Donald Trump will be re-elected in 2020, according to various models used to predict elections, Slate reports. Among the reasons for the predicted victory are a strong economy and an advantage always held by White House incumbents.
Specifically, three models developed by three different academics all reach the same conclusion: that Trump will win the 2020 election, perhaps by a landslide.
Steven Rattner, who worked in the Obama administration’s Treasury Department, says that the best of the three models was developed by Yale professor Ray Fair. His model looks at Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates, inflation, and the advantage typically held by incumbents, as well as the Electoral College, and concludes that Trump will emerge victorious in 2020.
Fair’s model has proved successful in the past, according to The Hill. However, Fair’s model had one major, glaring error in its 2016 prediction: the popular vote. Trump lost the popular vote by three million votes, which Rattner claims had to do with Trump’s unfavorable image among some voters.
“In other words, a more ‘normal’ Republican would likely have won the popular vote by a substantial margin,” he wrote.
Mark Zandi, a chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, consolidated the results of 12 different models, and reached the same conclusion: that Trump will win in 2020, “and pretty handily.” However, he notes that Trump has a problem with popularity, with opinion polls showing disapproval ratings at or near 50 percent according to the most recent polling. If Trump’s popularity plummets, expect his chances of re-election to slide along with it.
The last model comes from Donald Luskin of Trend Macrolytics. His model looked specifically at the Electoral College and predicted a win for Trump. That’s in keeping with the results of the 2016 election, wherein Trump won the electoral vote, despite losing the popular vote.
Rattner notes that there is a flaw in these predictions, a flaw pointed out by Zandi: that whatever the advantage Trump has (based on the economy and his incumbency) could be overcome by his popularity — or, lack thereof.
“So the question for 2020 may well be whether Mr. Trump can overcome the majority of voters’ poor perception of him and use a good economy and incumbency to win re-election,” he writes.
Similarly, Forbes writer Bill Whalen posits that Trump could be his own undoing in 2020. Looking at the president’s approval numbers side-by-side with the disapproval numbers, as well as a sampling of his possible Democrat opponents, he concludes that Trump has the worst disadvantage when approval comes into play.
“Forget about wagering on Trump vs. Biden, or Trump vs. the Democratic filed. The real head-to-head struggle in 2020: Trump vs. Trump,” he writes.