(CNN)With 86 days until the Iowa caucuses, the 2020 election will be here before you know it. Every Sunday, I will outline the 5 BIG storylines you need to know to understand the upcoming week on the campaign trail. And they're ranked -- so the No. 1 story is the most important of the coming week.
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5. Bloomberg vs. the calendar: The former New York City mayor has two calendar questions surrounding his potential candidacy.
Second, can any candidate -- even one worth $50+ billion -- skip the first four states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina) as Bloomberg would do if he ran and have a real chance at winning? It hasn't worked before in the modern nominating era, largely because momentum is built in those first few contests that carries over throughout the rest of the primary.
For Bloomberg to avoid that fate, he needs some help. A single candidate -- like, say, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren -- winning several of the first four could give her enough momentum to make Bloomberg's plan useless. What Bloomberg needs is a muddled result out of the first four states -- ideally with three (or even four) different winners. That would mean a reset of the race in early March, when Bloomberg begins to factor into the race in earnest.
What's behind the disdain of Mayor Pete held by his opponents? A decent chunk of it is jealousy; Buttigieg has raised more money and performed far better in polls than most of the field and is seen by lots of people within the party as its future.
What that rising ire means for Buttigieg is, well, watch out. Buttigieg is likely to be a major target in the November 20 presidential debate -- and in the 10 days between now and then, too. The likeliest attacks? His age (he's 37), his inexperience (he's only ever served as the mayor of South Bend) and his lack of detailed policy plans.
Buttigieg's ability has been the story of the race so far. Can he fend off the inevitable attacks that come with his rising poll status?
3. Warren and Sanders vs. Bloomberg: The likely late-entry candidacy of Bloomberg has made Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders very, very mad.
The willingness of the two most liberal candidates in the race to attack the richest person in the race (assuming Bloomberg runs) is telling -- especially when you consider that both Warren and Sanders have avoided directly attacking their rivals in the race to date. (More on Warren dipping her toe further into the attack waters below.)
Warren and Sanders clearly believe that a Bloomberg candidacy is good news for them -- further dividing the moderate/pragmatic/establishment vote between Biden, Buttigieg and now Bloomberg. While Bloomberg is an imperfect example of the ways in which the ultra-wealthy game the system -- he donates huge sums to both charities and political causes -- his defense of the business world is enough for both Warren and Sanders to jump on him.
Watch to see how Bloomberg hits back -- and if it works.
Trump, of all people, understand this; he has spent a lifetime using the power of TV to his advantage. But shaping how people perceive these public hearings is largely out of his hands. He can tweet, sure. He can attack everyone as "Never Trumpers" -- despite no evidence that that's the case.
What will mater most, however, is how credible people like Taylor and George Kent, a State Department official, come off to the public. And whether the moments created in these hearings -- and there are always moments -- work in the President's favor or in the favor of his opponents.
1. Biden vs. Warren: When Warren suggested the former vice president should be running in the Republican presidential primary because of his criticism of her "Medicare For All" plan, Biden fought back.
Both sides clearly believe that this is a fight that benefits their side -- and that they can win. Which means it's not going to stop anytime soon.
To reclaim momentum in the race, Biden has to convince Democratic voters that Warren represents a dangerous gamble because of her liberal policies and alleged elitism. For Warren, she needs to show she can beat back that attack -- which will surely come from Trump if he is the nominee -- while also making the case that Biden's hits on her are a function of the establishment (and men in particular) panicking because they see a strong woman emerging as the potential nominee.