Welcome to the premier episode of Hindsight 2020, bringing you cutting edge analysis on the upcoming Presidential Election. I am your host, Sloan Kettering. Let’s get right into it now.
WSJ: HILLARY WILL RUN
This week’s top story brings us to the Democratic side of things, where it appears Hillary Clinton will never go away. The WSJ reports:
“Expect Hillary…to come out swinging. She has decisively to win those Iowa caucus-goers who have never warmed up to her. They will see her now as strong, partisan, left-leaning and all-Democrat—the one with the guts, experience and steely-eyed determination to defeat Mr. Trump. She has had two years to go over what she did wrong and how to take him on again.”
As funny as it would be, I really hope grandma Clinton doesn’t embarrass herself by running again. Currently 73 years old, Clinton is the same age as Reagan was when he was elected to his second term – and we all know well Reagan aged in office. I’ll be keeping an eye on her, but I’m not holding my breath.
STOP TRYING TO MAKE BETO A THING
Next up in the pool of Democratic contenders is failed Senate candidate, Beto O’ Rourke, who appears to be eyeing a presidential run. Breitbart reports:
When asked if he “might be open” to a presidential run, O’Rourke said, “Yeah I haven’t made any decisions about anything is probably the best way for me to put it.”
While Beto has strength in his national name recognition and fundraising ability, he is a political novice who began his career in national politics in 2012 as the Representative for Texas’ 16th Congressional District; his only other experience is on the El Paso city council. However:
“A POLITICO/Morning Consult presidential primary poll…put O’Rourke in third place among Democratic voters, behind former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders.”
With all that being said, I wouldn’t worry too much about Beto O’ Rourke as I don’t see him faring well in a Democratic primary where he will be up against stronger candidates, which brings us to our next potential candidate…
FEEL THE BERN
Of the potential candidates in the Democratic primary field, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders remains one of the strongest contenders, having previously been hailed in polls as the most popular politician in the country. Despite the 2016 Democratic primary being rigged against him, Sanders still managed to win several states, ultimately finishing in second place.
Politico reports: “The Vermont senator is taking aggressive steps to address long-running political weaknesses,” including meeting with foreign policy experts from the Clinton Administration.
Sanders hasn’t ruled anything out yet, but I expect him to be a formidable contender in the 2020 election.
WILL TRUMP FACE A PRIMARY CHALLENGER?
Now we move over to the Republican side of things, where the waters are muddied. Mark my words: Trump will face an opponent from the right in the 2020 election, there is no doubt about it. New York Magazine reports:
“Bill Kristol, the Weekly Standard founder and famous neoconservative, has been working to recruit a challenger, setting up meetings with interested donors and political figures, and stealthily running polls and focus groups in New Hampshire and elsewhere.”
So the question remains: who will this principled conservative candidate be? Turns out, retiring Arizona Senator Jeff Flake could possibly appear on the ticket. Flake told POLITICO:
“I’ve not ruled it out. I’ve not ruled it in. Just, somebody needs to run on the Republican side…I hope somebody does [run], just to remind Republicans what it means to be conservative and what it means to be decent. We’ve got to bring that back…You can whip up the base for a cycle or two but it wears thin. Anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy.”
KASICH IS BACK FOR MORE
However, in my opinion, it may be more likely that we see Flake on the ticket as a VP pick alongside Ohio Governor John Kasich, who possesses greater name recognition, campaign infrastructure, and money. Team Kasich recently announced in an email to news media:
“Governor Kasich returns to New Hampshire after the midterms. In addition to the events below, he will spend time Wednesday and Thursday meeting with old and new supporters.”
Furthermore, The Washington Examiner reports:
“The failed 2016 GOP presidential candidate is slated to appear Thursday at a lunch event with the faculty and students of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. He is also scheduled to meet with supporters in Concord, N.H., and then will appear later for a First Amendment event…in Manchester.
The email announcement comes on the heels of Kasich’s many recent television appearances, during one of which, he said:
“There is an opening, I think, potentially, for an independent run, a third-party run, because if the Democrats go hard left, if they go hard left and the Republicans stay over on hard right, you have an ocean of people in the middle.”
On another appearance, Kasich said that if he were to run, he would run as a Republican.
Kasich is at the top of my radar because he has maintained his campaign apparatus and continues to fundraise even though he is term-limited out of office after this year. Kasich’s super PAC, New Day for America, raised more than $300,000 in the third quarter, according to Federal Election Commission filings. According to their website:
“New Day for America is an organization that believes in Governor Kasich’s vision that America is stronger, when we are united and working together to tackle our greatest challenges.”
The site appears to be operating with 2020 in mind, and Kasich’s own website seems to convey his presidential ambitions as well.
I’ve got a treat for our listeners: I’m including bonus content on this episode. Let’s take a look at the 2020 Senate races.
I’ve previously written about how the 2018 Senate map favored Republicans, but in 2020 the map is stacked against the GOP, who will have to defend at least 20 seats.
Which of these seats will be competitive? According to analysis by The Hill, here are five races to watch in 2020:
- Alabama, where the GOP hopes to retake the seat they lost in last year’s special election.
- Maine, where Republican Susan Collins faces reelection in a still vastly blue electorate.
- Arizona, where voters will elect a replacement for the late John McCain.
- Colorado, which remains one of the last few true battleground states.
- Iowa, which was R+10 in the 2016 election, but after the 2018 election the state’s Congressional delegation is evenly split.
- Honorable Mention: North Carolina, which has grown more suburban and populated in recent years.
Well, that’s all for this episode, I hope you’re excited for this new series I’m starting. In addition to this segment, I’m also going to make each episode’s transcript available as an article on Fash the Nation.
Stay tuned for further election updates from Hindsight 2020. I am Sloan Kettering, signing off.