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What the 2018 blue wave means for 2020

CNN's Chris Cillizza reads the political tea leaves and explains what midterm momentum could mean for Democrats and the party's 2020 hopefuls.

Posted: Jan 11, 2019 2:08 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2019 2:38 PM

Today's date is January 11, 2019. There are 662 days between today and the November 3, 2020 election. There is, roughly, a year before ANY votes are cast for ANY candidate running for president.

But you wouldn't know it by the amount of jockeying happening this week among the dozens -- not an exaggeration -- of Democratic candidates with an eye on beating President Donald Trump next November.

Consider this slew of 2020 news just from the past few days:

  1. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren spent last weekend in Iowa, days after announcing an exploratory committee. She heads to New Hampshire this weekend.
  2. Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who has already formed an exploratory committee, is widely expected to officially enter the 2020 contest tomorrow in Texas.
  3. California Sen. Kamala Harris, who spent the week promoting a new memoir, has walked right up to the line of announcing her candidacy, but has yet to make it official. Her rhetoric, however, makes very clear that she is running: "It has been my life's experience that the American people are smart and they make decisions about what's in the best interest of their household, their family and their community," she told CNN's Jake Tapper. "And I have faith that in 2020, and in any other election, that will be their motivation when they vote."
  4. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who has hired a campaign director and a communications director for her presidential campaign, has reportedly also secured space for her campaign headquarters in Troy, New York and is planning a trip to Iowa next weekend.
  5. Ex-Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke responded via Facebook Live to Trump's border wall Oval Office speech, Instagrammed a visit to the dentist's office and is reportedly planning a solo driving trip around the country. Did I mention he's going to sit down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey next month?
  6. Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown is headed to Iowa soon and his wife is telling people a decision will come within the next two months.
  7. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) issued a blanket apology to the women serving on his 2016 campaign after a series of reports emerged about a culture that allowed inappropriate sexual behavior.

That's just in the last five days!! Reminder: It's January 11, 2019.

So what's the hurry? After all, people always like to say they are sick of politics. And politicians pay lip service to the idea that there is a time for campaigning, and it's not right after the last election has ended.

There are two answers to the "hurry" question -- both of which relate to each other.

The first is Donald John Trump. Trump is, by the numbers, the most vulnerable incumbent preparing to run for a second term at this point in an election cycle since Jimmy Carter in 1980. (Remember that George H.W. Bush was quite popular in 1991 before losing in 1992.)

And it's not just that Trump is vulnerable, which makes the Democratic nomination a prized possession. It's that the Democratic base loathes Trump and wants him gone yesterday. So any of the usual concerns about whether the 2020 campaign is starting too soon are cast by the wayside because of the blinding hatred toward the President from within the Democratic base.

The second reason this race has gotten so busy so quickly is the sheer number of candidates expected to run -- which is, of course, directly tied to Trump's perceived weaknesses.

The Democratic field could well top 25 candidates (or even more) at its largest -- by far the biggest field for either party in modern presidential politics. With a few notable exceptions -- O'Rourke and Vice President Joe Biden being the obvious two, due to O'Rourke's buzz and Biden's default frontrunner status -- if you want to start raising the money, building the organization and just plain getting your name out there, you need to start ASAP.

The reality of running for president -- particularly in a massive field like is expected in 2020 -- is best understood by thinking about an iceberg. The portion of it you see above the water's surface is usually a tiny part of the broader ice monstrosity that lurks below. The tip of the iceberg in this analogy is when voters in Iowa or New Hampshire cast their votes for the Democratic nominee in a year's time. In order to even get to that point, there's a massive amount of under-the-surface work that has to be done by these aspiring candidates.

And that work takes lots and lots of time.

The realities of the 2020 field -- and of Trump -- mean that a hyper-active week like this one may only be an appetizer for what's to come once we get into February and beyond. By that point, Democratic candidates are going to be running and running hard. Iowa and New Hampshire will be inundated with would-be presidents. Donors' phones will be burning up with asks for cash. Activists in early states will become precious prizes to be secured by rising candidates.

The 2020 race is here. And it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 143879

Reported Deaths: 3676
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto956999
Hinds9541193
Harrison6825105
Jackson6068116
Rankin523796
Lee480294
Madison4602102
Forrest367185
Jones344687
Lauderdale3343142
Lafayette313347
Washington3088106
Lamar281849
Bolivar237883
Oktibbeha237760
Lowndes228362
Neshoba2171113
Panola211047
Marshall207247
Leflore200789
Pontotoc193227
Monroe189577
Sunflower189554
Lincoln183964
Warren172157
Tate163349
Union160125
Pike160058
Copiah158840
Yazoo150638
Scott149929
Coahoma147342
Itawamba145533
Alcorn143724
Simpson143553
Pearl River142967
Prentiss139526
Grenada136344
Adams135948
Leake131643
Holmes124461
George121623
Tippah120930
Covington117234
Winston115824
Wayne115722
Hancock114137
Marion110746
Attala106233
Tishomingo106042
Newton102829
Chickasaw102332
Tallahatchie94727
Clarke88253
Clay86726
Jasper81121
Walthall74328
Stone72314
Montgomery71925
Calhoun71213
Carroll70514
Lawrence69914
Noxubee69017
Smith68616
Yalobusha67926
Perry65225
Tunica59519
Greene58422
Claiborne57416
Jefferson Davis54117
Humphreys52518
Amite50814
Benton48217
Quitman4786
Webster41614
Kemper40815
Wilkinson38422
Jefferson34011
Franklin3185
Sharkey30617
Choctaw3057
Issaquena1114
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 234080

Reported Deaths: 3459
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson30620491
Mobile19306358
Tuscaloosa12501148
Madison12410146
Montgomery12040232
Shelby980576
Baldwin826984
Lee753964
Morgan618247
Calhoun5997113
Etowah590564
Marshall581953
Houston507038
DeKalb463535
Cullman412636
Limestone404544
St. Clair398455
Elmore393961
Lauderdale382953
Walker349096
Talladega335942
Colbert296341
Jackson291924
Blount276336
Autauga263439
Franklin244833
Coffee233415
Dale226654
Dallas220231
Russell21803
Chilton216937
Covington212533
Escambia194431
Tallapoosa169290
Chambers168048
Pike155514
Clarke155419
Marion134535
Winston123723
Lawrence122436
Geneva11748
Marengo116924
Barbour116110
Pickens115318
Bibb114217
Butler113741
Randolph99821
Cherokee98924
Hale91631
Washington90018
Clay89423
Fayette84416
Henry8426
Lowndes78729
Monroe76811
Cleburne74414
Crenshaw70330
Macon70020
Bullock69019
Conecuh66814
Perry6686
Lamar6267
Wilcox62418
Sumter55322
Choctaw41713
Greene40217
Coosa3074
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