One months from now, most of the contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination will have officially declared their intention to run, according to NBC News. In a report published Friday, NBC News said that Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Corey Booker are all planning to announce their campaigns next month, while a handful of other contenders are also gearing up for campaign launches of their own.
The reason candidates are planning to announce so early in the cycle really comes down to one factor: Money, as NBC explained. Particularly in what's expected to be an intense battle of attrition between potentially more than a dozen candidates, the candidates with the biggest purses will have a distinct advantage.
Many potential Democratic candidates have circled January or early February on their calendars as the ideal launch window — early enough to try to raise an impressive amount of money in the first quarter of the year without stepping on November's midterm elections.
Meanwhile, Democratic Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California are all also quietly preparing for potential campaign launches in early 2019, people close to them have said.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders - the two leading candidates according to the opinion polls - have said they will decide whether to seek the nomination by the end of next month. According to the latest poll of likely Iowa caucus-goers, Biden holds a commanding lead. However, many politicos have pointed to his age (he's currently 76) as a factor (even though another poll showed that Biden is the only serious Democratic contender who would have a chance against Trump).
Other candidates who are expected to announce next month are former Obama Housing Secretary Julian Castro and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttieig (Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke's name was conspicuously absent from the NBC story).
"I have an announcement on Jan. 12," Julian Castro, the former Obama Housing secretary, who is publicly exploring a presidential campaign, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
"Anything I might do politically is probably not something that I'll be making any news about before January," Mayor Pete Buttieig of South Bend, Indiana, said this month after announcing he won't run for re-election, potentially to make a bid for the presidency.
Another name that was notably absent from the NBC report: Hillary Clinton. Two Clinton allies wrote in an editorial earlier this year that they expect her to run - and that if she does, she will strategically wait until later in the cycle in the hope that she can capitalize on the disarry that could emerge once a unifying front-runner fails to emerge.