Schatz: Dems will nominate a progressive in 2020

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

Sen. Brian SchatzBrian Emanuel SchatzAction on climate and energy: Beyond partisan talking points Dem senator jokes about holding drinking game for Trump's primetime address Marriott says data breach impacted fewer guests, but millions of passport numbers were exposed 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 ClintonGillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert Former PepsiCo CEO being considered for World Bank chief post: report Live coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing MORE failed to sufficiently do so in 2016.

Possible candidates include high-profile Democrats such as former Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenBrown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration 5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert MORE, Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersBrown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert Dem chairman Cummings meets with Trump health chief to discuss drug prices MORE (Vt.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBrown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert Native American group denounces Trump for using Wounded Knee in attack against Warren MORE (Mass.), Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisBrown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration 5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony Kamala Harris releases 'mixtape' on 'The Late Show' amid 2020 speculation MORE (Calif.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandBrown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Gillibrand announces exploratory committee to run for president on Colbert Hopes fade for bipartisan bills in age of confrontation MORE (N.Y.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBrown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pro-Trump group doing opposition research on Sherrod Brown’s wife: report Press: White House not only for white males MORE (Ohio) and Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas), as well as some with lower national name recognition such as Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean Klobuchar5 takeaways from Barr’s testimony Klobuchar dismisses mock campaign logo as something from 'very enthusiastic supporter' Grandson's note to Barr during confirmation hearing goes viral 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 TrumpVeterans groups demand end to shutdown: 'Get your act together' Brown launches tour in four early nominating states amid 2020 consideration Pence on border wall: Trump won't be ‘deterred’ by Dem ‘obstruction’ 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 FlakeThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump eyes wall money options as shutdown hits 21 days Poll: Sanders most popular senator, Flake least CBS News in talks to hire Flake: report MORE (R-Ariz.) and Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) have both not ruled out presidential runs of their own.