As President Donald Trump and his aides gear up for 2020, they are most concerned about different targets: Trump’s staffers are focused on gathering opposition research on Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Kamala Harris (D-CA).
Trump, on the other hand, has focused his attention on potential candidate Joe Biden, who he sees as having the greatest chance of winning a general election.
According to a Thursday Politico report, Trump’s aides have had mixed reactions while watching the start of the primaries: pleasure at the candidates’ lean to the left, shock at Harris’ impressive rollout and fear that Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Biden will enter the race and put the midwest on the table.
Trump sees Biden as most able to appeal to disparate parts of the base, while his aides see him as too centrist to survive the primary.
Trump’s staffers are pleased at the lack of a frontrunner and hope that support will be spread too thin for one dominant candidate to emerge and overcome the incumbency effect.