Election 2020 begins as Democrats announce exploratory committees

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) - Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro are both testing the waters of a presidential campaign with 20 months until the general election.

"The American presidential political process is beginning earlier than ever," said Kirby Goidel, director of the Texas A&M Public Policy Research Institute. "It's so expensive that candidates need that much time to fundraise and to snag the best campaign team members."

Goidel says that there are also likely potential candidates out there who have not and will not announce exploratory committees--but that doesn't mean they're not exploring a candidacy privately. The benefit of publicly announcing your committee is simply to make headlines.

"Then you can essentially announce your candidacy twice," said Goidel. "Once for your exploratory committee, and again when you officially declare your candidacy."

Election 2020 may be special as well, with political experts including Goidel saying it's likely President Donald Trump could see a challenger within his own party.

"For example, Republican Senator Mitt Romney just wrote a scathing op-ed calling the president unfit for office," said Goidel.

For the full conversation, see the video player above.