Due to the continuing scandals surrounding the current president, it may be hard for both Trump supporters and Trump haters to imagine that President Trump could be re-elected in 2020.
President Trump has relatively low approval ratings as of July 25. According to Gallup, Trump’s approval rating from July 21- July 23 was 39.1%. While the mainstream media is quick to pounce on Trump’s low approval ratings, it’s worth noting that Bill Clinton, who is considered to have been a good president, had an approval rating of 41% about six months into his presidency. Similarly, after about a year in office, Ronald Reagan had an approval rating in the high 30s, yet he won re-election in 1984 and is also widely considered to have been a great modern president.
The point that I’m trying to make here is that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
While it may certainly be difficult to fathom President Trump achieving anything monumental at the moment, it’s worth remembering that he is only six months into his presidency. With more than three years remaining, he still has time to turn things around, even though it might, at the moment, seem like he can’t accomplish anything.
Much can happen in three years, which is why it is still very possible for President Trump to be reelected in 2020. Say he is able to achieve major tax cut legislation, or pass a great infrastructure bill, or he is successful in defeating ISIS. Maybe his trade policies will create or bring jobs back to America. What if he can foster a better relationship with Russia? All these things could easily help Trump win re-election in 2020. Trump’s loyal base support will continue to support him, and his success in these other areas could sway independents to vote for him again. After all, voters who voted for Trump did so precisely for his policies on the economy and his tough stance against ISIS.
Trump’s fate also lies, in part, with the Democratic party.
For many, the modern Democratic party is now seen as the party for illegal immigrants and socialists. It’s main focus seems to be about political correctness – “using correct terms” and “making sure no one feels bad” rather than about the economy or foreign affairs. To put it bluntly, the party has become almost “un-American” to some, who feel that true American ideals, American interests, and mainly, the American people, are being left behind. It is perceived by some that the party has moved increasingly left since Obama took office, and that it looks completely different from the party that Bill Clinton was the head of twenty-five years ago.
If the Democratic party continues to become increasingly radical, and nominates a candidate like Elizabeth Warren, or even Bernie Sanders (if he runs again) then it would be impossible to say with certainty that Trump would lose in 2020. Even though the world is becoming increasingly liberal and more accepting, Americans still want a leader who will be tough and put America first.
While Democrats are relishing Trump’s current scandals and celebrating his failures, it’s worth noting that the Democrats faced the same situation last summer, when shocking scandals about Trump and misogyny were headline news. The Democrats were arrogant, and instead of proposing actual policies, they relied on the implosion of Trump and the Republican party, expecting that that alone would be sufficient to get Hillary Clinton elected.
The Democrats failed to recognise the difference between approval ratings and favorability ratings, believing that as Trump became increasingly unlikable, the American people wouldn’t vote for him. They didn’t realize that many Americans might have still thought that he would do a good job, regardless of whether they thought he was a good or likeable person. They failed to consider this idea, even though Bill Clinton, the husband of the Democratic presidential nominee, was a prime example of a president who might have not been well liked, but was still considered to be doing a good job in office.
In short, the onus is now on the Democratic Party. It must decide what and who it represents. If it fails to change and rests simply on the presumed self destruction of President Trump, it better be prepared for four more years of Donald Trump.