Schatz: Dems will nominate a progressive in 2020

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

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzEight senators ask Biden to reverse course on Trump-era solar tariffs The Hill's 12:30 Report: More of Biden's agenda teeters on collapse The Hill's Morning Report: Biden takes it on the chin 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 ClintonThe dangerous erosion of Democratic Party foundations The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats see victory in a voting rights defeat Left laughs off floated changes to 2024 ticket MORE failed to sufficiently do so in 2016.

Possible candidates include high-profile Democrats such as former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats calls on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Briahna Joy Gray: Last-minute push for voting legislation felt 'perfomative' Biden stiff arms progressives on the Postal Service MORE (Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDemocrats calls on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans Biden stiff arms progressives on the Postal Service Trump by the numbers: 2024 isn't simple MORE (Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisTrump by the numbers: 2024 isn't simple Biden 'profoundly disappointed' after voting rights push fails in Senate Madame Tussauds unveils new Biden and Harris figures MORE (Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Connected Commerce Council - Biden faces reporters as his agenda teeters Former aide says she felt 'abandoned' by Democrats who advanced Garcetti nomination as ambassador to India Schumer vows to push forward with filibuster change: 'The fight is not over' MORE (N.Y.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDemocrats see good chance of Garland prosecuting Trump On the Money — Student borrowers stare down rising prices Biden selects Sarah Bloom Raskin, two others for Fed board MORE (Ohio) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), as well as some with lower national name recognition such as Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharSenate panel advances bill blocking tech giants from favoring own products Manchin, Collins leading talks on overhauling election law, protecting election officials Senate's antitrust bill would raise consumer prices and lower our competitiveness 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 TrumpPredictions of disaster for Democrats aren't guarantees of midterm failure A review of President Biden's first year on border policy  Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump 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 FlakeCruz to get Nord Stream 2 vote as part of deal on Biden nominees Democrats threaten to play hardball over Cruz's blockade Rubio vows to slow-walk Biden's China, Spain ambassador nominees MORE (R-Ariz.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) have both not ruled out presidential runs of their own.