Well, I just have various friends who get concerned about the elections of 2020 and tend to think the worst by force of habit (though admittedly they were right in 2016..), I found my plate full over the weekend with a lot of hand-wringing from others, and I felt some comments to them were in order,to put perspective on the madhouse swirl.
None of this is proof of anything. None of this is especially meaningful because it's just opinion. And I know the standard response to it all is, "I hope you're right." Well, yes. And I hope I'm right too, but unlike just tossing out opinion, I have a variety of reasons why I think I am.
I don’t think Trump can win the election, pretty much regardless of who the Democrats nominate. I may not prefer that person -- or may -- but whoever wins the nomination will have gone through the gauntlet and proven himself or herself against difficult competition.
That doesn’t means conditions can’t change. Or that I can’t be wrong. I could be very wrong. And absolutely, Democrats need to stay exceedingly aggressive, and I love when they’re deeply wary and don’t take anything in the slightest for granted, including my words being “proof” of anything – because they’re not. Not even close. But consider --
Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 by 3 million.
He won the Electoral College because of only 70,000 votes. And may have had Russian help with that, taking Americans by surprise.
He has done absolutely nothing since taken office to expand his base.
Worse for him, Republicans have been public about actually leaving he GOP.
He is the only president in U.S. history since the start of polling to never cross 50% approval at any point in his presidency.
Unlike in 2016, he now importantly has a record to run on, and it’s one that includes taking children from their parents, wanting to get rid of health care (which is the #1 issue for voters), giving billionaires and corporations a tax cut, cozying up to dictators and ignoring U.S. intelligence. And literally over 8,000 lies.
Republicans were pummeled in the 2018 mid-term elections and lost the House by 40 seats.
His one, Really Big issue for the mid-terms was immigration – even sending the U.S. Army to the Mexican border right before the election – and it didn’t work. Democrats still won in a Blue Wave landslide..
In 2020, unlike for the mid-terms, Republicans have more Senate seats at risk.
The Mueller Report was damning, indeed there were even some Republicans in Congress who were “politely” critical of Trump, and it doesn't mark the end, there are further House investigations starting with the Judiciary Committee, the Oversight Committee, the Intelligence Committee and the Financial Services Committee, along with the SDNY investigations and New York State and New City investigations. And the 14 redacted referrals in the Mueller Report.
And although the Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Trump's approval was only 43% at the end of March when Attorney General Barr made his summary of the Mueller Report, that approval has dropped six points to 37% after the redacted Report was released to the public, tying his lowest point this year.
And it's not like Trump is surrounded by the best team that can help him turn everything around, so it's difficult to see conditions changing for the better for him, let alone dramatically better -- rather than worsen.
And yes, all of this can change. And yes, I remember 2016. And to repeat, as I said, no one should take anything even remotely for granted for a moment. Indeed as much as I believe what I say here, I actually like when people are wary about 2020 because being wary is essential for staying aggressive and focused and organized. But I see no reason why Democrats won’t continue to be aggressive and focused and organized -- because not only are they furious, but they've been organizing aggressively since the Inaugural. (What I don’t like is when people are scared, rather than wary, because one doesn’t accomplish much when acting out of fear.) And yes, ultimately, this is just a big guess on my part and indeed “I hope I’m right” – but these are my reasons why I think I am right, and I think it’s up to others to show why these points are wrong.
In the end, as wary as Democrats might be (and should be)…I think 2020 is overwhelming-more gut-wrenching terrifying for Republicans. I’m not saying my guess will absolutely, without question be right. I don’t know. But if I was told that I had to place my entire life savings on a single bet one way or the other for what will happen on Election Day and then explain why – and was told that saying “I don’t know” and "Anything can happen" isn’t an option – this would be my response and the thinking to support it.
Yes -- I hope I’m right. But if I had to make a guess, right now, this early in the race, these are the reasons why I think I am.