President Donald Trump's low approval ratings, the ongoing Russia investigation, and other factors have Democrats already gearing up to take on the incumbent in the 2020 presidential election.
Democratic strategists and party officials are expecting a huge field of candidates to take on Trump in 2020, citing his approval numbers, lack of legislative accomplishments, and the controversy surrounding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the Hill reported Thursday.
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Another major contributing factor to this wave of interest is that the next presidential contest will be the first time that no one with the last name Obama or Clinton is expected to run for the Democratic nomination since John Kerry's White House bid in 2004.
In 2008 and 2016, Hillary Clinton was the clear frontrunner to receive the Democratic Party nomination, which left many Democrats wary of even attempting to run.
"Candidates knew that opportunities didn't come around often to run in a wide-open field without an anointed front-runner or incumbent Democratic vice president," David Wade, a Democratic strategist who worked on then-Sen. Kerry's presidential run in 2004, said regarding the apparent absence of a frontrunner candidate for 2020.
"Hillary and her team did a good job freezing the field and keeping most other potential candidates at bay," said Democratic strategist Jim Manley, a Clinton surrogate in 2016, of last year's campaign. "The Democratic Party thought they could try and control the process, but I don't think that's going to be an option this time around. No one is going to be able to clear or winnow the field. There's nothing anyone can do about it."
Several Democrats, and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, are thought to be eyeing the race for the White House, according to the Hill.
The race is still in its very early stages and there have been no official announcements, but some interested candidates are thought to include former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.).
"So long as Trump is hanging around in the 40's [in approval ratings], potential challengers will be attracted like moths to a flame," Wade said.
Those close to Trump and his administration appear unbothered by the potential competition. Many continue to mention that Trump faced massive amounts of opposition from GOP rivals in 2016, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), and Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.).
"The president defeated the largest field of Republican candidates ever, took on the Washington, D.C. establishment, at least two political dynasties, and the mainstream media," one White House official told the Hill.
"The president's message is clear and, and he's hard at work to ensure the forgotten men and women will never be forgotten again with ‘America first' policies that benefit our country and its great people," the official added.
Still, there is "no shortage of enthusiasm among Democrats to take on Trump," according to Republican strategist Doug Heye. However, he did mention that the Democratic Party remains "in disarray" and is "distrustful of their own party's structure."
"At least for now, the more the merrier," Manley said. "We need to have a serious competition for ideas."