Just the Facts

Five Facts On 2020 Presidential Nominees

By Emma Petasis
December 6, 2018 | Blog

With the 2018 midterms in the rear-view mirror, the political world has already begun to look towards the 2020 presidential race. Here are five insights on potential 2020 presidential nominees:

Joe Biden is seen as the early Democratic front-runner for 2020

Former Vice President and Senator Joe Biden has grabbed many of the early headlines for the 2020 race.  As a former vice president, he owns the best name recognition of any potential candidate and has received impressive numbers in preliminary polling. In a recent Harvard CAPS/Harris poll Biden held the top spot with 28% of Democratic and independent voters saying they would vote for him. While Biden has yet to commit to running, he recently touted his experience, stating, “I’m the most qualified person in the country to be president.”

Bernie Sanders, the Democratic runner-up in 2016 has a strong base in the Democratic party and is openly contemplating another run at the presidency

In 2016 Sanders mounted a surprisingly effective challenge to Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, winning elections in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Sanders remains popular among Democrats, coming in second in the Harvard CAPS/Harris poll with 21% support. While Sanders caucuses with Democrats in the Senate, he is registered as an independent and is a champion of progressive causes. However, like Biden, Sanders has yet to commit to running and has publicly worried that his age (Sanders is 77) could become an issue during what is sure to be a grueling campaign schedule.

Beto O’Rourke, who captured the nation’s attention while running an impressive, yet ultimately unsuccessful campaign against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), came in third among 2020 contenders with 7% support

O’Rourke, a three-term congressman from El Paso, sparked intense national interest while running an upstart campaign that came close to unseating an incumbent Republican in deep red Texas.  O’Rourke also raised eyebrows with his impressive fundraising campaigns, bringing in almost $70 million throughout the campaign and a record $38 million during the third-quarter of 2018.

Senators Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren lead the field of Democratic female candidates

Harris is the only one to visit key primary state Iowa, but both candidates have reportedly been building connections within the party and putting donor networks together. A CNN poll released in October shows a slight advantage for Harris, who polled at 9%, a point above Warren at 8%.

Sens. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Governor John Kasich (R-OH) have all been mentioned as potential primary challengers to President Donald Trump

While President Trump has succeeded in winning broad support from within his party, he has not won everyone over. Flake, Kasich, and Sasse have all been vocal critics of the president’s rhetoric and policies. All three men have visited early primary states, with Flake and Kasich making stops in New Hampshire and Sasse stumping in Iowa.  While analysts say it is unlikely any of them could defeat Trump, who currently has a 91% approval rating among Republicans, any primary challenge could prove damaging to the president. The last three incumbent presidents to lose all faced primary challenges.

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