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Field of Democratic presidential candidates hits 9 with Klobuchar announcement

CBS Austin

Today in Minnesota, Senator Amy Klobuchar announced she is running for president. “I am running for every American. I am running for you,” she told a crowd of supporters as a heavy snow fell. Saturday, it was Senator Elizabeth Warren making her own announcement in Massachusetts. "I stand here today to declare that I am a candidate for president of the United States of America!” she announced to her supporters.

That brings the field of Democratic candidates for president to 9. You will recognize many of them, like former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, Senator Corey Booker and Senator Kamala Harris. Others, like New York businessman, Andrew Yang, you probably don’t know. They are jumping into the race early for a reason, says St. Edwards University political science professor Brian Smith. “For a lot of these candidates, getting in now means getting in early, trying to become the new candidate, become the hot candidate.”

There are some high-profile Democrats who have not announced any decision – Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and Texas’ own Beto O’Rourke. “This is a good time if he's going to run,” Smith said of O’Rourke.

The former congressman from El Paso is the center of speculation, and he remains in the national spotlight. O’Rourke plans to lead the 'March For Truth' in El Paso Monday, in opposition to President Trump's rally there. His former opponent, Senator Ted Cruz, is expected to be at Trump’s rally, along with state leaders. “It is bold for an ex-congressman but it is not so bold for someone who almost unseated a Republican candidate in a Republican state,” Smith said.

O'Rourke says his biggest hurdle in deciding whether to run in 2020 is the pressure it will put on his wife Amy and three school aged children. It's likely the field of candidates will grow either way. “A lot of Democrats think [Trump] is beatable, which that encourages more Democrats to come out.”

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