By Daniel J. McLaughlin
As soon as Donald Trump entered the White House in January 2017, the race for the next presidential election began. Trump's first action as president was to officially file his bid for re-election in 2020. And, as Joe Biden completed his two terms as vice president, there were calls for the former Delaware senator to return as soon as possible, but this time, sitting in the Oval Office as US president.
We are now two years into the Trump administration, and the intentions are still the same: Trump believes he will win a second term in office, and there are calls for Biden to run for the Democratic ticket in the 2020 presidential race. The latter, however, has been coy about his ambitions - but we should find out whether he will run for the third time (there were failed bids in 1988 and 2008), and whether it will be third time lucky.
The Democratic field for potential 2020 candidates is certainly very, very crowded. Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren kickstarted her campaign for the White House at the weekend, calling it "the fight for my life", adding: “I picked it because it picked me.”
Other potential Democratic candidates include the junior senator from California Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobucherm Sherrod Brown, and the progressive independent Bernie Sanders.
Beto O'Rourke, who narrowly lost to Republican Ted Cruz in the Texas Senate race during the midterms, is another possibility. O'Rourke, who serves in the House of Representatives, has been suggested as a possible running mate for Biden. Advisers to the former vice president have floated the idea of him teaming up with a younger Democrat to alleviate concerns about his age. By Election Day 2020, Biden will be 77 years of age, while O'Rourke is 46. If Biden wins, he would become the oldest president ever elected.
Biden has the backing of his Democratic colleagues. California senator Dianne Feinstein has aired her support, telling reporters: "My candidate would be Joe Biden. I watched him as vice president. I've seen him operate. I've seen him perform and I think he brings a level of experience and seniority, which I think is really important."
New York governor Andrew Cuomo is another supporter. During an appearance on New York radio station WAMC, the Democrat said: "I think of all the names that are out there, I think Joe Biden has the best case. I think Joe Biden has the best case because he brings the most of the secret ingredient you need to win for a Democrat, which is credibility."
Cuomo added: "I think there's going to be a big field. I think the problem for the Democrats is going to be this: it's going to be credibility. I think that the main issue for the Democrats is not going to be the articulation of the negative; it is going to be the articulation of the positive."
As well as credibility, Biden also brings favourability. He has the best favourability rating among a group of leading potential Democratic candidates. A Quinnipiac University poll released last month found that 53 per cent of respondents have a favourable view of Biden, compared to 33 per cent who do not. He is the only candidate in the poll who has a favourability rating above 50 per cent. There are only three other candidates - Sanders, O'Rourke, and Brown - whom more voters view favourably than unfavourably.
The former vice president has long been at the top of early 2020 polls for Democrats. The only candidate that has ranked higher than Biden is "someone new" in a recent USA Today poll. That someone new isn't likely to come along in the next two years, according to the Daily Wire.
A CNN poll in December showed Biden ahead of his fellow Democrats at 30 per cent. He has not trailed in a single national poll conducted in the last 11 months. "Biden's advantage is far from dominating, but it's nothing to sneeze at, even at this early stage," CNN argues.
There are many Democrats who want to fight for the top job, hoping to kick Donald Trump out of the Oval Office in 2020. Joe Biden has consistently topped support among his party to return to the White House, but this time as president of the United States.