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Democrats engaged in 2020 presidential competition near decision whether to run: NPR

Possible Democratic presidential candidates for the 2020 race include Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (left), New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Texas…

Possible Democratic presidential candidates for the 2020 race include Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (left), New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Texas Rep. Beto O & # 39; Rourke and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Jeff J. Mitchell, Angela Weiss / AFP, Chip Somode Villa / Getty Images

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Jeff J. Mitchell, Angela Weiss / AFP, Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Possible Democratic presidential candidates for the 2020 race include Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (left), New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Texas Rep. Beto O & # 39; Rourke and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Jeff J. Mitchell, Angela Weiss / AFP, Chip Somode Villa / Getty Images

The talks for the holiday dinner will be intense in several high-profile democratic households in the next few weeks, as potential candidates near final decisions about whether to go to president in 2020.

Although their staffs and political advisors have have already begun scouting office space, interviewing potential assistants and elaborating strategy for the presidential election in 2020, most have not completely decided to come across what is expected to be one of the most crowded primary competitions in history.

“I do not know and I still do not know,” said former vice president Joe Biden reporters on the election day. “It will be a family decision, and we have time.”

But not too much time.

Some candidates see Thanksgiving as the beginning of the window to make the political and personal calculation move on or take a run for the White House. Given the likely size of the field, as well as the extended timeline for presidential campaigns, most candidate candidates acknowledge that they must make a final decision by the end of December, if not in advance.

NPR has interviewed key advisors to nine potential presidential candidates in the days since the middle of the election. Most conversations were conducted anonymously, so the staff could speak openly about politically sensitive questions.

Here’s a glimpse of the potential 2020 democratic presidential field:


  • Cory Booker of New Jersey
  • Sherrod Brown of Ohio
  • Kamala Harris of California
  • Kirsten Gillibrand of New York
  • ] Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota
  • Jeff Merkley of Oregon
  • Bernie Sanders of Vermont
  • Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts


  • ] John Delaney, Maryland
  • Beto Rourke of Texas [19659017] Eric Swallwell of California


  • Steve Bullock of Montana
  • John Hickenlooper of Colorado
  • Jay Inslee of Washington [19659017] Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (former)
  • Deval Patrick of Massachuetts )


  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Businessman and Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City 9017] Attorney Michael Avenatti
  • Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles [1965901] 7] State Secretary Richard Ojeda in West Virginia (explained)
  • Activist and philanthropist Tom Steyer

Not even the full list of potential candidates talks that all previous perceptions of steps to the presidency have expired through the window of a first candidate from the reality tv world.

But it also underscores democratic optimism about the chances of the party by 2020.

Lessons from 2018

Tuesday’s election results only confirmed that trust. Democrats have got more household chambers than in the election since the 1974 wave after Watergate, in addition to their state-owned houses, win and sustain their losses in the Senate, which included flipping GOP sites in Nevada and Arizona.

The political operators preparing for the presidential election see everyone in last week’s outcome as a signal that President Trump would be a two-year postponed opponent.

“Trump became president for losing the voting, but he won the electoral college in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, later told Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., To NPR.” Yes, three out of four of these states elected democratic governors, and all four of these states elected democratic United States senators. So I think Trumps wins in the very important states may not be long-lasting. “

Advisers for Almost Everyone The potential democratic candidate agreed with Sanders in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, but many expressed concern over both Ohio and Florida – two permanent swing states that have been training more and more Republican in recent years.

It was tempered by optimism if the Democratic Senate wins in Arizona, as well as frequent competitions in other Republican headquarters like Texas and Georgia.

An operative compared the democratic margins in the national parliament’s vote – approaching 7 points – to Hillary Clinton’s two-point margin in the 2016 popular poll. “It’s a meaningful indication of [Trump] weakening”, told advisor NPR. “When you won the presidency with 80,000 votes, it’s not right.” (It’s is the gross total sum of Trump’s margins in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan – the three trusted democratic states Trump scared away to win the electoral school.)

In addition to Democrats who won the house, the Republicans had the most beneficial Senate map since 1914 and could end with a net of two [senators added to their majority] “said another advisor in another likely campaign. “Talk about under-performance.”

“For 2020, it’s very positive news that Democrats could win statewide reelects in some of the southwest states we lost last year, which would help them reach 270,” said Jen Palmieri, a senior aide until 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. “And I think it’s the message there – you must have a progressive agenda that will offer solutions to real issues people face. However, you must present it in a way that will unite people and bring them together, no longer share. “

What is the best strategy?

Does it mean that a moderate bridge-building candidate would go better than a high-profile democrat who has made national headlines already going tear-to-toe with Trump? Is the answer appealing to the Democratic Party’s base, or to offer a moderate, even boring democrat, who who, independently, and republicans who tire of Trump could support?

Ultimately, the democratic primary elections will determine.

Another important issue, albeit one question, it does not take time to direct a general election to take back the intergovernmental states or challenge Trump in Arizona, North Carolina and other democratic trends.

This is where campaign staff are waiting to start drawing different conclusions from last week’s results. The more progressive and aggressive camps see Beto O & R; Rourke and Stacey Abram’s performances in Texas and Georgia as a sign that the mobilization of the base can make a Republican state blue with two years of organization and demographic change.

The more consensus-oriented campuses – especially most potential candidates who are not based in Washington – are more likely to focus on the fact that the Democrats angered the home by running moderately, sometimes careful candidates to suit their district profiles, which is how Sen.-Selected Kyrsten Sinema ran in Arizona.

However, as more and more democrats have developed progressive positions like a $ 15 minimum wage, the main choice can come down to a question of tone and framing. Are you running a campaign that attacks Trump, or trying to appeal to the middle and win over cautious conservatives?

In short, the difference between the thinking is New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand played on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Last Thursday Night and What Montana Gov. Steve Bullock spelled on MSNBCs Morning Joe the next morning.

Gillibrand told Colbert that she sees 2020 as a clear black and white divide between good and evil. “I’ve seen the hatred and divide that President Trump has put into our country,” she said to Colbert, “and it has called me to fight as hard as I possibly can to restore the moral compass in the country.”

Bullock chose a much more reconciliation approach: “As much as we can bridge some of these divisions and as much as we can cause people to have a reason to faith in the government can work in a broken political system, it does not matter. “

In the next few weeks, the staff will continue to work behind the scenes to lay the foundation for driving. Gillibrand, Harris and Sanders will address all field questions about their potential candidates, while promoting new books that hit stores during this high season.

However, the entire preparation will remain potential until each candidate makes the deep personal decision whether to launch or not a process that can irreversibly transform their lives, win or lose.

NPR’s Asma Khalid contributed to this report

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