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US Democrats chart their course for 2020 presidential polls

US Democrats chart their course for 2020 presidential polls


AFP
Washington
Colourful campaign placards still dot front yards across America after this week's mid-term elections, but Democrats have already turned their attention to the next goal: winning the presidency in 2020.
"We're going to keep organising, mobilising, and fighting," said party chairman Tom Perez, minutes after Democrats claimed victory in their bid to win majority control of the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
"And that's how we're going to take back the Senate and the White House in 2020."
For Democrats mulling a challenge against President Donald Trump, sand is slipping through the political hourglass, with the first primary ballots just 15 months from now.
"Look for multiple Democrats to declare their presidential bids in the coming weeks to months," said Democratic strategist Dena Grayson.
Now that they have reclaimed the House, flipped several governorships and enjoy a nine-point generic ballot lead over Republicans, she said,"Democrats have big momentum going into 2020."
But with septuagenarians dominating her party's leadership, the potential contenders list hardly heralds the Democratic renewal that voters are expecting.
Former vice president Joe Biden will be nearly 78 at the time of the November 2020 election, while Senator Bernie Sanders will be 79. Senator Elizabeth Warren will be a spry 71.
But new faces have emerged. Driven by startling campaign trail enthusiasm, Democrat Beto O'Rourke would have been an instant frontrunner had he managed to dethrone Senator Ted Cruz in ruby red Texas.
Despite his narrow defeat, not all hope is lost for the lanky and engaging 46-year-old former punk rocker.
"Beto O'Rourke's surprisingly strong showing against Ted Cruz potentially could launch a presidential bid," Grayson said.
One major hiccup: Beto, as everyone calls him, could drop out of the national spotlight once he leaves Congress in January.
"The problem is, in our environment, his celebrity will diminish given that he won't be in office," said political science professor Lara Brown of George Washington University.
That's not an insurmountable handicap, offered political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia.

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