born to Jamaican and Tamil Indian parents) could boost her prospects in an early-vote state like South Carolina. (For now, however, Harris is only polling in the the single digits in the Palmetto State, while Biden’s support is approaching 50 percent.)
Signature Policy: Her LIFT Act would pay out up to $500 a month for working-class families. Harris says this “tax cut” will be paid for by ending Trump’s “giveaways to big corporations and the top one percent.”
Signature Apology: Harris has accepted accountability for missteps as California’s attorney general: “The bottom line is the buck stops with me, and I take full responsibility for what my office did.”

5) Pete Buttigieg

Website: PeteForAmerica.com
The 37-year-old mayor remains the buzziest candidate in the field, vaulting from dark-horse to liberal phenom in a matter of months. Pete was recently featured in a photo-shoot in Vogue, and (with his husband Chasten) scored the cover of Time. Plainspoken and steeped in the values of the Christian left, Buttigieg has dazzled pundits and prospective voters alike — whether speaking sign language, pontificating on Ulysses or officiating last minute nuptials for two supporters expecting a baby. Is “Mayor Pete” a true contender? His fundraising suggests he’ll have staying power: Buttigieg has already raised $7 million from nearly 160,000 donors. We only wish he were as quick to understand the traumas of black America as he was to learn Norwegian. Indeed, his lack of resonance with African American voters could be his undoing. In South Carolina, Mayor Pete is polling in second among white voters at 18 percent, but gets 0 percent of the black vote.
Signature Policy: “The electoral college needs to go.”
Signature Apology: After news reports revealed that Buttigieg declared “all lives matter” in 2015, Mayor Pete distanced himself from the comment, insisting he “did not understand” at the time that the slogan was “being used to devalue what the Black Lives Matter movement was telling us.”

6) Beto O’Rourke

Website: BetoORourke.com
After firing up the nationwide political machine that helped him nearly topple Texas mega-villain Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018, O’Rourke has the cash to compete for the Democratic nomination. He’s raised $9.4 million, on the strength of 280,000 contributions. But after months of basking in the limelight like a political rock star, Beto first seemed to choke on the dust of the Buttigieg boomlet, before being eclipsed by Biden’s big debut. He’s now rebooting his young campaign. The former Texas congressman, 46, stepped up on climate policy, calling for a $1.5 trillion investment to slash greenhouse gas emissions, while pledging not to accept donations from fossil fuel interests. During a mid-May media blitz designed to reintroduce himself to America, Beto expressed regret for the Vanity Fair cover timed to his initial launch, calling it an expression of his “privilege.” He insisted that the seemingly boastful coverline, “Man, I’m just born to be in it,” was just a clumsy attempt “to say that I felt that my calling was in public service. No one is born to be president of the United States of America,” he told The View, “least of all me.”
Signature Policy: O’Rourke, until this year a representative for El Paso, has centered on immigration reform, based on “respect and dignity.”
Signature Apology: Beto was arrested for drunk-driving at 26, which he’s called a “terrible mistake.”

7) Cory Booker

Website: CoryBooker.com
The former super-mayor of Newark, Booker is running on a values-heavy message of love and unity and calling for “a revival of civic grace.” The 50-year-old has one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate, and he’s changed the conversation around federal cannabis legalization with his proposed Marijuana Justice Act. “I get angry when I see people taking just one step — legalizing marijuana — without doing anything to address past harms,” he told Rolling Stone in a recent interview. But Booker’s outward liberalism has been undercut at times by problematic connections to Wall Street, a vote that boosted Big Pharma, and his support of charter schools. He vowed to not accept corporate PAC or lobbyist donations, and announced raising more than $5 million in the opening months of his campaign.
Signature Policy: Baby bonds. Booker would target the wealth gap in America by seeding “American Opportunity Accounts” for children that would allow kids from the poorest families to enter adulthood with a nest egg of up to $46,000 to invest in education, home ownership or retirement.
Signature Apology: Booker has disavowed the tough-on-crime approach he championed in his early days as Newark mayor. In his book United, Booker credits his then-chief of staff for delivering a wake-up call on racial disparities in policing: “He told me that if I had so quickly forgotten my own life experiences, I had my head up my large black posterior region.”

