In 2016, when Donald J. Trump finally emerged as the Republican nominee out of a field of 17 candidates, many probably thought that would likely be the largest group they’d ever see in a primary.
But with 2020 right around the corner the Democrats have already beaten that number.
Many of those hoping to take on Trump are household names such as Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders while many others like John Delaney and Andrew Yang are lesser known.
Even though the field is getting so crowded it can be a bit overwhelming to keep up, this is all good news for the Trump campaign.
There are several important reasons why a large list of Democratic contenders is good for Trump and his re-election bid.
The Candidates will Push Each Other Farther to the Left
The current race to the far left is already happening.
While trying to stand out in the crowd, many of the Democratic candidates are promoting ideas that are far from the mainstream.
Getting rid of the Electoral College, giving sixteen-year-olds the chance to vote, and tuition-free college for all are just a few of the ideas that are being tossed around. With so many candidates trying to make a name for themselves and vying for limited media attention, they’ll have to keep coming up with proposals to outdo each other.
This may generate excitement on the far left, but probably won’t play out too well in the general election when trying to win over moderates and independents.
Almost every far left idea that’s being put out now will be easy ammunition for Trump to use against the nominee once the primary is over.
The far left is currently dominating the Democratic Party and a day of reckoning is surely coming when the general election starts.
They’ll Ultimately Have to Destroy Each Other
While the current candidates have handled each other with kid gloves so far, this will almost certainly change.
The Democrats insist that their primary agenda is beating Trump, but with the party divided between far left progressives and more moderate democrats, they’ll have to figure out who they are before they can do that.
There were inklings of self-destruction when Lucy Flores accused Biden of inappropriate touching and kissing.
In the last few weeks since Pete Buttigieg suddenly came from out of nowhere his competitors are now starting serious opposition research on Mayor Pete.
Everything from social media posts to South Bend budget reports are being thoroughly examined.
If he becomes a serious contender, a lot of the research Trump will need is already being done for him by Democrats.
The first official Democratic debate will take place in June and there will be a limit to how many of the current candidates will ultimately make it to the stage.
This means that the candidates polling near the bottom will likely attack those higher up in an effort to make it to the debate state.
Of course many of the candidates are simply looking for name recognition or a potential cabinet spot and will drop out gracefully before even getting to 2020. The few that are left to fight it out for the nomination won’t leave the race so easily.
The longer it goes on, the uglier it is almost certain to get.
There May Eventually be an Independent Candidate
Of course this is already happening on the Republican side, with the Governor from Massachusetts, William Weld, announcing his plans to run against Trump.
But with approximately 90 percent of Republicans supporting Trump at this point, his or any other challenger’s campaign is unlikely to go anywhere.
There is, however, a reasonable possibility that if Sanders is not the Democratic nominee that he’ll run as an Independent.
This is his last shot at the presidency and it’s unlikely that he or his supporters will go away quietly. In fact, many have stated that they’ll vote for Trump if Sanders is denied the Democratic nomination yet again.
The anger and passion that many Bernie supporters feel over how their candidate was treated during the last election has not dissipated. The potential of a third party candidate gaining any traction is much more likely on the democratic side with so many contenders.
This division among Democrats will almost certainly work to Trump’s advantage.
Trumps best strategy at this point would be to sit back and let this large pool of candidates do his work for him.