The can’t-miss 2019 calendar for 2020 candidates

We may not know yet who is running against President Donald Trump in 2020, but we do know where they’ll turn up in 2019.

If past is precedent in the 2020 presidential election cycle, then 2019 will be chock-full of political events around the country drawing would-be presidential candidates.

Here’s a calendar of the top deadlines, forums, chili cook-offs and steak fries to watch over the next year:

January 2019:

The Q1 fundraising quarter begins: January 1. Look for presidential candidates to make announcements close to this date — they cannot begin fundraising for a presidential run until they announce, and candidates will want to prove their mettle with a strong fundraising haul in the first quarter. More days = more money.

February 2019:

Politics <><><><><><><><><><><> <><> <><> <><><><><><> <><> <><> <><><><><><><><><><><><><><> <><> <><> <><><><><><> <><><><><><> <><> <><> <><><><><><> <><> <><> <><><><><><> <><> <><><><><><><><> <><> <><><><><><> <><> <><><><><><> <><> <><> <><><><><><> <><> <><><><><><> <><> <><><><><><><><> <><><><><><> <><> <><> <><><><><><> <><><><><><><><> <><> <><> <><><><><><> <><><><><><><><> <><> <><> <><><><><><> <><><><><><> <><> <><> <><><><><><><><> <>& Eggs forums/strong: emThroughout the year/em. It’s a longstanding mainstay in the New Hampshire political calendar for every candidate of every party (and some, like a href=”” target=”_blank”Eric Holder/a, participated back in 2018). None are on the books for 2019 as of December 2018, but the breakfast event is a one-on-one forum for candidates, at which attendees are traditionally presented with “a href=”” target=”_blank”hard-to-sign/a” a href=”” target=”_blank”wooden eggs/a that they ask the politicians to sign. The event is hosted by a href=”” target=”_blank”Saint Anselm College and the New England Council/a — and considered a must-attend event for candidates. /ppMarch 2019:/ppstrongQ1 fundraising quarter ends/strong: emMarch 31/em. A a href=”” target=”_blank”candidate’s fundraising/a in this crucial span is an important early apples-to-apples comparison. It reveals not only how much money you can rake in, but how many donors you can attract. /ppApril 2019:/ppstrongThe debates (usually) begin/strong: emThey’ve historically kicked off in late /ema href=”” target=”_blank”emApril/em/aem or early /ema href=”” target=”_blank”emMay/em/a. It’s not yet clear what a Republican debate schedule will look like, as of December 2018. /ppJune 2019:/ppstrongFirst DNC-hosted debates begin/strong: emSometime in June/em. Expect six DNC-hosted debates during 2019. We don’t know yet how these debates will be composed, but it’s a href=”” target=”_blank”possible they could be held on consecutive nights/a and randomly divided for the first two debates to accommodate the anticipated large field. None of them will take place in the first four caucus and primary states, according to the party.strongIowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Dinner/strong: emLate June or early July/em. It’s one of the first big marquee Iowa events of the year which literally rewards the state’s most active Democrats for their involvement. We’ll see how big their event space is this year — 2015’s dinnera href=”” target=”_blank” drew five presidential hopefuls/a. /ppJuly 2019:/ppstrongSecond DNC-hosted debate/strong: emSometime in July/em. a href=”” target=”_blank”The party says it will also consider/a candidates’ grassroots fundraising as well as polling performances in determining who is included on debate stages./ppAugust 2019:/ppstrongDickinson County Summer Sizzler/strong: emEarly August/em. A a href=”” target=”_blank”Democratic draw to northern Iowa/a for local, state and national candidates./ppstrongIowa State Fair/strong: emAugust 8 – August 18/em. With a href=”” target=”_blank”more than 1 million attendees/a every year – and the impossible-to-miss a href=”” target=”_blank”Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox/a, this Iowa mainstay is a must-visit stop on the trail for candidates of all political stripes. /ppstrongIowa Democratic Wing Ding Dinner/strong: emAugust 9/em. This a href=”” target=”_blank”Democratic grassroots fundraising confab/a is 15 years old and raises funds for county democratic committees. Previous attendees include Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley. /ppstrongLondonderry Old Home Days/strong: emAugust 14 – August 19/em. The quintessentially New Hampshire tradition of Old Home Days, which is an annual midsummer event that draws natives back to their towns for parties and a parade, is a crucial stop for candidates of both parties. Reliably red a href=”” target=”_blank”Londonderry/a’s event — and parade — is a must-hit for Republicans. /ppSeptember 2019:/ppstrongProgress Iowa Corn Feed/strong: emEarly September/em. Another speaking event drawing Democratic activists and candidates — plus a href=”” target=”_blank”Iowa sweet corn/a! /ppstrongNew Hampshire Seacoast Republican Women’s Chili Fest/strong: emMid-September/em. Historically hosted at the home of former New Hampshire speaker Doug Scamman and his wife Stella, this a href=”” target=”_blank”Granite State tradition is celebrating its 20th year/a. /ppstrongPolk County Democrats’ Steak Fry/strong: emSeptember 21/em. This is a href=”” target=”_blank”one of the most iconic stops on the Iowa campaign trail/a. It has it all: Amazing photo ops of candidates flipping giant steaks on the grill, lots of loud campaign supporters and a whole lot of national press coverage. Until 2014, this event was known as the a href=”″ target=”_blank”Harkin Steak Fry/a — but like all good political traditions was resuscitated in 2017 by the Polk County Democrats. strongThird DNC-hosted debate/strong: emSometime in September/em. The a href=”” target=”_blank”DNC plans to hold 12 total debates/a over 2019 and 2020./ppOctober 2019:/ppstrongIowa Democratic Party Fall Gala/strong: emLate October or early November/em. Previously known as the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, this more formal event is one of the Iowa Democratic Party’s a href=”” target=”_blank”biggest fundraisers of the year/a.strongFourth DNC-hosted debate/strong: a href=”” target=”_blank”emSometime/em/aem in October/em./ppNovember 2019:/ppstrongThe Union Leader Endorsement/strong: emLate November/em. There’s an argument to be made that editorials and endorsements make a href=”” target=”_blank”little electoral difference/a, but political insiders still very much prize an endorsement from the largest newspaper in New Hampshire. Iowa’s Des Moines Register usually doesn’t hand out its primary endorsements until January. strongFifth DNC-hosted debate/strong: a href=”” target=”_blank”emSometime/em/aem in November/em./ppDecember 2019: /ppstrongProgress Iowa Holiday Party/strong: emMid-December/em. A a href=”” target=”_blank”holiday-season draw/a for Democrats both local and national alike.strongSixth DNC-hosted debate/strong: emSometime in December. /emThe debates beginning in 2020 area href=”” target=”_blank” expected to take place/a in the first four primary and caucus states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. /pp(Which all leads up to…)/ppstrongThe Iowa caucuses! /stronga href=”” target=”_blank”emFebruary 3, 2020/em/aem./em