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Trump is vulnerable, but the 2020 Dems start surprisingly slowly in early states



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By Beth Fouhy

In Iowa and New Hampshire, calls from probably 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are coming fast.

Heavyweights such as California Senator Kamala Harris, New Jersey, Senator Cory Booker and Massachusetts Senator. Elizabeth Warren is looking for office space, staff and support from local leaders, while lesser-known hopes are waiting for visits to improve their visibility in key states of early competition.

But with 201

9 just a few days away, the looming contests in Iowa (Caucus Date, now scheduled for February 3, 2020) and New Hampshire (prime date on February 11, 2020) were strangely static. Although more than two dozen Democrats are being considered for their party's nomination, no major candidate has signaled concrete plans for entry, hard-core activists have been slow to engage potential competitors, and donors are holding their checkbooks closed – for now.

To further complicate matters, the so-called "Three B & # 39; s", who led several early polls – ex-vice president Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Texas Rep. Beto O & Rourke , almost absent so far in both states.

The expected big field and the absence of an overwhelming favorite in the competition explain the slow dance among the candidates, says New Hampshire Democratic Party leader Raymond Buckley.

"It is highly unusual that we do not assume that we assume leaders or anyone of such importance that they would automatically dominate the field, and we do not have that cycle," Buckley said.

Hillary Clinton took on this role at this stage in both areas of the 2008 and 2016 contests, while President Barack Obama arrived in 2012 for reelection.

Activists in both states expect things to rise in January, when several likely competitors will announce that they are forming investigative committees or flattening out that they are running.

Warren is expected to make her first visit to Iowa at the beginning of next year after she deliberately left in 2018 during the Senate re-election. Harris may also announce a presidential announcement for a multi-city tour to promote her new book, "The Truths We Hold," to be released on January 8. The relatively slow start in the two states where presidential politics can be a full-time job surprised me.

Sean Bagniewski, chairman of the Iowa Polk County Democrats, put it this way: "The whole field has been staring. It's a real hesitation for anyone signing up to a candidate right now because they do not know who else is coming in . "

Of the so-called top candidates, Booker was most visible in the early states. He spoke at the New Hampshire Democrats' celebration earlier this month and led a gathering of state parties in Iowa in October. His PAC contributed significantly to both parties and Democrats running in both places, and he was among the most aggressive in finding election officials in both states.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a likely but lesser-known hope, has impressed the Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire and is actively planning the next steps. He had recently held a conference call with donors across the country, asking in part for a position on how to position himself in the early election countries. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York senator, humbly sat down in front of Democrats in New Hampshire, while Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar made a similar visit to Iowa. Californian MP Eric Swalwell has been in Iowa several times, while Hawaii MP Tulsi Gabbard was in New Hampshire earlier this month.

However, many activists in both states expect a hint from Biden, Sanders, and O'Rourke before committing themselves to a candidate.

With their high national notoriety and built-in network of followers, Biden and Sanders will likely wait a while before announcing their plans. Biden, who unsuccessfully voted for the party's nomination in 1988 and 2008, said concern for the family would decide whether to run for office this time. Sanders, who nearly toppled Clinton in 2016 with a progressive left-wing challenge, has an existing network in Iowa and New Hampshire that he can resume.

O & Rourke, a newcomer to national politics, who nevertheless landed with Democrats near the United States landed with his challenge to Republican Senator Ted Cruz in Texas. O & Rourke lost less than 3 points and raised at least $ 80 million through a national fundraising network that strategists believe could easily recapture him as a presidential candidate.

The activists in Iowa and New Hampshire have barely heard of each of the three, but their shadows play a big role.

"Your entry or the decision not to come in has a huge impact on the race," said Bagniewski.


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