Sep 1, 2017

Dems begin lining up 2020 staff, cash

J.Scott Applewhite / AP

A quiet but consequential battle for staff and cash has begun among ambitious Democrats with their eyes on the 2020 presidential race. The party is likely to start with a bigger field — perhaps much bigger — than the unwieldy Republican batch that produced Donald Trump as the nominee.

  • Our conversations with well-wired Democrats produced a list of three dozen names that range from possible to plausible to probable. Other potential candidates seem certain to emerge, based on who looks strong after the 2018 midterms.
  • Several have begun to actively talk to potential staff members, and a few more have put out feelers, according to Democrats familiar with the conversations.
  • It's of course unlikely that whoever we're buzzing about 1,159 days before the election ("Bullish on Bullock!") will be the correct answer.

Breaking the potential candidates into formal tiers at this point would be silly. But here are groupings that emerged with our conversations with veterans of past Democratic presidential campaigns, as well as younger operatives likely to be involved in the 2020 campaign:

  • Watched most closely: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.), New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
  • The classics: Joe Biden, John Kerry, Al Gore, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.
  • Outsiders: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper
  • Has begun seeking staff: Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Sen. Chris Murphy (Conn.), Rep. Tim Ryan (Ohio).
  • Many in Obamaworld like: former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Rep. Seth Moulton (Mass), former Missouri SecState Jason Kander.
  • Many in Clintonworld like: Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, former Ag Secretary and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro.
  • Possible if wins reelection: Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio).
  • Wants to be mentioned: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.).
  • Wild cards: Sen. Al Franken (Minn.), Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep. John Delaney (Md.).
  • Non-politicians: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Cuban, The Rock, Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz, Disney CEO Bob Iger, Oprah, George Clooney.
  • Someone Trump would have no idea what to do with, and who'd win women with authenticity and Southern charm: Sally Yates, the acting attorney general fired by Trump.

Be smart: A huge challenge for Democrats is that the energy, action and money are on the left (the Warren-Sanders wing). But winning in 2020 will require winning over working-class, more centrist voters who helped put Trump in office. Anybody who doesn't spend their weekdays in Washington is likely to have an advantage, so watch the governors and others who can run as outsiders against the incumbent GOP.

  • Who'd we miss? In Axios AM, we'll periodically update this list and refine the categories. If you know someone who has begun working it, or have an idea about a candidate who'd be strong, shoot me a note at mike@axios.com. We'll share the most worthy thoughts in AM.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 618,043 — Total deaths: 28,823 — Total recoveries: 135,736.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 104,865 — Total deaths: 1,709 — Total recoveries: 894.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: A group of Midwestern swing voters that supported President Trump's handling of the coronavirus less than two weeks ago is balking at his call for the U.S. to be "opened up" by Easter. Alaska is latest state to issue stay-at-home order — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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Coronavirus updates: World case count tops 600,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned that the novel coronavirus pandemic could worsen if people fail to take the appropriate containment measures, at a news conference in Tokyo.

The big picture: The U.S. leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, as the number of global cases nears 615,519. Governments around the world are trying to curb the medical and financial fallout of COVID-19, as infections surge across Europe and the U.S.

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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Here's the quickest possible review of the story so far — how it happened and how the U.S. lost control.

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