Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA). The number of Democratic candidates, like the universe, appears to be ever-expanding.
There are many in between, ranging from Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) who are reportedly considering runs to the lesser-known, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) and successful entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
Actually, who isn’t running? At this point, as many as 40 potential Democratic candidates either have expressed interest or have relentless constituencies urging them to take the plunge. But there are still countless candidates who have considered hitting the campaign trail against the Republican incumbent, meeting with top donors and visiting key states over the new year.
If you thought the 2016 GOP debates were crowded, just wait.
The Cook Political Report even put out its first estimate of the 2020 electoral map, showing the Democrats with 232 Electoral College votes, the Republicans with 220 and the remaining 86 as toss-ups.
There is no way to have any real idea at this early date who will be the Democratic nominee for the 2020 election, let alone how the electoral votes will likely end up. It is absurd to give too much weight to polls taken months before the first debate, and more than a year before anyone actually casts a vote.
So, why are we seeing this ever-rising number of Democratic candidates declaring for 2020, when they did not do so in 2016 or even 2008?
Simple: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Yes, these two politicians are the reasons for so many Democratic nominees, but for very different reasons. Basically, when looking at 2020, Trump is there, and Clinton most likely will not be.
Evidently, Democrats were going to run against Trump regardless of his approval ratings or how strong he was perceived to be in his reelection bid. However, Trump’s unpopularity, caused by everything from Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russiabjghmjh, to Trump’s non-stop lying and Twitter fingers, is attracting more to run. He seems, in a word, vincible.
The other reason Democrats are more likely to run is that Clinton does not appear to be a candidate, despite some suggestions to the contrary last year. When she first sought the Democratic nomination in 2008, given her political experience, her name recognition and her fundraising ability, she was the inevitable Democratic nominee. While she ultimately lost to Barack Obama, there were only a few Democrats competing against her in the 2016 primaries. Given, that she had served as Secretary of State in the Obama administration and had the benefit of learning from her 2008 campaign. There is no doubt that the sense of her inevitability scared viable Democrats away from running.
But in 2020, it is unlikely that Clinton will announce, leaving Democrats of all types and beliefs the feasible option of running and possibly winning the nomination.
In the coming months, we will likely see even more Democratic candidates announce a run for president.