2020 Democrats building ties to power brokers in key states

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The Democratic Party’s most ambitious have begun building relationships in the states most responsible for picking the party’s next presidential nominee.

Most of the 2020 prospects are quietly endearing themselves to leaders in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina with phone calls, emails and donations. The relationships require a delicate balance for those who want to stand out in a crowded presidential field next year without neglecting the high-stakes midterms this fall.

It may seem early, but off-year elections can be critical in the multistage process of running for president.

Relationships in the states that vote first on the presidential primary calendar could help shape the Democratic Party’s 2020 field, which could attract as many as two dozen candidates.