Top 10 Democratic presidential candidates in 2024
1. Joe Biden
Joe Biden, the 46th US president, has a distinguished political career. Biden, born in 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, suffered early financial difficulties and personal tragedies but persevered and dedicated himself to public service.
Biden entered politics in 1970, when he was elected to Delaware’s New Castle County Council. In 1972, he became one of the youngest senators in U.S. history, shocking the political establishment. Foreign relations, criminal justice, and drug policy were Biden’s Senate specialties. He repeatedly chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and shaped U.S. foreign policy.
Biden lost his wife and daughter in a car accident early in his career. This personal loss shaped his politics and life, emphasizing compassion and resilience.
In 1988, Biden’s first presidential run was mired in controversy. He tried again in 2008 but became Obama’s running mate. Biden was instrumental in the administration’s domestic and foreign policies, including the Affordable Care Act and the bin Laden raid, during his two terms as Vice President.
In 2020, Biden ran for president on a platform of unity, experience, and normalcy amid a global pandemic and national unrest. He defeated President Donald Trump in a contentious election with high voter turnout and deep political division.
Biden has focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, economic recovery, climate change, and global alliances as president. He has faced political polarization, infrastructure and social policy debates, and crucial foreign policy decisions.
Biden’s political style is characterized by empathy based on personal tragedies and life experiences. His gaffes and candid speech have humanized him and drawn criticism. Despite controversies and challenges, his resilience and public service have persisted over decades.
Despite personal loss, Joe Biden dedicated himself to public service and navigated American politics. His presidency, like his career, combines traditional politics, personal empathy, and navigating a complex and divided nation. As America looks ahead, Biden’s leadership, policies, and legacy unfold.
2. Kamala Harris
In January 2021, Kamala Harris became Vice President alongside Joe Biden, making history. Harris, born in Oakland, California, on October 20, 1964, is the first woman, black American, and South Asian American vice president.
Harris had a distinguished public service career before becoming vice president. Her undergraduate and law degrees were from Howard University and UC Hastings, respectively. In 2004, she became San Francisco’s District Attorney after working in Alameda County. She gained attention for her work on criminal justice reform, including a controversial policy to reduce low-level drug offender recidivism.
Harris became California’s first woman and black attorney general in 2010. She prioritized criminal justice reform, consumer protection, and undocumented immigrant rights as Attorney General.
In 2016, Harris became a California senator, raising her national profile. She was known for her pointed questions of Trump administration officials and nominees on Senate committees like the Judiciary and Intelligence.
Harris gained national attention with her 2020 Democratic presidential campaign. After a strong start, she dropped out before the primary elections. Her powerful oratory, prosecutorial background, and stance on various issues made her a prominent party figure, leading to her selection as Joe Biden’s running mate.
Harris has promoted voting rights, addressed Central American migration, and promoted COVID-19 vaccination as Vice President. Her tie-breaking votes as Senate President make her important in a divided chamber.
Harris’s vice presidency is a milestone for women and minorities in American politics. Her career combines groundbreaking accomplishments with a dedication to solving the nation’s complex problems. Both supporters and critics watch Kamala Harris’s impact on American politics and global affairs as she navigates her role.
3. Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg is known for his intelligence, articulate speech, and groundbreaking candidacy in American politics. The first openly gay Cabinet member to receive Senate confirmation was Buttigieg, the Secretary of Transportation under the Biden administration. He was born in South Bend, Indiana, on January 19, 1982.
Harvard-educated and Rhodes Scholar at Oxford, Buttigieg was a Navy Reserve intelligence officer who deployed to Afghanistan. His academic and military background prepared him for politics.
Buttigieg’s political career began in 2011, when he became South Bend’s mayor. He prioritized economic and community revitalization, urban development, and racial and social justice. He was known for his data-driven approach to governance and revitalizing the city, but policing and racial tension were issues during his term.
Buttigieg’s national profile soared during the 2020 Democratic primaries. He was the youngest and first openly gay presidential candidate in American history. His campaign was notable for its persuasive rhetoric, moderate policy positions, and thorough healthcare and climate change plans. Though he later withdrew and endorsed Joe Biden, Buttigieg won the Iowa caucuses, a historic moment for a new national politician.
