Kamala Harris shows potential strength in 2020 primary

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A look at the early signals in the endorsement part of the invisible primary, however, point to Harris as a force to be reckoned with in 2020.

Like public opinion polls, the endorsement primary suggests a contest that is still wide open. That’s not much of a surprise. We’re still more than a year away from the Iowa caucus. Still, the endorsement primary will be important to keep an eye on it. Candidates who receive a lot of endorsements from party actors (politicians, activists, etc.) tend to do well. Even six months out from Iowa, the candidate ahead in the endorsement primary has won 9 of last 14 presidential primaries without an incumbent running in it.

Without many actual endorsements to count, it’s a bit difficult to gauge where things might end up in 2020. There’s no real way to conduct the type of scientific poll we do with for the public at large. We’re stuck reading tea leaves. Those tea leaves though suggest that Democratic activists seem most open to voting for someone like Harris at this point.

Iowa Democratic county chairpeople, for example, want a young person who hasn’t run for president before. That was the opinion of 43 of 76 county Iowa chairpeople asked by the Wall Street Journal. Harris, who is only 54 years old, received strong reviews compared to polling leaders like Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
A separate measure of the endorsement primary from political scientist Seth Masket finds similarly. Masket has been interviewing activists who have…



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