The right to vote is an integral element to the United States electoral system. With the 2020 Presidential election rapidly approaching, it is imperative to follow along if you plan on participating. Throughout the next year, there will be many important dates and events to remember in order for you to exercise your right to vote. Passionate support for a candidate is well and good, but making an informed decision on who you vote for is important on guiding the direction of your town, county, state, and country.
We have aggregated major 2020 campaign dates to ensure that you to stay updated during the election season.
While the elections aren’t until November 2020, the campaign trail starts in 2019. The Democratic Party held six debates over the course of 2019. They have planned for four more for the first part of 2020.
At the time of writing this post, the Republican Party has not scheduled any debates.
2019 Democratic Debate Schedule
- June 26-27
Candidates addressed a variety of topics and their involvement from Medicare for All, environmental dangers, and geopolitical issues. NBC hosted the debates on their networks.¹
- July 30-31
Candidates addressed healthcare and immigration primarily. CNN hosted the debates.²
- September 12
Candidates primarily debated over healthcare. However, they also touched on foreign relations and pulling forces out of Afghanistan. ABC and Univision aired the most recent Democratic debate.4
- October 15
The 12 qualifying candidates discussed a wide range of topics including the impeachment inquiry, foreign policy, and job loss due to automation. CNN and The New York Times hosted the debate.5
- November 20
The fifth 2019 Democratic Debate was held on November 20th and hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.6 Candidates addressed racial inequality, Medicare, and housing.
- December 19
The sixth 2019 Democratic Debate was held December 19th. PBS NewsHour and Politico hosted the event.7 Candidates addressed the on-going impeachment process, changes in trade, healthcare, and foreign policy.
This was the last Democratic debate of the year.
Most of the election cycle will take place over the course of 2020. From February until November, candidates will campaign across the country in bids to gain traction over their opponents.
2020 Democratic Debate Schedule
- January 14
The seventh Democratic candidate debate was hosted by CNN and The Des Moines Register. Participants discussed foreign trade and relations as well as healthcare, prescription drug prices, impeachment, and climate change.8
- February 7
Healthcare was a major topic for the candidates. But, they also addressed their electability and foreign and domestic policies.
Hosted by ABC, WMUR-TV, and Apple News. You can watch the full debate on the ABC News YouTube channel.9
- February 19
As with most of the previous debates, the discussed topics varied. But, common topics included climate change, electability, and domestic policy. This was the first debate Michael Bloomberg participated in.
- February 25
The seven candidates discussed much of the same topics including electability and domestic and foreign policies. Hosted by CBS News and The Congressional Black Caucus Initiative.
- March 15
Only two candidates, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, qualified for this debate. Both candidates discussed the coronavirus pandemic, our healthcare system, and the economy.
Once the Democratics decides who will represent the party, most of the 2020 race will consist of the states holding primaries or caucuses.
Primary or Caucus?
What is the difference between primaries and caucuses? The difference between the two can be confusing as they accomplish the same goal; they determine which candidates will run for the presidency.
Caucuses are localized meetings where registered voters gather to elect delegates who will attend conventions to elect political candidates. Typically, attendees may only attend caucuses that are held by their registered party.
Primaries are statewide voting processes that allow voters to directly choose their preferred candidate. Registered voters submit secret ballots for their chosen candidate which are then tallied. There are two types of primary; Open Primaries and Closed Primaries. In an open primary, an individual may cast a vote for any valid candidate no matter their registered party, and in a closed primary, votes may only be submitted for candidates within an individual’s party.³
Primary & Caucus Dates
The primaries and caucuses held across the country are scheduled ahead of time for voters to prepare and educate themselves on the potential candidates.
Some states pushed their primary dates back due to public health concerns.
Click here for a full list of primary and caucus dates by state and territory.
Once the primaries and caucuses have ended, the Democratic and Republican parties will hold conventions. These conventions are held to announce the official presidential candidates from each party. The nominations will be announced here and the last few months of campaigning will begin.
The Democratic National Convention was pushed back from July to August.
- Democratic National Convention: August 17-20, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Republican National Convention: August 24-27, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina
Election day is November 3rd, 2020. In order for you to exercise your right to vote, you will need to register. Each state has its own laws concerning registration deadlines, so be sure you check to see if you are registered or how to register with a site like Vote.org.
Also check to see if your state has early voting procedures or vote by mail options. Military service members and spouses have the option to participate in absentee voting if they are stationed away from their residence.
Find out where your closest polling station is and make sure it is within your precinct, and help others find your station with directional yard signs. You will be assigned a polling station based on your address, so you will need to go there in order to cast your ballot. If you go to a different station, you will not be listed and not allowed to vote.
Inauguration day for the 2020 elections is January 20, 2021. This will mark the start of the new or continued administration based on the results from the election.
We will update this post when new information becomes available.
Primary & Caucus Dates
NOTE: Many of these dates are still subject to change.
|State & Type
|New Hampshire primaries
|Nevada Democratic caucuses
|South Carolina Democratic primary
|American Samoa Democratic caucus
|North Carolina primaries
|Virginia Democratic primary
|Democrats Abroad primaries
|North Dakota caucuses
|Virgin Islands Republican caucus
|Guam Republican caucus
|Northern Marianas Democratic caucuses
|Northern Marianas Republican caucuses
|Arizona Democratic primary
|American Samoa Republican caucus
|Hawaii Democratic primary
|Alaska Democratic primary
|Wyoming Democratic caucuses
|Guam Democratic caucus
|Kansas Democratic primary
|Wyoming Republican conventions
|District of Columbia primaries
|New Mexico primaries
|Pennsylvania Democratic primaries
|Rhode Island primaries
|South Dakota primaries
|Virgin Islands Democratic caucuses
|Puerto Rico Republican primary
|West Virginia primaries
|New York Democratic primary
|New Jersey primaries
|Puerto Rico Democratic primary
|Alaska Republican conventions
|Arizona Republican primary
|Hawaii Republican caucuses
|Kansas Republican caucuses
|Nevada Republican caucuses
|New York Republican primary
|South Carolina Republican primary
|Virginia Republican primary
- Ballotpedia – June 2019 Democratic Debates
- Ballotpedia – July 2019 Democratic Debates
- Ballotpedia – September 2019 Democratic Debates
- Ballotpedia – October 2019 Democratic Debates
- Ballotpedia – November 2019 Democratic Debates
- Ballotpedia – December 2019 Democratic Debate
- Ballotpedia – January 2020 Democratic Debate
- Ballotpedia – February 7, 2020 Democratic Debate
- Ballotpedia – February 19, 2020 Democratic Debate
- Ballotpedia – February 25, 2020 Democratic Debate
- Ballotpedia – March 15, 2020 Democratic Debate