Donald Trump is “cruising toward re-election” in 2020, says a European political analyst, even though early polling seems to indicate otherwise, The Guardian reports.
Cas Mudde, a Dutch political analyst, writes in an op-ed piece that Democrats will lose soundly to Trump in 2020 if they don’t “shape up.” This is despite polls that indicate that every major Democratic candidate who has declared their intention to run against Trump would easily win, in some cases by a wide margin.
As Mudde points out, polls can be wrong. And one need look no further than 2016, when polls had Hillary Clinton easily defeating Trump. And Mudde points to three main reasons why he believes that the polls aren’t telling the whole story.
First and foremost, he says, is the strong — some would say “booming” — economy. A strong economy almost always works in favor of the incumbent when it comes to presidential elections.
Mudde isn’t the only political analyst to have reached that conclusion. As Forbes reported in May, Yale economist Ray Fair crunched the numbers, including giving Trump the incumbency advantage and plugging in economic data, and concluded that, poll numbers aside, Trump will win in 2020. Fair’s model had predicted that Trump would win in 2016 over Hillary Clinton; and though Fair was proved right, he was wrong about the popular vote, which Clinton actually won.
Trump’s Base, Which Includes The Christian Right
Mudde points out that Trump’s brash behavior, his fondness for opulent wealth, and his history with women contradict the more typical values of the religious right; a point raised by other political analysts besides him. But conservative Christians are willing to look past Trump’s purported moral shortcomings because of one main reason: Trump can appoint conservative judges to the Supreme Court. The view among the religious right is that, with enough conservatives on the Court, eventually Roe vs. Wade will be overturned.
Similarly, Trump’s economic policies, which are widely believed to favor the rich, are exactly what wealthy Republicans want in a president.
“Nativism” And “Populism”
Finally, Mudde points to the lower-income, blue-collar Trump voters, who haven’t necessarily benefited from Trump’s policies, but still support him for two key reasons. Those reasons are: his efforts to build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, which Cobbe refers to as “nativism”; and Trump’s 2016 promises to “drain the swamp,” which Mudde refers to as “populism.”
Democrats Aren’t Helping Their Own Cause
Some Trump supporters may be disappointed in Trump’s administration so far, but still largely believe in what he stands for. The Democrats, by comparison, lack a clear vision and are already descending into in-fighting.
Simply put, says Mudde, the Democrats offer little that’s going to sway disappointed Trump supporters to their side, and ardent Trump supporters are going to come out in force in 2020.