WASHINGTON — Despite two years of investigations geared toward unseating him as president and endless calls for impeachment, Democrats have come to a hard realization: Donald Trump will likely win a second term as president.
“The headline news from the most recent Post poll was that President Trump remains behind or tied with all major Democratic contenders. The takeaway should have been that if this poll is correct, Trump is almost a lock to win,” Henry Olsen of the Washington Post wrote in an op-ed July 8.
“There are two reasons that this is the case. The first has to do with the electoral college; the second has to do with the likely campaign dynamics over the next year and a half,” Olsen writes. “Trump won the electoral college in 2016 despite receiving roughly 46 percent of the popular vote because his coalition is highly tilted toward non-college-educated white voters. Those voters are shrinking as a total share of the national electorate, but they remain the largest group of voters in the electoral-vote-rich states of the Upper Midwest that he flipped from blue to red. That means Trump will get higher shares of the vote in those states than he will nationally.”
“The Post’s poll showed Trump performing nationally at levels that suggest he would get close to or more than a majority of the vote in at least four of the five key Midwestern swing states,” Olsen continued. “Take his job approval rating: The poll showed him at 47 percent approval among registered voters. The 2018 exit polls showed Trump’s job approval was higher than his national average by three points in Wisconsin and eight points in Ohio. By extrapolation, the Post poll implies his job approval is at or above 50 percent in enough states for him to carry the electoral college.”
“Trump’s standing gets stronger when we look at the mock ballot questions. He receives between 46 and 48 percent of the vote among registered voters against any Democrat except Joe Biden. In 2016, he ran about 1.5 to 2 points ahead of his national showing in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania. There’s no reason to think that he won’t do the same in 2020 given the nature of his coalition. That means the Post poll implies he will get between about 48 and 50 percent in each of these states. If he does that, he almost surely will win at least one of them — and with that, he wins reelection,” he concluded.
Another primary reason Dems are already beginning to concede defeat: the economy.
“While we can argue about how meaningful and solid the current economic growth is, there is no denying that, in terms of the conventional economic indicators, the state of the US economy is excellent. Consequently, prediction models based primarily on economic indicators, which correctly predicted the 2016 elections, predict a resounding Trump victory in 2020,” writes Cas Mudde of The Guardian.
“Second,” writes Mudde, “Trump has so far delivered to his non-traditional base. The average Republican, commonly referred to as the “moderate Republican”, is still not a fan of Trump, who is seen as too confrontational and vulgar, but got the one thing they care about: a tax cut. Scared of a “socialist backlash” within the Democratic party, they will come out to protect their new gains by voting Trump.”
“Similarly, the Christian right will once again come out strong. While the support for Trump by religious voters puzzles liberals, it is pretty straightforward: the supreme court,” Mudde continued. “Here, again, Trump has delivered. He has appointed two staunchly conservative anti-abortion judges to the supreme court, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, and promised to appoint more. And with the possibility of (at least) one position possibly becoming vacant in the next presidential term, ie Ruth Bader Ginsburg (perhaps also Clarence Thomas), the Christian right mobilization will run on full cylinders again. The reward for the faithful: overturning Roe v Wade!”
While nothing is guaranteed and no one knows what will come to pass until all the votes have been counted, when even the left’s most vocal Trump critics agree that the Dems are in trouble, one thing’s for certain: Bernie had better step up his game.