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The RS Politics 2020 Democratic Primary Leaderboard

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

Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris

Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris lead the 2020 Democratic pack

Tannen Maury/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock, Elise Amendola/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Now that Joe Biden appears to be strapping in for a 2020 campaign launch and Pete Buttigieg has made it official, the top of the Democratic field is nearly set. Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams remains a wildcard — with the power to shake up our top 10 — but for the moment, we have a clear idea of who to watch in the buildup to the first primary debates, in Miami in June.

With solid funding and grassroots support, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris hold their places atop our leaderboard. But the rest of the top 10 has been reshuffled. Elizabeth Warren continues to rise, as her canny policy proposals grab headlines. South Bend mayor Buttigieg has shot up to number five, on a gusher of positive press and millions in small-dollar donations. In what should be his golden hour, Biden has tumbled, in the wake of multiple allegations by women who say his handsy approach to politics violated their personal space. Meanwhile, a groundswell of extremely online – and if his fundraising numbers are any indication, real-life — support has buoyed universal basic income proponent Andrew Yang to number nine. The #YangGang lives.

While America awaits Biden’s final decision, lesser-known politicians are claiming issues around which to build long-shot campaigns. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) is focusing on bringing jobs back to rural America. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) has launched a campaign centered on gun safety. A new addition to our list, Miramar Florida mayor Wayne Messam, is calling for Puerto Rico statehood and an end to student debt. Unfortunately for those near the bottom of our rankings — we’re looking at you, Bill de Blasio — the Democratic National Committee has capped the debate field at 20.

1) Bernie Sanders

Candidate Status: Running
Sanders holds the lead thanks to a potent combination of people-power and cash, raising $18 million from more than 500,000 donors in the opening weeks of his campaign. The Democratic Socialist does not have the left lane to himself in 2020 — many candidates have embraced his once-distinctive proposals. But Sanders is seen as an uncompromising champion of proposals 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
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” — which 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.
Previous Ranking: 1

2) Kamala Harris

Candidate Status: Running
Harris — the 54-year-old senator and former prosecutor — continues to show star power on the trail, packing houses from South Carolina to New Hampshire. 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, particularly if Stacey Abrams decides against a bid.
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.”
Previous Ranking: 2

3) Elizabeth Warren

Candidate Status: Running
Warren continues to outpace her competitors on policy, most recently laying out an affordable housing plan. The Massachusetts senator is targeting voters who seek progressive purity from their 2020 champion. 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. Before becoming a senator, Warren launched the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And in March, she unveiled a plan to use antitrust authority to break up Big Tech. Warren has raised $6 million from 135,000 donors.
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.”
Previous Ranking: 5

4) Beto O’Rourke

Candidate Status: Running
After early ambivalence about joining the 2020 field, Beto O’Rourke felt certain by mid-March he was “just born to be in it.” The former congressman, 46, cannon-balled into the Democratic primary with a Vanity Fair profile (cover portrait courtesy of Annie Leibovitz) and an Iowa road-trip intended, no doubt, to evoke his star-making 2018 run for Senate in Texas, in which he nearly toppled Texas mega-villain Sen. Ted Cruz. That campaign built a nationwide grassroots machine that Beto fired up after declaring his bid on March 14th. Undeterred by early stumbles and surprising revelations about O’Rourke’s past in an hacktivist collective, donors have responded by staking his campaign with $9.4 million, on the strength of 280,000 contributions.
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.”
Previous Ranking: 3

5) Pete Buttigieg

Candidate Status: Running
Pronounced BOOT-edge-edge, the 37-year-old mayor has an impressive resume. A Rhodes Scholar and Afghanistan veteran, he’s looking to become the first openly gay president of the United States, after officially launching his campaign in South Bend on April 14th He’s also the buzziest candidate in the field, vaulting from dark-horse to liberal phenom in a matter of weeks. Plainspoken and steeped in the values of the Christian left, Buttigieg has dazzled pundits and prospective voters alike — whether speaking Norwegian, pontificating on Ulysses or officiating last minute nuptials for two supporters expecting a baby. Is “Mayor Pete” a flash in the pan or a true contender? His fundraising suggests the latter: Buttigieg has already raised $7 million from nearly $160,000 donors.
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.”
Previous Ranking: 7

