In modern politics, it’s perfectly natural for people to look ahead to elections and imagine who the candidates might be.

Original article from guest writer

Politics are more accessible than ever with a 24-hour news cycle, and the result is that more people are interested in following along.

In the United States, particularly among the Democratic party that suffered stunning defeats in 2016, all of this is amplified. The incumbency of an unorthodox, offensive, and some would say dangerous president has caused more speculation than usual about 2020.

First, the U.S. must get through the 2018 midterm elections, which will determine which of the two major parties will control Congress. Many are forecasting what’s called a “blue wave,” which is to say significant Democratic gains in the House of Representatives, and potentially the Senate.

This forecast made sense as soon as it became clear how controversial Trump’s presidency would be, but it has since become even more logical. Most notably, when an underdog Democrat named Doug Jones won a Senate race in Alabama, experts declared it a bad sign for U.S. Republicans.

Even so, however, most Americans focus the majority of their political energy on the presidency, and that means a lot of attention is already being paid to 2020.

Some might be surprised to learn that Trump is expected to have a very good chance of winning re-election.

A site drawing information from numerous betting firms did a somewhat tongue-in-cheek analysis of “insane” bets about the Trump presidency when it was just starting, and set the odds at 6/4 that he would win again in 2020.

The analysis noted that only 13 U.S. presidents have won re-election, but also that the last three presidents have all served two terms. That is to say Trump would be an underdog right now, but not much of one – and the trend toward trusting presidents with two terms works in his favor.

Beyond basic odds, however, this has been a tricky discussion for Americans to engage in in any kind of constructive manner simply because we don’t know who the Democratic nominee will be in two years.

There are numerous candidates of course, and many have pointed out that we don’t always imagine the correct figures.

None could have predicted that Trump would be president when Barack Obama was just getting started for instance; few even knew who Obama was when George W. Bush became president. Based on these recent examples, the man or woman who rises to become the Democratic nominee might be a relative unknown at this very moment.

Or, as more and more people seem to believe, it could be the most well-known figure in the Democratic party beyond Obama and Hillary Clinton. Former vice president Joe Biden, who neglected to run in 2016 at least in part because he was still grieving the tragic loss of his son, appears to be throwing his hat in the ring – or at least not objecting when others do.

Biden is something of a polarizing figure among Democrats when it comes to 2020 talks. On the one hand, he is almost universally adored within his party; on the other, there are some who would rather move away from so-called “establishment” figures and embrace a younger candidate – not to mention potentially one that isn’t a white male politician. What few can deny however is that Biden represents an interesting counter to Trump. He has all the experience Trump lacks, but a similar (if more refined) way of speaking frankly. He tends to poll well with women and minority groups but also famously speaks well to the very white working class demographics that went so heavily for Trump in 2016.

Whatever the case may be, Biden gave perhaps his most revealing interview since leaving the vice presidency recently, and seemed to leave the door wide open to a presidential run.

In addition to calling Trump a joke, Biden essentially said he would have no problem walking away from the election if he knew he was walking away for the right reasons. But that was a hypothetical offered in response to the question, from CNN interviewer Chris Cuomo, “how do you not run?”

The takeaway from the interview was that running is very much on his mind.

That means speculation about 2020 may soon be turning into a legitimate race.

Image of Joe Biden from guest writer.

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