“We started gathering research on 2020 candidates in spring of 2018,” Mike Reed, the RNC’s deputy chief of staff for communications, told me.

The RNC is “going to make whoever the nominee is radioactive well before they get the nomination,” a former campaign official told Axios. “That’s Trump’s strategy. Stay at 45-46% [in the polls] and just make the other guy radioactive.”

And the campaign plans to highlight the Democratic candidates’ far-left proposals in a way that that would “look poorly on the entire Democratic brand,” a Trump 2020 campaign adviser said — such as court packing, abolishing the electoral college and reparations. “Even Bernie’s not for reparations,” the source added.