6) Joe Biden

Candidate Status: Undeclared
Biden still leads most early polls of the 2020 Democratic field, but the 76-year-old former VP seems intent on torpedoing his likely campaign before it begins. After Lucy Flores, a Democratic candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor in 2014, accused him of inappropriately kissing her head before an event, Biden issued a non-apology apology pledging to “be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space.” Later that week, however, he was back to cracking jokes about his habit of touching people in public. “I just want you to know: I had permission to hug Lonnie,” he riffed after hugging a union boss at labor convention. His recent run of form has only fed into the perception that Biden is out of the step with the politics of the moment.
Signature Policy: Biden has peerless foreign policy credentials: “I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president,” he’s said.
Signature Apology: “I’m sorry I didn’t understand more,” Biden told reporters about his recent controversy. “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.”
Previous Ranking: 4

7) Cory Booker

Candidate Status: Running
The former super-mayor of Newark, 49, still lives there when he’s not in Washington. Booker is running on a values-heavy message of love and unity and calling for “a revival of civic grace.” Booker has one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate, and he’s distinguished himself by centering his agenda on federal marijuana legalization and criminal justice reform. 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.”
Previous Ranking: 6

8) Amy Klobuchar

Candidate Status: Running
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. But she headed first to another state: “We’re starting in Wisconsin because, as you remember, there wasn’t a lot of campaigning in Wisconsin in 2016,” she said — throwing shade at the 2016 Clinton campaign. “With me, that changes.”
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, with behavior ranging from the anodyne (leaving “tardy slips” on aides’ desks) to the explosive (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.
Previous Ranking: 8

9) Andrew Yang

Candidate Status: Running
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.”
Previous Ranking: 15

10) Julián Castro

Candidate Status: Running
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 an 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. Castro has yet to amass the grassroots network or massive social media following of Sanders or Harris; his campaign has not made its fundraising numbers public.
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.”
Previous Ranking: 9

11) Kirsten Gillibrand

Candidate Status: Running
After teasing her bid on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in mid-January, the New York senator made her 2020 bid official with a week-long roll-out in March, culminating in a rally outside Trump Tower. The official kick-off gave Gillibrand a chance to reboot a campaign that had struggled to gain traction, by framing 2020 as a contest between bravery and fear. Gillibrand’s own brand is beset by contradictions. The self-described “young mom,” 52, has evolved from a conservative Blue Dog Representative to a woke liberal Senator — who has sworn off fossil-fuel funds but still curries favor with Wall Street.
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: “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.”
Previous Ranking: 10

12) Jay Inslee

Candidate Status: Running
Inslee launched his campaign on March 1st at a Seattle solar-energy factory, vowing to be the first climate president in history. “This has to be the number-one priority of the United States,” he told Rolling Stone. “Every agency has to be on board, and it has to take priority over everything else we do…. 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.” The 68-year-old Washington governor has presided over a roaring economy that’s allowed him to invest in infrastructure and slash college tuition. This year he’s called for a “public option” in the state’s health-care system and launched a Marijuana Justice Initiative to grant pardons for past misdemeanor pot offenses in a state where cannabis is now legal. Last month, Inslee’s campaign said he’d already raised more than $1 million, but polls suggest he’s largely unknown to most voters.
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.
Previous Ranking: 12

13) Tulsi Gabbard

Candidate Status: Running
An Iraq war vet, 37, Gabbard is the first Hindu to serve in the House of Representatives. She declared her 2020 bid formally in Hawaii in early February, and seems to have recovered from early staff turmoil. 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. Gabbard also continues to ruffle feathers within her own party. After Attorney General William Barr released a controversial summary of Special Counsel Mueller’s Trump/Russia conclusions, Gabbard said that it was time to “put aside partisan interests” and “move forward.”
Signature Policy: Appealing to dovish Democrats, Gabbard has staked her campaign in opposition to wars of regime change. But her foreign policy credentials are unsettling: She visited 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 odd 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.”
Previous Ranking: 19

