(CNN)If there’s one lesson Democrats should learn from the 2018 election, it’s this: Their base wants to make history.
Democratic voters helped elect a historic number of women to Congress. They elected the first Muslim-American women — one in Minnesota and another in Michigan. They voted in the first Native-American women — in New Mexico and Kansas.
Everywhere you looked on the map last Tuesday night, Democratic voters were backing women — and oftentimes women of color.
Which brings us to the 2020 Democratic presidential race. And specifically to California Sen. Kamala Harris.
Harris is in her first term as a senator from the country’s largest state. When she won in 2016, she made history as the first African-American woman and the first Indian-American woman to represent California in the Senate.
Starting to get a sense for where we’re headed here? We’ve always ranked Harris highly in these rankings — due to the importance of California within the broader Democratic Party and the number of major donors in the state who would gladly help fund Harris’ national ambitions.
But the 2018 election convinced us that Harris seems to be exactly what Democratic voters are telling the party and its politicians they want representing them going forward. A young-ish — she’s 54 — non-white woman, Harris looks like the Democratic Party base these days. And if 2020 is anything like 2018, that’s a very good place for her to be.
Add it all up, and we’ve got a new #1 on our 2020 rankings! Our full top 10 list is below…
#8. Steve Bullock: Some politicians are coy about running. The governor of Montana is the opposite of that. He’s visited Iowa multiple times and New Hampshire as well. But showing signs of running isn’t enough to get you on this list. One thing we like about Bullock is he has a lane that doesn’t seem overly crowded … yet. He’s the outsider western governor in a party that is becoming more dominated by urbanites. That also means that his natural base within the party is very small. One other problem for Bullock is that most people have no clue who he is. In a crowded field, he may get buried before he ever has a chance to shine.