Oprah 2020 Is Trending But Can Oprah Be A Legitimate Contender?
The buzz started before Oprah even took the stage to receive her historic Cecil B. DeMille award this past Sunday night at the Golden Globe Awards. Host Seth Myers joked about the possibility of her running for office in 2020 (with Tom Hanks as VP), in his opening monologue.
Considering the mood of the evening—actresses donning black attire in solidarity with the #MeToo campaign and Oprah being the first black woman to receive the annual honor by the Hollywood Foreign Press—it was to be expected that the media powerhouse would strike a chord onstage.
Her speech was dependably rousing and empowering for women, minorities, and men—in solidarity with the current anti-harassment campaign.
By the next day, word spread like wildfire online and in news media, simply wondering if Oprah should squash decades-long rumors that she’d make a viable ruler of the free world and simply run, because after all, ostensibly: Trump did.
How does Oprah feel about the idea? Back in October, Ms. Winfrey was on CBS’ “This Morning”, and was asked about running for any public office—including president—at some point in her life.
“There will be no running for office of any kind for me,” she insisted.
Now, the Tuesday morning after the Golden Globes, the icon’s iconic best friend Gayle King weighed in as well: “She loves this country and would like to be of service in some way, but I don’t think that she’s actively considering it,” King said.
Trump was uncharacteristically subdued in his response to the speculation, telling reporters on Tuesday that he “could beat her”, and that he doesn’t think she’ll run.
It’s obvious that Trump has unwittingly opened the doors for unorthodox candidates in the future. This is theoretical though, depending on how the rest of his still-young presidency fares with the public overall.
“Let me be clear, if #Oprah throws her hat in the ring, she’s the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination,” Cornell Belcher, a prominent Democratic pollster, tweeted on Monday. “If she pulls together the considerable resources to build a top notch organization in the early states – after the South Carolina primary no one will catch her.”
As the week progressed, polls inevitably sprouted up with their assessments:
Winfrey bested Trump by 10 points in a Rasmussen Reports survey released Wednesday: 48% of likely U.S. voters would choose her compared to 38% for Trump. There were also 14% who were undecided. The poll was taken January 8-9.
Another poll for registered Democrats found a heavier preference for former Vice President Joe Biden over Winfrey as their prospective 2020 candidate: Biden won 26% of the vote in a four-way race that included Bernie Sanders at 21%, Winfrey at 20%, and Elizabeth Warren at 18%. RABA Research interviewed the Democratic voters between January 10 and 11 via an online survey.
Winfrey herself has not made a public comment on the 2020 election since Sunday.