14) Stacey Abrams

Candidate Status: Undeclared
Abrams is taking her time to weigh a potential bid, approaching 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. As a declared candidate, Abrams would likely be vying for a slot in the top five, 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 run 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.
Previous Ranking: 11

15) John Hickenlooper

Candidate Status: Running
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!”
Previous Ranking: 13

16) Steve Bullock

Candidate Status: Undeclared
The Montana governor with a Deadwood-worthy name could be a 2020 dark horse. He’s expected to enter the race in May after the state legislature wraps up its session. Bullock has the cred of winning statewide office in a state Trump carried by 20 points — and then getting a GOP-majority legislature to agree to expand Medicaid. (Bullock recently received a glowing pre-run profile in Politico.)
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.”
Previous Ranking: 14

17) John Delaney

Candidate Status: Running
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 has is promoting a national youth service program to bring the country together.
Previous Ranking: 17

18) Eric Swalwell

Candidate Status: Running
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.”
Previous Ranking: 16

19) Tim Ryan

Candidate Status: Running
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.” But Ryan’s 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.
Previous Ranking: 21

20) Seth Moulton

Candidate Status: Undeclared
Another leader of the failed Pelosi putsch, Moulton represents a district north of Boston anchored by Salem, famous for its witch trials. Mouton, 40, is a former Marine captain who served four tours in Iraq, later receiving dual degrees in business and public policy from Harvard. Moulton told reporters in February: “I’m thinking about running for president.” The next day he laid out out a foreign policy agenda at the Brookings Institute. He has vowed to make a decision “in the next few weeks.”
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.”
Previous Ranking: 20

21) Michael Bennet

Candidate Status: Undeclared
The 54-year-old senator from Colorado was ramping up presidential bid, but a prostate cancer diagnosis has put his launch on hold. (The cancer was caught early and Bennet still hopes to compete in 2020 after recovering from surgery.) 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.”)
Previous Ranking: 18

22) Wayne Messam

Candidate Status: Running
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.
Signature Policy: Messam has called for statehood for Puerto Rico, and cancelling all student debt.
Previous Ranking: Not listed

23) Terry McAuliffe

Candidate Status: Undeclared
The former Virginia governor, 61, say’s he’s “very close” to announcing a bid that would be centered on his pro-business record and success in cultivating tech firms in Northern Virginia. McAuliffe has described his record as governor as “very progressive” But the former DNC chair, a prodigious fundraiser, political fixer, and best friend to the Clintons, would be an establishment voice in the race: He’s a proud capitalist, doesn’t believe in free college and writes that “Democrats must maintain our credibility” with voters by presenting an agenda that’s “honest and achievable.”
Signature Policy: Unclear. Were he to run, McAuliffe would likely be one of the more moderate Democrats in the field. He said in December that though he supports Medicare-for-All in theory, paying for it would be “unrealistic.” He has also argued against tuition-free college. “There is no way the Democratic Party should support paying for children of wealthy parents to go to school,” he told CNN.
Signature Apology: Asked in a recent interview if he would open his campaign with “an apology… for being a successful white male,” McAuliffe said, “No. If I do run, it will be the funnest campaign. It will be a happy tour.”
Previous Ranking: 23

24) Marianne Williamson

Candidate Status: Running
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”
Previous Ranking: 22

25) Bill de Blasio

Candidate Status: Undeclared
The mayor of New York since 2014, de Blasio appears to have come down with an unfortunate case of 2020 fever. The quasi-progressive 57-year-old has started to publicly opine on the ills of the Democratic party, and in late-February took a trip to Iowa, where he described his presidential ambitions as “a very personal reality.” Meanwhile, 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.
Previous Ranking: 24 

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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