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Even if Bernie Doesn’t Run in 2020, He May Play Kingmaker in Iowa

A new report on Bernie Sanders’ activity in Iowa suggests the socialist senator is sustaining a major operation there, which could elevate Bernie or a preferred choice of his.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has a message for the Democratic Party: in Iowa, I run the show.

That’s the gist of a new report from CNN, that covers how Sanders is maintaining, and building on, his operation in the Hawkeye State, likely the first state to vote in the 2020 presidential primary.

IOWA’S REVOLUTION

CNN‘s Eric Bradner and Gregory Krieg have the details on Sanders’ efforts, two-and-a-half years out from the Iowa caucuses.

Whether he runs again or not, Sanders’ backers and Iowa Democratic strategists say the Vermont senator’s strength in the Hawkeye State will force other candidates to either embrace his influential message or risk running up against it.

…Sanders-backers have landed positions in Iowa’s county and state Democratic parties and are candidates in its governor’s race and, in D’Alessandro’s case, at least one congressional contest.

In a crowded field, Sanders’ name recognition could provide a significant boost in Iowa, either for himself or the candidate of his choice.

BUT FOR BERNIE, WHO?

If Sanders passes on a run, it only makes sense that he’d support a presidential candidate who agrees with at least some of his platform – single-payer health care, tuition-free college, 100 percent renewable energy, and trillions in new taxes.

Who could possibly live up to that expensive mantle?

  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), a far-left firebrand who has campaigned with Sanders
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), also a very liberal senator – with the added benefit of representing a swing state
  • Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA), who will be 82 when Americans vote in 2020 but has represented true-blue California as governor several times

It’s very unclear, two to three years out, who Bernie will back in 2020, or if he will make another run himself. But one thing is clear: he’s running the show in Iowa.