Here are The Hill’s initial rankings of where the potential candidates stand.
1. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.)
How would the 2016 election have panned out had Warren challenged Clinton in the primary? That’s one of the great unknowables of Democratic politics. But now, there is little doubt that the Massachusetts senator is the leading contender for the 2020 nomination.
Warren, a former Harvard Law School professor, has been beloved by the left throughout her late-blooming political career, largely because of her no-punches-pulled attacks on banks and the financial industry. She got under Trump’s skin via Twitter during the 2016 campaign too.
The recent news that Warren will join the Senate Armed Services Committee in January has stoked speculation that she is looking to bolster her foreign policy and national security credentials in advance of a presidential run. Warren would be 71 by the time of the next election, but she is three years younger than Trump.
2. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Sanders came from semi-obscurity in the Senate to give Clinton a serious run for her money in the battle for the Democratic nomination this year.
He won 23 contests and amassed more than 13 million votes. He also fired the enthusiasm of young voters and progressives, two pillars of the Democratic base that Clinton struggled to charm.
The Vermonter’s focus on income inequality and his broader point that the system is rigged against working Americans resonated. Sanders’s main problem when it comes to a 2020 run could be his age. He will be 79 next Election Day. Still, Sanders might well be tempted to try one more time — especially if Warren stood aside.