Schatz: Dems will nominate a progressive in 2020

Schatz: Dems will nominate a progressive in 2020
© Anna Moneymaker

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Democrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' State probes of Google, Facebook to test century-old antitrust laws MORE (D-Hawaii) said a progressive would be nominated as the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee in 2020 but that it would not signify a battle with centrists. 

“…we must reject the premise that this is a fight between moderates and progressives. We are going to nominate a progressive,” Schatz said in a lengthy twitter thread.

ADVERTISEMENT

“…the progressive we nominate should also be capable of getting votes from moderates and even republicans. That wouldn’t make them less progressive, that would make them better,” he added.

Democrats are likely to see a crowded field of candidates that will seek to appeal to the party’s progressive wing after the perception that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonQueer Marine veteran launches House bid after incumbent California Rep. Susan Davis announces retirement Poll: Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Florida Former immigration judge fined, temporarily banned from federal service for promoting Clinton policies MORE failed to sufficiently do so in 2016.

Possible candidates include high-profile Democrats such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat MORE, Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Overnight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul MORE (Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Defense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument MORE (Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Defense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE (Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDefense bill talks set to start amid wall fight Democrats seize Senate floor to protest gun inaction: 'Put up or shut up' At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR MORE (N.Y.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBipartisan housing finance reform on the road less taken Hillicon Valley: Google to promote original reporting | Senators demand answers from Amazon on worker treatment | Lawmakers weigh response to ransomware attacks Senate Democrats want answers on 'dangerous' Amazon delivery system MORE (Ohio) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), as well as some with lower national name recognition such as Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Hillicon Valley: Zuckerberg to meet with lawmakers | Big tech defends efforts against online extremism | Trump attends secretive Silicon Valley fundraiser | Omar urges Twitter to take action against Trump tweet Media and candidates should be ashamed that they don't talk about obesity MORE (Minn.), former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Some have already declared they are considering a run or traveled to states with early primaries or caucuses, such as Iowa and New Hampshire. 

Schatz is close with several potential candidates in the Senate. He tweeted that crowded primaries help the party flesh out its platforms and suggested more candidates should throw their hats into the ring.

“…everyone who wants to run should run. Primaries can and do strengthen the Party. If you are a governor or a mayor or a senator or member of the house or TV star - and you think you can help the country, try it!” the Hawaii Democrat said.

While crowded primaries could help the party vet certain policies before an eventual nominee emerges, it could fear a repeat of the Republican 2016 primary in which several experienced politicians split the vote and ultimately relinquished the nomination to Donald Trump.

Yet Democrats are buoyed in their 2020 hopes after a blue wave swept the Democrats into the majority in the House of Representatives after they flipped several Republican-held seats in suburban areas and possibly 40 seats overall when all the votes are tallied.

Democrats largely focused on policies such as health care and for the most part avoided conversations about President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE, particularly if he should be impeached.

“…we had a successful formula in 2018 which was to run on policy (mostly healthcare) and against corruption. We should do that again,” Schatz said.

Trump has expressed optimism for his reelection chances in 2016, saying he does not see a Democrat on the horizon who can defeat him as he doubles down on the support from his white, rural base.

They got some real beauties going,” he said at a campaign rally in October. 

However, it is not outside the realm of possibility that Trump could face either a Republican primary opponent or a traditional Republican who runs as an Independent. Outgoing Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  MORE (R-Ariz.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) have both not ruled out presidential runs of their own.