The Democrat Field for 2020 Grows Thanks to Perceived Weakness of Trump

The Hill has started handicapping the Democrat 2020 primary (just checked my calendar, this is July 2017) and, if this is informed speculation, it could be a very sorry, slow-moving, and hard-of-hearing race.

Dozens of Democrats, along with Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), are thought to be eyeing the race, though no one has officially thrown their hat in the ring at this early stage.

Besides Sanders, 75, the heavyweights include former Vice President Joe Biden, 74, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who is 68.

A survey released this week by the Democratic-leaning firm Public Policy Polling showed Biden ahead of Trump 54 percent to 39 percent in a hypothetical matchup, and Sanders leading 52 percent to 39 percent.

It also found Warren and Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who are also talked about as potential candidates, ahead of Trump — though by smaller margins.

Other Democrats thought to be weighing their options include Sens. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), and Chris Murphy (Conn.), as well as Govs. Terry McAuliffe (Va.), John Hickenlooper (Colo.), Jay Inslee (Wash.) and Steve Bullock (Mont.).

After 2016, I’m reticent to scoff at anyone’s candidacy but statistically two of their “heavy hitters” could be dead before 2020 rolls around…without having run afoul of Hillary Clinton.

As it stands today, it is hard to see how any of these people put together a national campaign. The national profile that most of them have is negative and it is hard to see how the rest create that profile before the primary season kicks off. The best bet is Kamala Harris because she has the Clinton jalopy machine and its donor network behind her. I don’t, however, think she has the charisma to win the election even if Clinton buys her the nomination.

The proffered governors don’t seem all that strong, either.

This is probably the bottom line

“So long as Trump is hanging around [with approval ratings] in the 40s, potential challengers will be attracted like moths to a flame,” said David Wade, a Democratic strategist who served as a top aide to former Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in his 2004 presidential run.

And if Trump stays mired <40%, we can expect someone not on this list to challenge him. If he gets to 50%, we can expect someone on this list to play the role of Bob Dole.