With the endless parade of Democrats seeking their party’s nomination in 2020, coupled with a few disgruntled Republicans hoping to challenge President Trump, the 2020 Presidential Election cycle is already well underway in the Granite State. Many Democrats have been making visits to increase their name recognition and shake hands with important individuals in New Hampshire politics. Some Republicans, like John Kasich and Jeff Flake, are doing the same in the off chance their is an opening to primary Trump in 2020.
NBC News reports on the hyper-speed that is Presidential politics in the modern era:
With such a wide-open field on the Democratic side and the potential for a primary of a sitting president on the Republican side, many of those on the ground feel like things are buzzing earlier than ever.
“Here in New Hampshire, the 2020 cycle has already begun,” said Wayne Lesperance, the Dean of Undergraduate Programs and political science professor at New England College, in between events with O’Malley and Kasich.
Activity is increasing so quickly “because of the absolute craziness that’s going on in D.C.,” said state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, a longtime figurehead in the state’s Democratic politics. “As a result, things will perk earlier.”
At this stage, there are the public events — with national politicians unafraid more than a year and a half before the primary season begins to touch down and engage with residents in front of the cameras. But there’s also a silent maneuvering of candidates trying to knit together what could eventually turn into a coalition of organization and support.
“The day after a November election, there is stuff going on in New Hampshire,” said Neil Levesque, the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. “People are constantly reaching out to activists. There is sort of a low-level campaign always going on, and I think that’s the case up until about February of this year when it started heating up.”
For Democrats in 2020, there are some familiar names we saw in 2016, along with a deep bench of newcomers to the national scene. All of them know that the first in the nation primary state of New Hampshire can be make or break for their nomination run:
On Tuesday, two potential presidential contenders — Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and former Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland — swung through the state on the same day, bringing with them a barrage of national media ready to report on possible challengers to a controversial incumbent president consistently struggling with scandal and approval ratings.
Their trips followed recent visits from others — Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake and Democrats like Julian Castro, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and Reps. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Tim Ryan from Ohio. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence both dropped by the state last month.
The real rubber won’t hit the road until the day after the 2018 midterms, but the groundwork is starting to be set for candidates building out a national political campaign.
It’s worth noting that some of the Democrats named are essentially running for the chance at a Vice Presidential spot. With a large Democratic field, allegiances will span the political spectrum, and it will probably be necessary for the eventual Democratic nominee to “heal” the party after a rough primary by selecting one of their opponents in an attempt at unity.