8) Amy Klobuchar

Website: Amy-Klobuchar.com
The Minnesota senator launched her presidential bid in a Minneapolis blizzard in February. Klobuchar’s unruffled persona stands in contrast to Trump’s bluster and bravado, winning her plaudits from conservatives including Washington Post columnist George Will and Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins. Klobuchar, 58, raised more than $5 million in the first quarter, and will benefit from a near-home-field advantage in neighboring Iowa, which holds the first-in-the-nation caucus.
Signature Policy: Known for playing small-ball, Klobuchar has emphasized her record of enacting practical laws that have reduced the backlog of rape kits and banned lead in toys. Unwilling to promise the moon on health care or tuition breaks, Klobuchar has gone all-in on statehood for Washington, D.C., promising it would be part of her first-100-days agenda.
Signature Apology: Klobuchar has been dogged by reports she abused and demeaned staff, including by throwing a binder that “accidentally” hit a staffer in the head. The senator has admitted she has pushed employees “too hard” at times and can be a “tough boss,” but added she just wants to hold her employees — and the country — to high standards.

9) Andrew Yang

Website: Yang2020.com
The most unlikely grassroots sensation of 2020, Yang is a businessman who founded Venture for America, working to revitalize struggling urban centers by training and fostering entrepreneurs in cities like Detroit and New Orleans. Yang’s campaign announced it raised $1.7 million in the first quarter, as his campaign has become a hit among meme-warrior members of the #YangGang. His appearance on Joe Rogan’s YouTube show drew more than 2.6 million views, and some troubling new fans in the alt-right.
Signature Policy: The 44-year-old is running on a platform of a universal basic income, to counteract the worst effects of automation in the workforce. Yang spoke at length to Rolling Stone about his “Freedom Dividend,” insisting: “You want to universalize it so it’s seen as a true right of citizenship.”

10) Julián Castro

Website: JulianForTheFuture.com
The former Housing and Urban Development secretary — and a short-lister for Hillary’s 2016 veep — announced his 2020 candidacy in San Antonio in January. The only Latino contender in the field, Castro, 44, is one of the youngest. He was the first Democrat to visit Puerto Rico as a candidate, and has committed to visit all 50 states during the primaries. Castro recently unveiled a major immigration plan that would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and treat entry into the U.S. not as criminal violation but a civil one. He appears to have qualified for a podium on the debate stage under the party’s two-track metrics of poll numbers and grassroots donor support.
Signature Policy: At his campaign launch, Castro promised universal pre-K, i.e. public education for four-year-olds: “As president, I’ll make pre-K for the U.S.A. happen!’
Signature Apology: In 2016, Castro apologized for dissing Trump and talking up Clinton while on the job as HUD secretary, a violation of the Hatch Act. “When an error is made — even an inadvertent one — the error should be acknowledged,” Castro said. “I made one here.”

11) Tulsi Gabbard

Website: Tulsi2020.com
An Iraq war vet, 37, Gabbard is the first Hindu to serve in the House of Representatives. Gabbard has introduced a bipartisan bill with Rep. Don Young (R-AK) to legalize marijuana, and she has begun to register in the low single digits in some 2020 polls and looks like a lock for the debate stage. Gabbard also continues to ruffle feathers within her own party. After Attorney General William Barr released his controversial, four-page summary of the Mueller report, Gabbard said that it was time to “put aside partisan interests” and “move forward.” The Hawaiian congresswoman was recently praised as the “by far the very, very best” of the Democratic field by Ron Paul, the former Republican gadfly presidential candidate.
Signature Policy: Appealing to dovish Democrats, Gabbard has staked her campaign in opposition to wars of regime change. But her foreign policy credentials are worrying: She visited Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in 2017 on a secret “fact-finding” mission and dismissed his opposition — across the board — as terrorists. (Gabbard’s rollout also received an unsettling signal boost from Kremlin-backed English language media networks, RT and Sputnik.)
Signature Apology: Into adulthood, Gabbard espoused virulently anti-LGBTQ views. She released an apology video saying, “In my past, I said and believed things that were wrong.”

