Donald Trump may be languishing in the approval polls, but political experts predicting the 2020 presidential election still think the strong economy could be enough to win him a second term in the White House.
As part of a year-end round of predictions from its reporters and political experts, CNN asked who they thought would win the upcoming presidential election. Though the network has frequently been critical of Trump and some of those polled openly said they are rooting against him, the majority believed that Trump would win again in 2020 as he did in 2016.
Legal analyst Paul Callan seemed to predict that after controversy and impeachment, the upcoming presidential election would play out like most other re-election campaigns in the past — with the incumbent president graded on the basis of their economy.
“Donald Trump will win – again,” Callan predicted.
“The Dow is up, unemployment is at an all-time low, and we are slowly ending many of our overseas wars. While the Democrats and the news media focus on impeachment, the voters will focus on the economy. In the words of James Carville: ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’ “
Others seemed to think that the Democratic field would become their own worst enemy, playing too far to the left to defeat Trump. Law enforcement expert James Gagliano noted that the once-robust resistance to Trump now appears to have fractured during Trump’s impeachment and a leftward move among Democratic primary contenders.
“Trump upended conventional wisdom in 2016, giving rise to a motivated #Resistance that I once thought would relegate him to a one-term presidency. But current Democratic primary contenders champion democratic socialism and a one-party impeachment process that convinces me he wins again in 2020,” Gagliano predicted.
In order to fulfill the 2020 predictions and win re-election, Trump may have to ride an even more narrow path to victory than he did in his shocking 2016 win. As CNN noted in a segment from June and posted on YouTube, Trump’s victories in traditionally Democratic states like Michigan and Pennsylvania look difficult to repeat given that Democrats have performed very well in statewide races there since his election. The Democratic electorate has been charged to peel back Trump’s power, flipping traditionally Republican seats in the 2018 midterms and in special elections.
Any kind of prediction on Trump’s re-election could be difficult given that his opponent remains up in the air. There is still more than a month until Democrats will start to vote on who will be their nominee for 2020.