How Kirsten Gillibrand could win the 2020 Democratic primary

On Tuesday, under the hot TV lights of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” New York’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand tossed her hat into the presidential ring, declaring that she’s forming an exploratory committee.

“TONIGHT: @SenGillibrand stops by @colbertlateshow to announce that she is forming an exploratory committee to run for President of the United States! #LSSC pic.twitter.com/vPUpF1gs8z

— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) January 15, 2019”

Gillibrand is one of several Democratic women expected to run, and her campaign will make its central appeal to women voters. But given the oft-times gendered dynamics of the 2016 presidential campaign, Gillibrand is likely to face challenges because of her gender and her vocal support of the #MeToo movement. A politician who has shifted her politics in tandem with the ever-liberalizing Democratic base, Gillibrand could open herself up to charges that she has changed positions opportunistically. Still, she remains in the top tier of contenders in the primary field because of her fundraising power and active decade in national politics.