Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is reportedly weeks ahead of launching his 2020 presidential campaign and sees a clear pathway to victory. But there's one potential competitor that's making his staffers nervous.
The Atlantic reported Friday that ahead of a planned February campaign launch, Sanders' 2020 team "has been eyeing Beto O'Rourke nervously, given the former Texas congressman’s strong online presence and appeal with many of the same types of voters that he taps into." This concern likely isn't unfounded; The New York Times reported in December on a number of Sanders 2016 staffers who in 2020 were eager to instead get behind a potential O'Rourke bid, for example.
But The Atlantic writes that within Sanders' inner circle, "there's a sense that O'Rourke's support is flagging, as he continues to talk about running without making a decision." The most recent update from O'Rourke came this week when he told Oprah Winfrey in an interview he's thinking about running and will decide this month, per CNN.
One candidate Sanders isn't worried about, though? Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), as The Atlanticreports that "Sanders and his aides have always seen him as a greater threat to her than she is to him."
Warren is still technically in the exploratory committee phase of her 2020 bid but is likely to officially announce her campaign on Feb. 9. Sanders, Friday's report says, is expected to launch his own White House bid with an exploratory committee before the end of the month — at least, "barring a surprise last minute change of heart." Read more at The Atlantic.