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Don’t just listen, study for 2020 primaries

It’s only been a few days since everyone was celebrating the New Year. Only a few days to recuperate from the holiday season and get started with 2019. But it’s never too early to start studying up for the 2020 presidential primary, especially after Sen. Elizabeth Warren got things started this week.

Warren announced her 2020 exploratory committee for president to her supporters on Monday. An exploratory committee — or “testing-the-waters committees” — is formed when someone wants to “explore the feasibility of becoming a candidate,” according to fec.gov.

It’s not a shocking announcement. As USA Today reported later that same day, she’s “long been expected” to join the likes of Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden and Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke in a wide-open competition for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

She stepped into the ring with a video posted online Monday, in which she told supporters that America’s middle class is “under attack.” The culprits, according to her, are billionaires and corporations that “wanted more of the pie,” along with the politicians that cut them “a fatter slice.”

“They crippled unions that no one could stop them,” she said in the video, intercut with a biting clip of former President Ronald Reagan, “dismantled the former rules that were meant to keep us safe after the Great Depression, and cut their own taxes so that they paid less than their secretaries and janitors.”

There’s merit to these words. On Tuesday, the Washington Post reported on a study published in the American Political Science Review that detailed how congressional staffers “were terrible at estimating constituents’ support for various policies.”

Both Republican and Democratic staffers believed the public “was more conservative than they actually are,” according to the report, and that’s because congressional offices pay closer attention “to what big business groups are saying — especially when those groups give them money.”

Warren’s announcement hits a few notes that will ring true to left-leaning voters and many in the middle. She’s already been at odds with Trump, both on social media and in the press. He told reporters on Oct. 15 that he could easily defeat Warren in a general election.

There may be some qualities to her presidential possibilities, but I remain hesitant. The Democratic Party is going to have droves of presidential contenders launching their campaigns throughout 2019. Many of them will be able to easily pivot off of the ugliness of the Trump administration with their own buzzwords that appeal to liberals like myself.

But don’t be swayed by clever video editing and soundbites. Instead, do your research, and do it thoroughly. Each candidate is going to have notable flaws, and it’s up to you to weighs each one’s pros and cons and decide which one you’re most comfortable voting for in 2020.

Do the math based on their policies, plans and personal beliefs. Pretty much all of them are going to look better than Trump, but decide which one is actually going to help this country recover.