12) Jay Inslee

Website: JayInslee.com
Inslee launched his campaign on March 1st at a Seattle solar-energy factory, vowing to be the first climate president. “This has to be the number-one priority of the United States,” he told Rolling Stone. “I think too many other candidates are going to say, ‘I’m for the Green New Deal, and now I’m done.’ That just doesn’t cut it.” In mid-May, Inslee unveiled his Evergreen Economy Plan, which calls for $3 trillion in federal spending to “defeat climate change” and create 8 million jobs. The 68-year-old Washington governor also has a broader record to tout: He’s presided over a roaring economy that’s allowed him to invest in infrastructure and slash college tuition. Despite his résumé, however, Inslee could be in danger of missing the debate cutoff is he doesn’t broaden his donor base.
Signature Policy: Fighting climate change. Inslee’s track record includes creating a $120 million clean-energy fund, directing his state government to set new caps on emissions (now being challenged in court) and launching the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan group of 22 governors implementing the Paris climate accord.

13) Kirsten Gillibrand

Website: 2020.KirstenGillibrand.com
Gillibrand has framed 2020 as a contest between bravery and fear, and herself as the Democrats’ own Fearless Girl™ (complete with Wall Street funding). An attempt to bait the president by holding her kickoff outside Trump Tower didn’t pay off. But Gillibrand is distinguishing herself as the first candidate to speak up when it comes to the issues most important to women. Gillibrand has called for codifying Roe, and repealing the Hyde Amendment, promised to appoint only pro-choice judges and to protect women’s health care. Like Inslee, Gillibrand has not yet built a grassroots donor base that will assure her of a spot on the debate stage.
Signature Policy: Gillibrand is a champion of the #MeToo movement, calling out former president Bill Clinton and pushing for Al Franken to resign from the Senate. Weighing in on the Biden controversy, Gillibrand said of his accusers: “These individuals feel demeaned, and that’s not OK.” She added: “It’s an issue he’s going to have to address directly with voters.”
Signature Apology: Gillibrand began her 2020 bid with frank apologies for her anti-immigrant past as a Blue Dog Democrat representing Upstate New York: “I was callous to the suffering of families who want to be with their loved ones,” she told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. “Looking back, I just really regretted that I didn’t look beyond my district.”

14) Steve Bullock

Website: SteveBullock.com
The Montana governor with a Deadwood-worthy name could be a 2020 dark horse. He entered the race in May and his experience stands out. He won statewide office in a state Trump carried by 20 points — and then got a GOP-majority legislature to agree to expand Medicaid. 
Signature Policy: The 52-year-old has focused on ending the influence of unlimited political contributions and dark money. “If we wanna address all the other big issues,” he said in a stump speech in Iowa, “you’re not gonna be able to do it unless you also address the way money is affecting our system.”
Signature Apology: A former Bullock aide, fired for sexual harassment, went on to harass again in the office of the mayor of New York City. “I should have done more to ensure future employers would learn of his behavior,” Bullock wrote in February. “These realizations come too late for the two women in New York City. For that, I’m deeply sorry.”

15) Stacey Abrams

Website: FairFightAction.com
After ruling out a 2020 senate bid, Abrams is taking her time to weigh a run for president. She approaches the subject with disarming honesty: “I don’t know whether this is the moment for me,” she told Rolling Stone‘s Jamil Smith in March. Abrams is the only undeclared candidate on our list. She would likely rank in the top ten if she officially joined the fray, but her holding pattern positions her in our second tier for now. Abrams has said she feels a responsibility, as a black woman expanding the scope of “where we get to stand,” to give a White House bid true consideration, and that regional representation matters: “I’m Southern. I want people to think about folks from the South, especially black women in the South, being part of this national narrative.”
Signature Policy: Abrams has dedicated her post-election life to registering voters and educating them about their rights. Her newly launched Fair Fight Action has battled Georgia’s efforts to purchase voting machines that critics believe will be more vulnerable to hackers.
Signature (Non)Apology:
Abrams burned Georgia’s state flag, which then incorporated the Confederate battle flag, at a protest in 1992. She’s not sorry.

