Excellent point by Tom Sullivan at Hullabaloo:
Keeping track of how many Democrats are running for president in 2020 is futile. The candidate count stands somewhere above 20, making the chances of actually winning the primary contest a long shot for most, if not simply an expensive vanity project. Democrats have a wealth of riches, goes the popular narrative. What they lack are candidates for U.S. Senate. Thirty-four seats are on 2020 ballots.
Salon Deputy Politics Editor Sophia Tesfaye worries talented Democrats itching to take down Donald Trump may leave the Senate and approval of federal judges in Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s control. Red-state Democrats who need more control in their state legislatures could use some local races to boost voter turnout and may not get it.
“Beto O’Rourke in Texas, Steve Bullock in Montana, and John Hickenlooper in Colorado all gave up opportunities to challenge potentially vulnerable Republicans for Senate seats” to run for president, Tesfaye writes. With rumors that Joe Manchin may leave his West Virginia Senate seat to run for governor, a Democrat in the White House could face an even more hostile Senate in 2021 if Democrats loose ground there. Democrat Doug Jones could lose his Alabama U.S. Senate seat in 2020.
The sitting president may be drawing all the fire to himself, but Democrats need more attention to their flanks. There is little to suggest a Democratic presidential candidate in 2020 will pay much attention to red states, especially to red states with no competitive contests for U.S. Senate. The longer the Senate goes under-contested, the worse it will go both for Democrats and American democracy.
The Democrats could come up with the perfect presidential candidate who could win the election in a landslide and give Trump the humiliation he so richly deserves. But it won’t mean anything and nothing will change if the Senate remains in Republican majority and Mitch McConnell is still the majority leader. And all those folks who are passing up Senate races in fanciful hopes of being the next president are only making it more likely.