Schatz: Dems will nominate a progressive in 2020

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

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzBottom Line Harris, Schatz have highest percentage of non-white staff among Senate Democrats Democrats celebrate announcement on citizenship census question 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.

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“…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 ClintonWhy Trump's bigoted tropes won't work in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet GOP put on the back foot by Trump's race storm MORE failed to sufficiently do so in 2016.

Possible candidates include high-profile Democrats such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden jokes he's ready for a push-up competition with Trump Biden says his presidency is not 'a third term of Obama' Biden knocks Trump on tweets about 'smart as hell' Ocasio-Cortez MORE, Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' Sanders slams decision not to charge officer who killed Eric Garner Cardi B says voters let Bernie Sanders down MORE (Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' Trump says administration will 'take a look' after Thiel raises concerns about Google, China Thiel calls Warren the most 'dangerous' Democratic candidate MORE (Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHarris slams DOJ decision not to charge police in Eric Garner's death Harris vows to 'put people over profit' in prescription drug plan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet MORE (Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Fundraising numbers highlight growing divide in 2020 race Five things to watch for at Defense nominee's confirmation hearing MORE (N.Y.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDemocrat Sherrod Brown torches Facebook at hearing: 'They broke journalism, helped incite a genocide' Trump puts hopes for Fed revolution on unconventional candidate Budowsky: Harris attacked Biden, helped Trump MORE (Ohio) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), as well as some with lower national name recognition such as Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - House to vote to condemn Trump tweet Fundraising numbers highlight growing divide in 2020 race Critics slam billion Facebook fine as weak 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 TrumpEsper sidesteps question on whether he aligns more with Mattis or Trump Warren embraces Thiel label: 'Good' As tensions escalate, US must intensify pressure on Iran and the IAEA 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 urges Republicans to condemn 'vile and offensive' Trump tweets Flake responds to Trump, Jimmy Carter barbs: 'We need to stop trying to disqualify each other' Jeff Flake responds to Trump's 'greener pastures' dig on former GOP lawmakers MORE (R-Ariz.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) have both not ruled out presidential runs of their own.