Sens. Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren Lead Democrats Itching to take on Trump in 2020
With approval ratings in the mid-30s to low 40s and Russian collusion allegations that won’t go away, President Donald Trump is attracting a huge number of Democrats itching to take on him in 2020.
So many Democrats are angling for a chance to take a shot at Trump that political insiders say the party may face an unusual problem going into the next presidential elections – too many qualified candidates.
Led by perennial Trump nemesis Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the field includes Kamara Harris (D-Calif.), Corey Booker (D-N.J.), Amy Klobushar (D-Minn.), Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), as well as Govs. Terry McAuliffe (Va.), John Hickenlooper (Colo.), Jay Inslee (Wash.) and Steve Bullock (Mont.).
There are also Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) who lost to Hillary Clinton during the last go-round and former vice president in the Obama administration, Joe Biden.
Vice President Joe Biden has in recent days upped his criticism of Donald Trump leading many in the Democratic Party to believe he is positioning himself for another crack at the presidency.
“Lately he has been quite vocal and critical of the current occupant of the White House. He has also been traveling around the country so we think he may be getting ready for 2020,” a Democratic operative who spoke on condition of anonymity so he can speak candidly, said this morning.
“Trump is vulnerable. With Russia, special counsel probe of his family and business finances, his son’s issue with Russians, his son-in-law, his inability to move any legislation, all combine to make him very weak going into 2020. But we also know that he is very crafty and whoever decides to go against him better be ready for war. Besides, he is the president and that carries a lot of weight,” he continued.
Another factor influencing the 2020 campaign is the absence of clear favorites despite the presence of Biden and Sanders.
“Biden and Sanders have been there before. They may appear to be favorites but most Democrats may be ready to move on to a fresh face so nothing is guaranteed.” the Democratic operative added.
Trump’s problems and the absence of anyone named Clinton or Obama on the scene may also be a factor.
“So long as Trump is hanging around [with approval ratings] in the 40s, potential challengers will be attracted like moths to a flame,” Democratic strategist David Wade told the media this week.
Wade was a top aide to former Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in his 2004 presidential run.
“Candidates knew that opportunities didn’t come around often to run in a wide-open field without an anointed front-runner or incumbent Democratic vice president,” Wade added.
After the bruising battle between Obama and Clinton in 2008 and the absence of a challenger to President Obama in 2012, most Democrats expected Clinton to get the nomination in 2016. She did but not before going through a strong challenge from Sen. Sanders.
That is not the case in 2020 where there do not appear to be a clear favorite.
Speaking about the 2016 cycle, Democratic strategist and Clinton surrogate Jim Manley said “Hillary and her team did a good job freezing the field and keeping most other potential candidates at bay.”
“The Democratic Party thought they could try and control the process, but I don’t think that’s going to be an option this time around. No one is going to be able to clear or winnow the field. There’s nothing anyone can do about it,” Manley said of the 2020 election.
A recent national survey showed that nearly all the aforementioned Democrats will beat Donald Trump in a hypothetical match-up, although by varying margins.
The poll by Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling showed Biden will beat Trump 54 to 39% and Sanders 52 to 39%.
The survey also found that Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), will defeat Trump, although by smaller margins.
Speaking about the possibility of a huge number of Democrats going up against Trump in 2020, Sabrina Singh, deputy communications director for the Democratic National Committee said party insiders were excited.
“We’re seeing huge excitement out there for Democrats as we fight for policies that support American families and expand economic opportunity, while Republicans are working to strip away healthcare from millions and are led by one of the most unpopular presidents in history,” she said.
But Republicans say they are not fazed by the number of opposing candidates going into the next election.
They point to the fact that Trump defeated a huge field of Republicans in 2016 that included heavyweights like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Rand Paul (Ky.), and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, before defeating Clinton in the general election.
“The president defeated the largest field of Republican candidates ever, took on the Washington, D.C., establishment, at least two political dynasties and the mainstream media,” one White House official said. “Perhaps there will be another sizable group of opponents in 2020, but what is their message to the American people? What do they stand for?”
“The president’s message is clear, and he is hard at work to ensure the forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again with ‘America first’ policies that benefit our country and its great people,” the official said.
Biden and Sanders have traveled to Iowa this year, perhaps to remind voters that they are still around and may be available for 2020. Biden is scheduled to embark on a 19-city book tour this fall in what friends say is a barometer for the 2020 run.
Kamala Harris who in recent days has been trying to amplify her national presence, was recently feted by former Clinton donors during a party in Martha’s Vineyard.
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