16) Tim Ryan

Website: TimRyanForAmerica.com
A nine-term congressman, Ryan represents post-industrial Youngstown, Ohio, and wants Democrats to compete for the disaffected voters who turned to Trump in 2016. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Ryan, 45, lamented that Democrats had “not done anywhere close to what we need to do for rural America. I think we need an absolute, aggressive campaign in rural America, because I think we can win those voters back.” Ryan has begun to register in national polls. But his campaign to deny Nancy Pelosi the Speaker’s gavel in 2018 speaks against his political instincts, and some Democratic primary voters won’t easily forgive him for it.
Signature Policy: The centerpiece of Ryan’s candidacy is a long-term industrial strategy to make the U.S. competitive with China in industries like automotive, solar, wind and clean manufacturing.

17) John Delaney

Website: JohnKDelaney.com
The former Maryland Congressman, 55, has been running for president since July 2017. Delaney preaches a relentlessly bipartisan message of national unity. One thing that won’t slow him down is funding: Delaney is worth close to $100 million. An entrepreneur in high finance, he launched two companies that trade on the New York Stock Exchange. Not surprisingly then, Delaney is a capitalist. “The primary is going to be a choice between socialism and a more just form of capitalism,” he said in late-February. “I believe in capitalism, the free markets and the private economy.” Delaney detailed his vision for America in a March interview with Rolling Stone.
Signature Policy: Delaney is promoting a national youth service program to bring the country together.

18) John Hickenlooper

Website: Hickenlooper.com
Colorado’s former governor, 67, left office in January having created 400,000 jobs over two terms, with unemployment dropping below 3 percent in 2018. The state currently boasts the number-one economy in the nation, thanks in part to a fracking boom, and Hickenlooper markets himself as a centrist who can bring opposing interests to the table. “I am who I am,” Hickenlooper recently told Rolling Stone. “True to that north star.” Despite a tepid media response to his March 4th announcement, his bridge-building approach seems to be resonating with donors: Hickenlooper’s campaign says it raised over $1 million within 48 hours of his candidacy declaration.
Signature Policy: In the wake of the 2012 Aurora theater shooting that left 12 dead and dozens injured, Hickenlooper’s state government passed background checks and magazine capacity limits.
Signature Apology: In 2014, Hickenlooper apologized to local sheriffs for not consulting them before pushing a gun-control measure, but didn’t take well to being pressed further on the issue by one officer at a public forum. “How many apologies do you want? What the fuck?,” the governor said. “I apologize!”

19) Eric Swalwell

Website: EricSwalwell.com
The California congressman, 38, is a member of House leadership and the House Intelligence Committee, and has a knack for keeping himself in the news. After months of flirtation with a run, Swalwell officially launched his presidential bid in an April 8th appearance on The Late Show with Sephen Colbert.
Signature Policy: Swalwell is centering his early campaign on gun control and taking the fight to the NRA: “I’m the only candidate calling for a mandatory national ban and buyback of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons.”
Signature Apology:
After a newspaper unearthed a high school yearbook headshot of the future congressman sporting a frosted buzz cut, Swalwell tweeted: “All of us make bad decisions in high school. Sometimes those decisions involve bleach.”

