Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders predicted on Saturday that President Donald Trump will be a “very tough opponent” in 2020, Mediaite reports.
Casting doubt on polling, which suggests that Trump will lose to a Democrat in 2020, Sanders argued that Trump’s willingness to “say anything” and “do anything” could play an important role in the upcoming presidential election.
“I know all of the polls say Trump is gonna be beaten,” Sanders said, observing that polling shows that he is ahead of Trump in key battleground states such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
“Let me tell you, Donald Trump is going to be a very tough opponent,” the senator continued.
“I think he is a pathological liar and he will say anything, he will do anything.”
Indeed, a glance at a RealClearPolitics average of general election polls shows both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders beating President Trump in 2020. Even Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg would beat Trump, according to some polls, suggesting that Trump is an unusually vulnerable incumbent.
Some models that rely on different data sets, such as the economy and historical trends, predict a Trump victory in 2020, however. As Axios reported, Steven Rattner, the counselor to the Treasury secretary in the Obama administration, recently warned that three forecast modelers predict that Trump will be re-elected.
One of them, developed by Yale professor Ray Fair, takes into account factors such as incumbency, inflation, and GDP growth. Furthermore, as Axios notes, other experts have analyzed similar models, warning that Trump is far from a vulnerable incumbent. Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, looked at 12 different models, revealing that each of them predicts a Trump victory in 2020.
As Rattner noted in The New York Times, the Fair model correctly predicted former President Barack Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012, as well as Donald Trump’s upset victory in 2016.
Trump’s approval rating is far from spectacular, however, which, according to Rattner, suggests that “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.”
Whichever Democrat ends up facing President Trump in the general election may have to fight an uphill battle. According to polls, former Vice President Joe Biden is the clear front-runner. A Reuters/Ipsos poll published earlier this week found that 36 percent of Democratic primary voters support Biden.
Bernie Sanders is in second place, with 16 percent of the vote. Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg, and others are trailing the two men.