Democratic Party's 2020 election strategy is akin to 'Trumpism without Trump'

  • While 2019 has just started, the 2020 presidential season is about to kick into full swing.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren became the first major candidate to enter the presidential race, formally announcing her bid in a video emailed to supporters on Monday.
  • "The Democratic party does not have a fundamentally different economic political agenda overall — it is Trumpism without Trump I would say," Inderjeet Parmar, the head of international politics at the U.K.'s City University, told CNBC on Wednesday.

The Democratic Party should take some time to reflect on exactly what it is they stand for if they are to make sure Donald Trump is just a one-term president, a professor of international politics told CNBC on Wednesday.

While 2019 has just started, the 2020 presidential season is about to kick into full swing.

More than 30 Democrats are thinking about announcing presidential bids, but very few stand out as obvious front-runners and there are plenty of questions facing the party as It prepares to challenge Trump once again.

"The Democratic party does not have a fundamentally different economic political agenda overall — it is Trumpism without Trump I would say," Inderjeet Parmar, the head of international politics at the U.K.'s City University, told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Wednesday.

"They believe that they pretty much won 2016 by 3 million votes and that a handful of votes in four states was all that was between them and the White House, so they haven't changed their strategy very much."

"Alongside Trump's movement further and further to the right, they have effectively followed him along that path," Parmar said.

Identity politics

Senator Elizabeth Warren became the first major candidate to enter the presidential race, formally announcing her bid in a video emailed to supporters on Monday.

The former Harvard professor promoted a message of economic fairness, while targeting corruption and racial inequity.

Warren is among the first Democrats to take a formal step for the party's nomination to take on Trump in 2020. The field is expected to grow in the coming weeks as other Democrats enter what will likely become a crowded and expensive primary contest.

In addition to the uncertainty surrounding who is running for office, the party currently finds itself in a state of transition. It comes at a time when the party is viewed as largely leaderless, with center-left policies being pushed aside by a more ideologically liberal agenda.

US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during the Massachusetts Democratic Coordinated Campaign election night party at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel in Boston, Massachusetts on November 6, 2018.
Christopher Evans | Digital First Media | Getty Images
US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks during the Massachusetts Democratic Coordinated Campaign election night party at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel in Boston, Massachusetts on November 6, 2018.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, the former Republican presidential candidate and incoming U.S. senator from Utah, published a pointed critique of Trump on Tuesday evening.

"Trump becomes the central focal point — and that is for the GOP as well and people like Mitt Romney and others. They are basically saying that Trump is the problem," City University's Parmar said.

"My view is that Trump actually is a symptom of a much deeper problem. If you only seek to replace him but you carry on talking in the same kind of way with the same sort of broad set of policies, you are effectively going to continue that underlying legitimacy crisis which brought someone like Trump into office in the first place."

"And I think that is just storing up a large number of problems for the future," Parmar said.

Global 'dismay'

In a Washington Post essay, Romney said the U.S. leader had caused dismay around the world, attacking several of Trump's actions in recent weeks.

"The appointment of senior persons of lesser experience, the abandonment of allies who fight beside us, and the president's thoughtless claim that America has long been a 'sucker' in world affairs all defined his presidency down," he wrote.

He added that "Trump's words and actions have caused dismay around the world."

Sen.-elect Mitt Romney, R-Utah, leaves a meeting with other new GOP Senators and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. 
Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images
Sen.-elect Mitt Romney, R-Utah, leaves a meeting with other new GOP Senators and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the Capitol on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. 

Trump is yet to issue a response to Romey's op-ed.

The timing of the essay has prompted external observers to speculate whether the two-time presidential hopeful might try to challenge Trump in the 2020 Republican primary election.