Bernie Sanders is “the nutty professor”; Elizabeth Warren is “Pocahontas”; Beto O’Rourke’s hand movements are “crazy”. Donald Trump is already taking pot shots at his potential opponents in the 2020 presidential election, evoking memories of his chaotic 2016 campaign with its raucous rallies and taunting tweets.
But something will be different this time. The US president is now backed by a Republican party reshaped in his image, a huge war chest and a newly sophisticated political data operation. Whereas some regard him as an accidental president who fluked his way to the White House in 2016, his lieutenants hope that, with all the advantages of incumbency, nothing will be left to chance in securing a second term.
“The thing that Democrats need to worry about is that Donald Trump won the 2016 Republican nomination and general election with virtually no campaign,” said Rick Tyler, communications director for Ted Cruz in the Republican primaries that year. “I know this to be true because we had the most organized campaign by far.