Buttigieg became Secretary of Transportation in 2021, promoting renewable energy and sustainable transportation and advancing the Biden administration’s infrastructure plans. He is crucial to shaping American transportation policy by addressing critical issues like aging infrastructure and transportation equity.
Pete Buttigieg’s rapid rise in American politics reflects changes in national leadership and government diversity and representation. His story of breaking barriers, analytical governance, and forward-thinking policies continues as he shapes American infrastructure and policy.
4. Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren is a prominent American politician known for her progressive economic and social views. Warren, born in Oklahoma City on June 22, 1949, is a champion of consumer protection, economic reform, and the middle class.
Warren spent many years in academia before entering politics. She graduated from the University of Houston and Rutgers Law School and taught law at Texas, Penn, and Harvard. Her research focused on bankruptcy and commercial law, making her a national expert.
Warren entered politics by advocating for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) after the 2008 financial crisis. Her work implementing the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and founding the CFPB under President Barack Obama earned her national respect as a consumer advocate.
Warren became Massachusetts’ first female senator in 2012. She has championed income inequality, financial regulation, and healthcare in the Senate. Warren has criticized Wall Street and big banks, calling for stricter financial regulations and accountability.
Warren’s 2020 presidential campaign brought her political influence to the national stage. She campaigned for “big, structural change,” including a wealth tax, Medicare for All, and student debt cancellation. Though she lost the nomination, her campaign influenced the national debate on these important issues.
Elizabeth Warren is known for her persistence, detailed policy proposals, and fierce advocacy for economic justice. Her work continues to promote a progressive agenda, address economic disparities, and defend consumer and middle-class rights. Beyond her legislation, Warren is a leading voice for progressive change in America.
5. Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders’ progressive policies and fight against economic inequality have made him a prominent figure in American politics. Sanders, born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 8, 1941, has advocated for universal healthcare, living wages, and climate change for decades.
Sanders protested civil rights at Chicago University. He entered politics in 1981 as mayor of Burlington, Vermont, where he was known for his pragmatic and effective leadership. He co-founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus while serving as Vermont’s sole congressman for 16 years.
Sanders was elected to the Senate in 2007 and represents Vermont. Sanders, known as the “Amendment King,” has passed legislation through bipartisan coalitions. His Senate career has focused on affordable healthcare, education, and workers’ rights.
Sanders garnered national attention during his 2016 and 2020 Democratic presidential campaigns. He failed to win the nomination in either cycle, but his campaigns popularized progressive policies like Medicare for All, tuition-free public college, and the Green New Deal. His grassroots approach, rejection of corporate PAC money, and emphasis on small donations revolutionized political campaigning.
Sanders shaped American politics despite losing the presidency. His policies have moved the Democratic Party left and inspired a new generation of progressive politicians and activists. His tireless pursuit of economic justice, environmental sustainability, and social equality resonates with millions of Americans.
Bernie Sanders continues to advocate for a political revolution to address the needs and rights of all people, not just the wealthy and powerful, as he serves in the Senate. The shift toward progressive policies and the growing movement of Americans fighting for systemic change are his legacy.
6. Cory Booker
Cory Booker, the junior U.S. Senator from New Jersey, advocates for criminal justice reform, urban development, and bipartisanship. Raised in Harrington Park, New Jersey, Booker was born on April 27, 1969, in Washington, D.C. Eloquence, charisma, and public service distinguish him.
Booker earned an undergraduate degree from Stanford University, where he played football, a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, and a law degree from Yale Law School. Following his education, Booker began his political career in Newark, New Jersey.
Before becoming a senator, Booker was Newark’s City Council member and mayor. He was known for personally addressing city issues and using social media to connect with constituents as mayor. His administration prioritized crime reduction, education, and economic growth. He gained national attention for revitalizing downtown Newark and attracting business.
Booker became New Jersey’s first black senator in a 2013 special election. He’s been re-elected and serves on foreign relations, the judiciary, and small business committees. Booker has championed bipartisanship on criminal justice reform, affordable housing, and economic opportunity as a senator.
Social justice and equality are evident in Booker’s support for the “Medicare for All” bill, the “Marijuana Justice Act,” and criminal justice reforms, including ending mass incarceration. He has championed LGBTQ rights, gun control, and environmental justice.
Booker promoted unity, justice, and marginalized communities in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Despite losing the presidential election, his Democratic Party leadership profile increased.
