The first fundraising quarter is over, which means we have our first quantifiable, non-polling measure of the 2020 Democratic field. The field is also largely set now, with just a few big question marks outstanding.
What better time to dust off our regular rankings of the top 15 Democratic candidates?
As usual, this list is in order of likeliness to be the Democratic nominee. To see the last list, click here.
Also in the mix: Former Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams, Sen. Michael F. Bennet (Colo.), former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), former senator Mike Gravel (Alaska), former secretary of state John F. Kerry, former New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu, Rep. Seth Moulton (Mass.), Rep. Eric Swalwell (Calif.), Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio), author Marianne Williamson, businessman Andrew Yang.
15. Former congressman John Delaney (Md.): Delaney returns to this list mostly by virtue of others opting not to run. He’s pretty much all-in on Iowa, and a recent poll shows he’s got decent name ID there (better than four people on this list!). But 1 percent of the vote is still 1 percent. (Previous ranking N/A)
14. Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper: I am still at a loss to explain why Hickenlooper would disclose that he took his mother to see “Deep Throat.” Truly at a loss. In case you’d like to figure it out yourself, Tim Alberta explains what makes Hick tick. (Previous ranking N/A)
13. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock: Bullock still isn’t in for president, but he’s definitely out for Senate. (Previous ranking N/A)
12. Former housing and urban development secretary Julián Castro: Castro is trying a novel approach: Rather than just oppose Trump on immigration, he’s got his own plan — unlike most any other candidate on this list. And it’s actually pretty radical. (Previously ranking: 12)
11. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe: We’re still waiting on McAuliffe. Meantime, he’s tweeting memes and flip-flopping on Virginia Democrats’ late-term abortion bill. (Previous ranking 14)
10. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee: Inslee’s CNN town hall on Wednesday night didn’t make any major news. If anything, though, it was notable that he sought to shed his “one-issue candidate” label. (Previous ranking 13)
9. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.): Gillibrand this week explained her leftward shifts on guns and immigration from her days representing a conservative upstate House district. She said she was “ashamed” of them and even said admitting when you were wrong is important. It is. The question is whether voters will accept such shifts as heartfelt or view them as political expedience. And they have been expedient. (Previous ranking 9)
8. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.): Klobuchar seems to have largely moved past the spate of stories about her alleged ill treatment of staff — not that it won’t ever come up again. But she’ll still need to prove she’s compelling enough to compete with the front-runners. My long-standing skepticism about Midwestern presidential candidates holds for now. (Previous ranking 7)
7. South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg: With an increasing amount of buzz and a fundraising quarter ($7 million) that trumped Klobuchar and two other senators listed below, Buttigieg clearly has a seat at the table — which wasn’t always a given. Now it’s up to him to prove he’s not a flash in the pan. (Previous ranking N/A)
6. Former vice president Joe Biden: Whatever you think about the complaints women made against Biden alleging inappropriate physical contact, Biden’s handling of it — deciding to turn it into a joke — was a reminder how quickly things can go awry with the freewheeling Biden. I’ve been arguing for a while that his stock is too high, and this episode has helped affirmed it. He’s got a front-runner’s poll numbers but needs to actually show he’s a much better candidate than he was in 1988 and 2008. (Previous ranking 5)
5. Former congressman Beto O’Rourke (Tex.): Fundraising tailed off a little after he raised more than $6 million in his first day as a candidate. But $9.4 million in 17 days is still really good. In fact, it was the highest daily rate in the field. The early rap on O’Rourke is that he’s light on specifics, something he’ll need to address. (Previous ranking 6)
4. Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.): Booker made a splash this week by introducing a bill to establish a committee to study reparations for the descendants of slaves — the latest example of Democrats breaking new leftward ground. (Previous ranking 4)
3. Sen Elizabeth Warren (Mass.): Warren could have dropped some on this list, given her first-quarter fundraising was an underwhelming $6 million (even though she got in on New Year’s Eve and had a full three months). She’ll also have to mind that hefty burn rate; she spent nearly as much ($5.2 million) as she brought in and benefited from a big, one-time transfer from her Senate campaign. On the policy front, she’s setting herself apart from her opponents with some bold tax proposals, including a new proposal that would prevent big corporations from paying no taxes. (Previous ranking 3)
2. Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.): Harris would seem to benefit from California moving its primary up to March 3, right after the first four states. But a recent poll suggests she may not even be the favorite there. (Previous ranking 1)
1. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.): Sanders’s $18.2 million raised in the first quarter tops in the field. Now we’ll see if he can rekindle some of the magic of 2016, which I’m not sure we’ve really seen just yet. It would sure help if he can get past this tax-return unforced error. (Previous ranking 2)