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Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin: ‘I think Donald Trump is the favorite’ to win in 2020

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin says the Democrats face an uphill battle as Donald Trump is the favorite to win reelection.

U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland said Monday that he believes Democrats face “an uphill battle” in the 2020 presidential election and — at least for now — “I think Donald Trump is the favorite.”

“I came to that conclusion a couple months ago,” the third-term Democrat said. “Before that, I thought America would not tolerate a person who lies, cheats, is a bully. That’s against our values. I didn’t think he had any chance at reelection.”

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Cardin said the Electoral College could play to the Republican president’s advantage.

“When you see the support base that he has and recognize that the electoral map is not the popular map, I think it’s an uphill battle,” the senator said during an interview with The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board.

Trump lost the popular vote to Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 but won the Electoral College, partly on the strength of narrow victories in swing states Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

“When you see the support base that [President Donald Trump] has and recognize that the electoral map is not the popular map, I think it’s an uphill battle,” U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin said of the Democratic Party's prospects of winning back the White House.
“When you see the support base that [President Donald Trump] has and recognize that the electoral map is not the popular map, I think it’s an uphill battle,” U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin said of the Democratic Party's prospects of winning back the White House.(Jerry Jackson / Baltimore Sun)

Cardin, who has not endorsed a candidate in the Democratic primary, said he will be “working every minute I can — whoever our nominee is” to defeat Trump.

Maryland’s primary is not until April 28. Some of the Democratic presidential candidates — including former vice president Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana — have held fundraisers in the state.

On Feb. 3, Democratic contender Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor, announced the hiring of a handful of staff members who will lead operations in Maryland.

“I’ve always liked him,” Cardin said of Bloomberg. “I’m biased because he’s done so much for Baltimore.”

In 2018, Bloomberg, who attended Johns Hopkins University, gave the university $1.8 billion for student financial aid.

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Bloomberg has been spending heavily on advertising critical of Trump.

“I really appreciate the fact that he is putting his money where his mouth is,” Cardin said. “He is putting in millions of dollars in infrastructure to defeat Donald Trump even if he is not the nominee.”

Cardin and other members of Maryland’s congressional delegation were in Baltimore at an event Monday to urge Marylanders to participate in the upcoming census. The members have been emphasizing the importance of the population count to obtaining grants and other federal assistance for underserved communities.

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