Three of the Democrats' potential frontrunners for the 2020 race for the White House will all be in their seventies come campaign time. Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are the names that keep popping up to challenge President Trump - and Iowa Democrats are concerned about it.
Democratic leaders in Iowa's 99 counties shared their concerns in a recent survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal.
Of the 76 Democratic county party leaders who responded to the survey, 43 said they would prefer a young candidate. They said they want a fresh face and expressed interest in potential candidates who haven’t run for president before. They yearn for a nominee with the energizing charisma of President Barack Obama to counter President Donald Trump’s rowdy base. Most said gender wouldn’t be a determining factor. (Wall Street Journal)
And that message is coming from Democratic leaders of all ages - even those who are in their seventies.
“They’re all too old,” said Chris Henning, a 71-year-old Democratic chairwoman in Greene County. “It’s not white bread America any more, we’ve got to get with the program.”
Of course younger leaders want to see change too.
“I can’t see how my generation, 18- to 34-year-olds, can get excited about a 70-year-old candidate ever again,” said 26-year-old Dallas County Chairman Bryce Smith.
Smith has someone like Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke in mind. O'Rourke lost his Senate bid against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), but he won over many progressives with his apparent charisma. Other young (er) guns mentioned among Iowa Democrats are Sens. Cory Booker (NJ) and Kamala Harris (CA). Whoever decides to put their hat in the ring, Harris predicted the battle is going to get "ugly."
The opinions of Iowan leaders matter especially because their state hosts the first presidential contest each election cycle. The Iowa Caucus gives candidates their first opportunity to mark a win on their scoresheet.
Age is also a concern when it comes to Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the California congresswoman who is expected to be elected Speaker of the House again at 78 years old.
(H/T America Rising PAC)