The Note: Democrats’ 2020 field poised for new additions

A mini-wave of fresh announcements is expected to swell in the coming days.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

How about an even 20 for 2020?

A mini-wave of fresh announcements from major presidential contenders is expected to swell the field of 15 -- and counting -- in the coming days.

Everyone from the mayor of Miramar, Florida, to former Vice President Joe Biden are now on the expectations clock. So are a handful of House members, such as Reps. Eric Swalwell, Tim Ryan and Seth Moulton, at least one additional senator, Sen. Michael Bennet, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

Stacey Abrams' reaction on ABC's "The View" on Wednesday, when asked about the possibility that she agreed to become Biden's early running mate, said a whole lot about where politics stand for Democrats in 2019.

"You don't run for second place," Abrams explained.

She did say she's considering a run for president or Senate.

"If I'm going to enter a primary, then I'm going to enter a primary," she said.

Democrats don't see this as a year to wait one's turn. And a growing number see no need to wait at all.

The RUNDOWN with John Verhovek

What qualifies as a presidential "moment" in the 2020 race?

Answers to that question aside, Pete Buttigieg, the 37-year-old openly gay Navy veteran, currently the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, seems to have found his own early in the 2020 Democratic primary. He's standing out because of his unique background and laid-back approach.

Buttigieg has already raised money from enough individual donors to qualify for the first presidential debate. He's also made trips to the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, drawing crowds that are steadily increasing in size.

But the rise of "Mayor Pete" begets a broader question about the early stages of the Democratic presidential messaging battle.

"We spent, I think, way too much time on our side talking about" Donald Trump, Buttigieg said in an interview this week on the Democratic Party's electoral failure in 2016. "Our whole message was, Don't vote for him because he is terrible. And even because he is, that is not a message."

Trump changed the traditional calculus of presidential politics, and while the 2020 race is still in its infancy there's no telling what may allow contenders like Buttigieg and others to change it yet again.

The TIP with Rachel Scott

As Trump travels to Michigan, his supporters are not only anticipating a campaign rally, but a celebration. For the first time since special counsel Robert Mueller completed his investigation and Attorney General William Barr indicated that the president was cleared of any attempted collusion in the 2016 election, Trump will be able to address his base.

It could mark a new chapter in the president's rhetoric. After months of calling the Mueller investigation a "witch hunt," he may turn the page by testing new lines that could become signature to his 2020 campaign. Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate in almost three decades to win Michigan. The conclusion of the investigation is activating his supporters as energy ripples throughout parts of the state ahead of his Grand Rapids rally.

"I'm glad he got vindication," said Don Wendland Jr., a famer in Saginaw Valley, who also told ABC News that he believes Democrats will only push voters into the arms of Republicans by refusing to accept the results. "I think it was a witch hunt. It's kind of sickening to see it. They never built that man up."

THE PLAYLIST

ABC News' "Start Here" podcast. Thursday morning's episode features ABC News' Jordana Miller in Jerusalem, who says tensions remain high in the country following a rocket attack and President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. http://apple.co/2HPocUL

ABC News' "The Investigation" podcast. In this episode of "The Investigation," billionaire and liberal activist Tom Steyer explains why -- even in the wake of the Mueller report's conclusion -- he's doubling down on calls to impeach Trump, breaking with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other prominent democrats who are shifting their focus to the next election. Steyer also weighs in on Trump's tax returns, the ongoing investigations centering on the president and the "pattern of corruption" he says compels Congress to take action. https://apple.co/2GjL25N

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY

  • Presidential candidate John Delaney kicks off a two-day tour of New Hampshire.
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