2020 candidates coming out of the woodwork. Here’s how it looks so far …

With midterm elections now a distant memory, it seems presidential candidates are coming out of every corner with intentions to run in 2020.

Potential candidates are testing the waters for a confrontation with President Donald Trump, and this includes members of his own party.

Governor of Ohio, Republican John Kasich, declared he was “very seriously” thinking about running again.

“Very seriously. I’m considering it,” Kasich, who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2000 and 2016, told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” Sunday.

“These are earnest conversations that go on virtually every day with some of my friends, with my family,” he added.  “We need different leadership. There isn’t any question about it.”

The out-going governor, a vocal critic of Trump, is term-limited in Ohio and is not ruling out a third-party run if the 2020 scenario pits Trump against Democrat Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

“Let’s just say that Donald Trump is nominated and Elizabeth Warren is nominated, and you have this ocean of people who sit in the middle. Is there a legitimate opportunity for a third party, bipartisan kind of ticket to be able to – to score a victory or to have a profound impact on the future of American politics?” Kasich asked.

“I’m worried about our country, not just in the short-term. The question for me is what do I do about this?” he said. “Do I run because I’ve determined that I can win? Or is it important for me to make such a good showing that I can send a message that can disrupt the political system in this country? So yeah I have to think about it. I think about it seriously.”

Ohio’s recently re-elected Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, also speaking on “This Week” revealed he is now “seriously thinking” about a 2020 presidential run.

“I haven’t made trips to Iowa or New Hampshire, I haven’t done any of those things to prepare,” he said. “But we’re seriously thinking about it. We’re seriously talking about it with family and friends and political allies who have come to me about this.”

He criticized the president and what he considered the rise of populism in American politics.

“To me, populism is never anti-Semitic, it’s never racist, it never pushes people down in order to lift others up, that’s the phony populism of Donald Trump,” Brown said. “To me, populism respects the dignity of work and moves forward and tries to lift all boats.”

‘This president’s divisive rhetoric in order to distract from the issues of the day is what’s put us — it’s frankly why his leadership has been so wanting,” he added.

Other potential candidates arising out of the Midwest include Sen. Amy Klobuchar, although she told Stephanopoulos on Sunday that she had “no announcement” to make on the show.

“Well, people are talking to me about this, I think, in part because I’ve worked really hard to go not just where it’s comfortable but where it’s uncomfortable,” the Minnesota Democrat said on “This Week.”

Klobuchar noted that she “did well in a number of those places that Donald Trump won,” adding that she is “someone for those who are exhausted with politics, likes to get things done.”

“But right now, I am just still thinking about this, talking to people,” she said. “I’m sorry to say, I have no announcement for you on your show.”

An MSNBC panelist shared her idea of the dream ticket of Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey to vie against Trump but was quickly shot down by host Joy Reid.

“But racially polarized voting is a real thing and people will say they will vote for Oprah until she is on the ballot,” Reid told Tiffany Cross, though she did not mention the former first lady in the remark.

Many possible candidates seem to be avoiding definitive announcements that they are running in 2020, potentially because they are trying to avoid the legal and political complications that doing so would entail.

“It’s a charade played by candidates,”campaign finance expert Paul S. Ryan said, according to NBC News. “Their lawyers have told them, ‘Keep your mouth shut, because if you don’t, there are legal ramifications. But the FEC will let us get away with it if you just stay quiet.’”

One prominent Democrat many have considered a definite contender is Elizabeth Warren. But the Massachusetts senator has been conspicuously silent on a potential run, seeming to keep a lower profile since her ancestry test debacle last month.

A potential casualty may already have unfolded as attorney Michael Avenatti, who was busy lining up advisers to both Bill and Hillary Clinton for his 2020 run, has been accused of domestic violence by a former girlfriend – charges he has denied.

And, of course, no speculation of presidential candidates would be complete without Hillary Clinton, the perpetual attention-seeker and election failure. Though the former secretary of state has not made any official announcements about a 2020 bid for office, something many Democrats seem to dread, the questions continue to circulate.

“How many people think Hillary is running again?” Fox News’ Bret Baier asked after Clinton’s advice to Europe to curb immigration in order to stop right-wing populists.

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Frieda Powers

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