As impeachment trial looms, senator-jurors look to get creative on the 2020 campaign trail

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Sens. Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will have to take precious time away from the 2020 campaign trail to participate in a Senate impeachment trial that by all accounts could last weeks.

Each senator has their own unique challenge impeachment brings. Sanders and Warren have been battling it out among the top tier of candidates for months and are looking to break away from the pack. Klobuchar is riding a wave of interest following a strong debate performance in December and looking to turn that into a groundswell of Iowa support. And Bennett and Booker are both fighting for attention while lagging their counterparts in polling and fundraising.  

"Being stuck in Washington is not ideal," said Matt Bennett, the executive vice president of public affairs for Third Way, a center-left think tank. "The biggest problem is that the first two states (Iowa and New Hampshire) are highly retail in their focus and voters expect to be able to actually see these candidates in person."

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a star surrogate for Sanders’ campaign, has repeatedly campaigned for Sanders in the early-voting states of Iowa and Nevada. Although she said that she has not heard from the campaign just yet, Ocasio-Corteztold USA TODAY in December that she’s open to campaigning for Sanders during the impeachment trial.

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