Even though the next US presidential election is more than two years away potential contenders, particularly on the Democratic side, are already going through the machinations of preparing for a run – first for the party nomination then for the Presidency itself.
The big surprise of the 2016 race was how successful Vermont Senator and socialist, Bernie Sanders, was in the fight for the Democratic nomination giving Hillary Clinton much harder fight than perhaps she had been expecting.
The signs are that 77 year old Bernie has been thinking of the 2020 run. Today he starts a nine-state tour on Friday with stops in Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada and California.
But the chances of him trying again have taken a big blow in the past 24 hours with one of the key figures in his 2016 effort, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not ready to endorse him. She is expected to win a House race in New York in the midterms a fortnight on Tuesday.
One key organiser from last time is quoted as saying
“I think that if a younger candidate can pick up the mantle and have Bernie’s support, I think that would be a better option for 2020. I feel like 60 to 70 percent of former staffers are looking around for another Bernie-esque candidate this time around, even if it’s not him”.
On the Betfair exchange Sanders is currently third favourite for the nomination and fourth favourite for the presidency.
My reading of the 2020 nomination race is that beating Trump is by far and away the main priority in the choice of candidate. The party wants the White House back.