Though the 2020 Presidential election is a little less than two years away, that hasn’t stopped possible candidates from testing the waters, and oddsmakers from handicapping their chances.
While President, Donald Trump is a favorite to win reelection in November of 2020, there are still prominent members of his own party who are quietly putting together campaigns to challenge Trump. One of those is former Arizona senator Jeff Flake. Flake has been a constant critic of the President Trump.
The latest move by the outgoing senator is refusing to vote on dozens of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees until a bill protecting special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe comes to a vote in the Senate.
Flake said it is that controversies, and others, that spurred him to seriously consider challenging Trump in the Republican primary.
“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,” Flake said. “You can whip up the base for a cycle or two but it wears thin. Anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy.”
Whoever runs against Trump will have a tough time upending him. Oddmakers have him the 1/3 favorite. His vice president, Mike Pence, is next at 9/1, and former US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley is 24/1.
Flake is way down the list at 66/1.
Democrats Led by Harris
Though she is just a first-term senator, Kamala Harris (D-CA) has made a reputation as a viable presidential candidate, and oddsmakers agree. She is getting odds of anywhere from 4/1 to 5/1.
Harris has made a name as a fiery politician who has questioned Trump and his policies. She also made headlines when she testily questioned Supreme Court candidate Brett Kavanaugh.
She hasn’t declared her intentions, but quietly went to key states with the purpose of campaigning for candidates in midterm elections. She also spent the time seeing how states like Iowa, and South Carolina received her.
In Iowa a month ago, Harris gave several speeches and told the crowds that this was a pivotal moment in US history.
“I think of this as being a moment in time similar to the moment in time my parents met when they were graduate students at the University of California, Berkeley, in the 1960s and active in the civil rights movement,” Harris said at a Des Moines rally. “This is a similar moment in time. This is a time that is requiring each of us individually and all of us collectively to look in the mirror and ask this question: Who are we?”
Strong in Defeat
One politician who has moved up the board has been Beto O’Rourke from Texas. O’Rourke challenged Ted Cruz for his senate seat. Though he lost, many saw him as a rising star in the Democratic Party.
O’Rourke was not given odds before his run for the Senate, and now he is the second pick at 6/1. He has not announced any run for the president, but was recently invited to meet Iowa citizens by Polk County Democratic Chairman Sean Bagniewski, who likened him to President Barack Obama.
“It’s real. In Iowa, everybody knows the next person that they want to meet, and by far he is the No. 1 person that’s being requested right now—volunteers, elected officials, our membership base,” Bagniewski said. “Everybody right now is asking for Beto.”