Cory Booker’s politics combine pragmatism and idealism, focusing on tangible changes and systemic issues. He continues to improve American lives, bridge divides, and advocate for comprehensive policy solutions to the nation’s biggest problems.
7. Amy Klobuchar
A respected American politician, Amy Klobuchar has been Minnesota’s senior senator since 2007. Klobuchar, born in Plymouth, Minnesota, on May 25, 1960, is a pragmatic and effective legislator who prioritizes economic development, healthcare, and consumer protection.
Klobuchar earned a B.A. in political science from Yale and a law degree from Chicago before joining the Senate. After practicing corporate law, she was elected Minneapolis’ Hennepin County attorney from 1999 to 2006. She prioritized criminal justice reform, including crime reduction and system improvement.
Klobuchar has co-sponsored bills with both parties in the Senate. Her legislative work covers antitrust and competition policy, consumer rights, online privacy, infrastructure improvement, and veteran and military family support. Klobuchar sits on the Judiciary, Commerce, and Agriculture Senate committees.
The Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch made Klobuchar famous for her pointed questioning and legal expertise. She has also supported election security legislation to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections.
Klobuchar sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Her campaign stressed unity and practical solutions over polarization, highlighting her Midwestern roots and ability to win in Republican areas. Despite early primaries victories, she suspended her campaign and endorsed Joe Biden.
Klobuchar is known for her straightforward, effective politics, bipartisanship, and practical solutions. She remains a hardworking, results-oriented senator who prioritizes legislation that improves Americans’ lives.
8. Julian Castro
American politician Julián Castro has been influential locally and nationally. Castro, born in San Antonio, Texas, on September 16, 1974, devotes his political career to public service and progressive policies.
Castro studied at Stanford University and Harvard Law School before entering politics. He became San Antonio’s youngest city councilman at 26 after returning home. Education, city development, and housing dominated his tenure.
Castro became San Antonio mayor in 2009 and served until 2014. His “Pre-K 4 SA” program, which expanded pre-kindergarten education for city children, garnered national attention as mayor. Castro’s focus on education, economic growth, and smart city planning transformed San Antonio and made him a Democratic Party rising star.
Castro became the first Latino to give the 2012 Democratic National Convention keynote address, elevating his political profile. His speech focused on the American Dream, his family’s story, and inclusive, progressive policies.
Castro became HUD secretary in 2014 under President Barack Obama. Castro implemented policies at HUD to reduce homelessness, expand affordable housing, and enforce fair housing laws. He promoted opportunity and sustainable community development.
Castro sought the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. His campaign addressed immigration, education, healthcare, and police reform. Although he did not win the nomination, his progressive platform and Latino political perspective raised important issues and diversified the debate.
Castro’s activism, political commentary, and advocacy for poverty, inequality, and social justice have shaped American politics since his presidential campaign. He has dedicated his career to serving underrepresented communities and promoting progressive social change in America.
9. Tammy Duckworth
Veteran and disability rights advocate Tammy Duckworth is a prominent American politician and retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. Duckworth was born in Bangkok, Thailand, on March 12, 1968, to a Thai mother of Chinese descent and an American father.
Duckworth’s military service defines her. She joined the Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps as a George Washington University graduate student. She lost both legs and part of her right arm when a rocket-propelled grenade hit her helicopter in 2004 while flying in Iraq. Her injuries only strengthened her desire to help others, especially veterans and disabled people.
Duckworth retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Illinois Army National Guard in 2014 after her recovery. Her public service included serving as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, focusing on veteran health and welfare.
Duckworth was elected Congressman for Illinois’s 8th district in 2012. She championed veterans’ issues, healthcare, and women and minorities as a congresswoman. She was elected to the Senate in 2016, becoming the first disabled and second Asian American woman.
Duckworth has championed veterans’ issues, national security, families, and the disabled as a senator. From VA reform to renewable energy, her legislative efforts reflect her personal experiences and public service.
Duckworth’s advocacy goes beyond legislation. She often speaks out against policies she believes harm Americans, especially military families. She is an inspiration due to her resilience and public service.
Tammy Duckworth has always shown patriotism, advocated for the underserved, and broke barriers. She influenced American politics and policies by supporting veterans, improving accessibility, and promoting government diversity.