Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) fired the starting gun this week in the race for the Democratic Party’s 2020 nominating contest, putting pressure on other potential candidates weighing campaigns of their own.
The early entrance not only gives Warren a headstart on hiring campaign staff and raising money, which will be crucial in a potentially long and crowded primary season, it also provides ample opportunity for her to set the tenor of the nominating contest by staking out positions that could define the Democratic field.
“It shows that if somebody is bold enough to go first, then that changes calendars and calculations for everybody else who is forming exploratory committees or thinking of doing so,” said Jon Reinish, a Democratic strategist.
“This is akin to California moving its primary up,” he added. “It forces everybody to take another look.”
Democrats are expected to see one of the largest primary fields in history in 2020. Dozens of political giants, party elders and rising stars ranging from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) are among those weighing White House runs.