Politics Magazine

Is It Too Early To Declare For 2020 Race? - Not Really

Posted on the 02 January 2019 by Jobsanger
Is It Too Early To Declare For 2020 Race? - Not Really (This image was found at Today I Found Out.)
On the last day of 2018, Senator Elizabeth Warren let us know she is running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination -- joining two others who had made it clear earlier that they would be running (Rep. Delaney and former HUD Secretary Castro).
One could be forgiven for thinking this is too early for the 2020 race to begin. After all, we are less than two months past the 2018 election. But is it really too early? The answer is NO. This is not the first time candidates have jumped in very early. Sarah Mervosh and Matt Flegenheimer looked at previous presidential races, and they report the following in The New York Times:

2016: Rumblings began in mid-December 2014

By this time four years ago, former Gov. Jeb Bush, Republican of Florida, had made an early move in the 2016 presidential race. In mid-December 2014, he said he would “actively explore” a presidential run, announced plans to create a political action committee and spent time calling donors. (Mr. Bush, of course, did not win in the end.) But it was Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the eventual runner-up to Mr. Trump in the Republican primary, who was the first major candidate to formally announce a presidential bid, in March 2015. The future Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, declared “I’m running for president” soon after, in April 2015. In the end, all of them lost to Mr. Trump, who did not announce his candidacy from the atrium of Trump Tower in Manhattan until June 2015.

2012: Candidates waited until springtime 2011

The 2012 election got off to a slow start, although it was widely expected that Mitt Romney, who had run in 2008, would again seek the Republican nomination. But few of the Republicans lining up to run against President Barack Obama were willing to formally claim an early stake in the race. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesotabecame the first major Republican to enter the race, announcing an exploratory committee in March 2011. But he would not win the party nomination. Mr. Romney,the former governor of Massachusetts, announced his own exploratory committee in April 2011 and would eventually emerge as the Republican standard-bearer against Mr. Obama, who won re-election.

2008: And you thought this year was fast?

If you think there wasn’t enough room between the midterm election and the start of presidential campaigns this year, look no further than the 2008 election cycle. For the first time in more than half a century, the presidential race did not include an incumbent — either the president or the vice president — on the ballot. And the campaigning started so early that it bumped up against the midterms. Tom Vilsack, a Democrat who was the governor of Iowa, announced his intention to run for president the week of the 2006 midterms and made it official by the end of November. John McCain, the senator from Arizona who would go on to capture the Republican nomination, formed his presidential exploratory committee that same month. By January 2007, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton launched their exploratory committees, the field was already crowded with candidates. It was a breathtakingly fast start to a presidential race that would propel Mr. Obama to the White House.

2004: The nominee went early

Going into the 2004 election, George W. Bush was the incumbent president, but that did not dissuade prospective Democrats from campaigning. John Kerry, the senator from Massachusetts, established himself as an early contender: In early December 2002, he went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to declare that he was creating an exploratory committee. By January, a flood of other candidates had entered the race. Initially, Mr. Kerry’s early move paid off: He bested the other Democratic candidates to become the party’s nominee for president. But he, too, lost to the incumbent president as Mr. Bush secured a second term.

2000: Started early, ended late

The unforgettable 2000 presidential race that ended with a recount in Florida began with the long-shot candidacy of a liberal senator from Minnesota. The senator, Paul Wellstone, announced an exploratory committee as early as April 1998, more than two years before the election. In a solicitation letter to Democrats during his short-lived campaign, he wrote, “Nov. 7, 2000, probably seems a long time away to you. (It does to me!)” Al Gore, then the vice president of the United States, was the favorite for the Democratic nomination and announced his first formal step toward running for president on Jan. 1, 1999. The future President Bush announced his exploratory committee two months later, in March 1999. But there was another notable candidate that election cycle: Donald J. Trump. Encouraged by “amazing” polls, “unbelievable” news media interest and a “huge” ground swell of public support, he announced an exploratory committee to run for president in October 1999. He suggested that Oprah Winfrey would be his vice president. That campaign didn’t take off. But we know how this story goes. Mr. Trump made it to the White House, where he has uprooted American politics — and opened the door to the wide field of candidates who will fight to challenge him in 2020. It starts now.

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