Election analyst says GOP-leaning independents could help 2020 Dems

Many GOP-leaning independents will likely support a Democratic candidate during the 2020 presidential primary season, polling and election analyst Henry Olsen said Wednesday.

"Republican-leaning independents, when they're faced with that choice, a lot of them presumably don't like the president, they will have the choice to vote in a Democratic primary to select someone who could beat the president," Olsen told Hill.TV's Joe Concha on "What America's Thinking."

Fifteen states have open primaries, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

"Or they could participate in a Republican primary and throw their vote away for someone who's not going to beat the president," Olsen added.

His comments come amid talk of whether a Republican will challenge Trump in the primary.

The Democratic field is expected to be a crowded one. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders can gain ground by zeroing in on corruption Biden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' Warren enters crucial debate with big momentum MORE (D-Mass.) recently launched her exploratory committee, and others such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump hits Fox News's Chris Wallace over Ukraine coverage Schiff: Whistleblower testimony might not be necessary Trump warns Democrats will lose House seats over impeachment MORE and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRepublicans wrestle with impeachment strategy Klobuchar takes shots at health and education plans supported by Sanders and Warren Kamala Harris to Trump Jr.: 'You wouldn't know a joke if one raised you' MORE (D-Calif.) are expected to announce their intentions soon.

"So I think a lot of those Republican-leaning independents, who say, 'Well, I'd like to have another Republican,' will in fact vote in the Democratic primary, just as they voted Democratic for the House this time," he said.

— Julia Manchester