ANALYSIS: A year into Trump's presidency, Democrats have visions of 2020

President Trump has united his opposition over the last year.

The president, with his particularly divisive brand of politics, has united his opposition over the last year. After those men and women marched, they got to work.

Frustrated by the failures of the Democratic Party, they built their own local, grassroots organizations. Disappointed by the defeat of the first female presidential candidate, women by the tens of thousands raised their hands to run. Emboldened by the president’s low approval ratings -- and the fact that he lost the popular vote the first go-around -- people who were disappointed in his election or his governing have anticipated and plotted their chance at a redo.

“We have seen levels of commitment and resistance that I have not seen in my lifetime, and it is pervasive and preserving,” Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America told ABC News.

Still, while the left in particular appears mobilized and chomping at the bit to get someone else into the White House, the most successful 2020 candidates, at least for Democrats, may be those who wait to start running.

It is sure to be a crowded field, but leading activists say voters will likely reward whoever is bringing the fight to Trump on a daily basis or offering clear alternatives for governing.

Plus, the political landscape will certainly be different over the next few years. By the time the 2020 presidential race comes around, who knows how this often-chameleon president will operate?

While only one Democrat has formally declared, Maryland Rep. John Delaney, more than a dozen sitting lawmakers are flirting with the idea.

“People in red states and blue states and purple states are looking for one thing and that is someone who they trust who reflect an understanding of the very challenging and diverse lives we live,” Hogue said. “What that looks like, we should have a rigorous debate about.”

She predicted that Democrats will in the end stick to their party’s basic platforms in 2020 and not, in fact, veer further to the right or center as some predicted after Clinton’s loss. “One of the lessons of 2016 is that a fired-up base is the key to victory,” she said.

For those seeking an alternative to the president, maybe the answer will be an executive from one of the states -- someone from outside the Washington beltway, but not new to politics or governing.

Democrats had some of their biggest victories in 2017 when they ran longtime, well-known local names.

“Boring can be beautiful,” Ferguson said. “Voters are hungry for authenticity and competence."

The newly-elected Democratic governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, "did not have to be ‘Mr. Sexy,’ as long as he was ‘Mr. Solutions,’” Ferguson said.

Campaigning in 2020 will undoubtedly be different than it was in 2016, with political organizing at new highs in communities across the country.

Speaking to ABC News, Virginia House Delegate Danica Roem predicted that 2018 will be a wave for Democrats if they work as hard as the party and local volunteers did in her state last November.

During her swearing-in ceremony Saturday, Roem talked passionately about the engagement she saw in her hometown where dozens of volunteers turned out to knock on doors with her.

She said she wants this to be the organizer's mantra, "'If we can't change their minds, we change their seats.'"

In 2020, it is hard to imagine that any corporate backing or big-time donor will be as vital or sought after as a high level of community involvement, local volunteer hours and grassroots activism as displayed in local races last year like Roem's.

A new political landscape could pave the way for a new Trump presidency as well. If, for instance, Democrats take back the House this year, will President Trump shift his style?

How would Democratic voters react to their representatives making deals with this commander-in-chief, if Trump were open to it?

And what if Trump faces a Republican primary challenge himself? Does he dig in or try to temper his tone and broaden his appeal?

But if the first year of his presidency is any indication, Trump may be reluctant to change his stances or work across the aisle no matter what comes.

This story is part of a weeklong series examining the first year of the Trump administration.

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