WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- As lawmakers wrangle over the government shutdown, many on the left are also eyeing 2020.
"I think if you love your country you fight for the people who work," Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
Fresh off his recent re-election, Brown is kicking the tires on entering the 2020 race for president. Working-class issues would be at the center of his campaign, if he runs.
"I think Senator Brown is really a strong candidate," said Mark Rom, a political science professor with Georgetown University.
Rom said Brown may be strongest where Hillary Clinton proved weakest in 2016, with Midwestern, working-class white voters. Brown’s not polling near the top of a field of potential candidates measured by the dozen.
To break through, Rom said Brown will need minority support, and enough time to build name recognition outside Ohio. "I think he’ll need to get in earlier rather than later,: said Rom.
Rom said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) could spring-board off his surprise 2016 run. But, if fellow progressives jump in, they could breakup his monopoly over the party’s liberal left. "I’m not sure he’ll have that same magic," Rom said of the potential for Sanders in another run at the democratic nomination.
Rom also isn’t sure whether former Vice President Joe Biden’s commanding poll leads would hold up at the primary ballot box.
But, Rom is ready to write-off the little-known, already declared candidates – like former West Virginia state senator and 2018 congressional candidate Richard Ojeda. "Unthinkable, it’s just not going to happen," Rom said.
President Donald Trump is the only declared republican, but his loudest critics on the right are considering an intra-party insurrection.
Come January, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) – a frequent feuding partner with the president -- will leave his seat in Congress. While Corker said he doesn’t see a president staring back in the mirror every morning, he isn’t ruling out a challenge.
"The thing that does cause you to think about it some is just the tremendous influence a president has, and how it just shifts so dramatically," he said. He continued, "as a senator you make a difference, and it’s a tremendous privilege to serve in the United States Senate, but... this job pales in comparison to the difference you can make there."
The last significant primary challenge to a sitting president came more than 25 years ago, when Pat Buchanan ran to unseat President George H-W Bush.
Party primaries will begin in a little more than a year.