An insurgent underdog no more, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is laying the groundwork to launch a "bigger" presidential campaign than his first.
And his advisers are predicting he would open the 2020 Democratic presidential primary season as a front-runner.
A final decision has not been made.
But those closest to the 77-year-old democratic socialist suggest that neither age nor interest from several liberal presidential prospects would dissuade him from taking a second shot at the presidency.
And as Sanders' brain trust gathered for a weekend Vermont summit, some spoke about a 2020 White House bid as if it was a foregone conclusion.
There were also signs of cracks in Sanders' political base as some supporters eyed a 2020 Democratic field in which Sanders wouldn't be the only anti-establishment liberal.
Sanders' wife O'Meara noted that one question above all others would guide their decision: "Who can beat Donald Trump?"
"That has to be the primary goal. To win. We think you win by a very strong progressive commitment," she told AP.
When asked if Sanders could win in 2020, she said "every single poll" showed that Sanders would have beaten Republican nominee Donald Trump two years ago.
Australian Associated Press