By State Representative, Leon D. Young
For many Americans, the 2020 election cycle may seem like a long way off. But, if you’re like me, the next presidential election can’t get here soon enough. Donald Trump has only been in office for 18 months, but it seems like an eternity to many. Oddly enough, Trump has never stop campaigning and frequently leaves Washington, to attend campaign rallies in “deep-red” parts of the country.
Clearly, Trump intends to run for reelection. This begs the obvious question: Who will take on Trump in 2020 as the Democratic standard bearer?
In truth, it’s impossible to know at this stage who will take off and, more important: What will Democratic voters be looking for? Given the animosity within the Democratic Party for President Trump, a case can be made for the antithesis of Trump: someone with governing experience, a tested elected official. But even those come in two types: those with Washington experience and those untainted by having worked in the Capitol. A strong case can be made, however, for fresh and younger faces, particularly given that so many of the most visible party leaders were born in the 1940s.
For what it’s worth, the March 22-25 CNN/SSRS national poll of 490 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents asked whether respondents would be likely to vote for or against various potential Democratic candidates. Here are the results:
Potential Democratic Nominee
Very/Somewhat Likely to Support
1. Former Vice President Joe Biden 84%
2. Senator Bernie Sanders (Vt.) 75%
3. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) 68%
4. Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) 53%
5. Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.) 50%
6. Sen Kristen Gillibrand (N.Y.) 48%
If the election turns out to be a referendum on Trump, he would likely lose should his job approval ratings match their current state in the high 30s and low 40s. But his poll numbers were similarly low in the 2016 race, a contest between the two most unpopular major-party nominees in modern history, when whoever the election was about would lose.
In the final analysis, it remains to be seen who the Democrats will ultimately choose to lead them. But, on this one point there should be no debate: Democrats should all be committed to making Donald Trump a one-term president.