20) Seth Moulton

Website: SethMoulton.com
Another leader of the failed Pelosi putsch, Moulton represents a district north of Boston anchored by Salem, famous for its witch trials. Moulton, 40, is a former Marine captain who served four tours in Iraq, later receiving dual degrees in business and public policy from Harvard. He declared his candidacy on April 22nd: “I’m running because I’m a patriot, because I believe in this country and because I’ve never wanted to sit on the sidelines when it comes to serving it.” 
Signature Policy: “Democrats should be the party of national defense,” Moulton has told Rolling Stone. “We have a commander in chief who is reckless. We need a smart, strong national security strategy,” he said. “We do that by having credible voices in the party who can speak on matters of national security because they’ve been out there on the ground themselves.”

21) Michael Bennet

Website: MichaelBennet.com
The 54-year-old senator, who put his presidential launch on hold for prostate cancer surgery, announced his bid officially on May 2nd, calling for a return to integrity in government and a revival of American economic mobility. A former chief of staff to then-Denver mayor Hickenlooper, Bennet positions himself as “pragmatic idealist” and has been calling for Democrats to temper ideas like packing the Supreme Court. He has been lauded by “Morning” Joe Scarborough for combining “an Ivy League pedigree” with “a common touch” and for his “commitment to key centrist fiscal policies.”
Signature Policy: Medicare X. With Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bennet is proposing legislation to create, and slowly roll out, a public option for the Obamacare state marketplaces, with the same doctor and hospital networks as Medicare, and similar reimbursement rates. (Bennet has called Medicare-for-All, which would disrupt existing health care plans for millions, “bad opening offer.”)

22) Marianne Williamson

Website: Marianne2020.com
Oprah Winfrey may sit out the 2020 fracas, but one of her favorite self-help gurus jumped in feet first in late-January, arguing that the United States is in dire need of a “moral and spiritual awakening.” Williamson, 66, has limited political experience: She finished fourth in a congressional primary in California in 2014. But she says she’s pursuing the presidency on a track record of helping transform “moral dysfunction.”
Signature Policy: Called for $100 billion in reparations for black people, distributed over 10 years. (Scholars have estimated a fair value for reparations at between $6 and $14 trillion.)
Signature Apology: In her Prayer of Apology to African Americans, the bestselling author apologizes for slavery, lynchings, white supremacist laws, the denial of voting rights, the denial of civil rights, unequal treatment of Black Americans in the criminal justice system, police brutality, economic injustice and more, asking God for forgiveness. “May the screams that were not allowed, be allowed now./May the cries that were never heard be heard now./May the tears that were never heard be heard now./And may the healing begin./In this sacred container, may the healing begin./May the Light of love now heal us all./Amen.”

23) Wayne Messam

Website: WayneForAmerica.com
The mayor of fast-growing Miramar, Florida, Messam has a low national profile. But the 44-year-old was recently elected to a third term in the Miami suburb (with more residents than South Bend, Indiana) and the former football standout has set his sights on Washington. His cash-strapped campaign reportedly missed payroll in April and lost key staff. But Messam is not totally dead in the water, recently stumping in Iowa.
Signature Policy: Messam has called for statehood for Puerto Rico, and was the first Democrat to call for cancelling all student debt. “It’s interesting to see other candidates now beginning to start to put out a proposal,” Messam said in West Des Moines, referencing Warren’s debt-relief plan.

24) Bill de Blasio

Website: BilldeBlasio.com
The mayor of New York since 2014, de Blasio announced his 2020 campaign on May 16th. But if hizzoner has got his sights set on Washington, de Blasio has got problems closer to home. His approval rating in New York is hovering in the low-40s and unlikely to improve following a failed attempt to bring an Amazon campus to Queens. A Quinnipiac poll released in early April found that 76 percent of New York City voters don’t think he should run for the White House.
Signature Policy: Implemented universal pre-K in New York City.
Signature Apology: In November, de Blasio apologized for botching a memorial service for the victims of a 2017 terrorist attack on Manhattan’s West Side Highway. Not only was the ceremony hastily organized, the names of the victims were not mentioned. “It was not handled right,” de Blasio said.

Love our rankings? Disagree with a passion? Tell us what we got right — or wrong — on Twitter: @RSPolitics. This leaderboard is updated regularly.

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