The 2020 presidential election isn't for seven months yet, but that doesn't mean that President Donald Trump can sit back and coast easily to re-election, opines Yahoo Finance writer Rick Newman. In fact, he says that three factors have emerged in recent weeks, all of which could doom the president's re-election plans before they even begin.
The Coronavirus Could Cause A RecessionThe booming economy has been one of the biggest successes of the Trump administration, and his supporters often point to the thriving economic outlook -- complete with a robust stock market and good job numbers -- as a reason for continuing to support the 45th president.
But the economy, like so many things that govern our daily lives, is subject to other factors that it can't control -- things like the weather, for example, or in the case of the past few weeks, the effects of a deadly worldwide pandemic.
So far, says Newman, the U.S. economy hasn't suffered a direct hit from the coronavirus. But the signs appear to be there -- over the past several days, worldwide markets went through a "correction" that resulted in trillions of dollars of value being wiped out, and that may very well be just the beginning. Elsewhere, businesses are canceling events, and consumer confidence is starting to drop.
All of this could spell doom for Trump if the economy suffers significantly from the virus, Newman says.
"If [Trump's strong economy disappears], his favorability will almost surely drop from the 40s into the 30s and maybe even into the 20s, dooming his re-election odds," he wrote.
Joe Biden Is BackThe man whom many moderates within the Democratic Party believe is the best hope to beat Trump in 2020 was, until last week, at risk of becoming an also-ran in the 2020 primary season.
However, his convincing win in South Carolina last week -- and the possibility that he could grab a significant chunk of delegates on Super Tuesday -- means that Joe Biden is back and with a vengeance.
Newman notes that it's Biden, not Sanders, whom Trump is most concerned about -- after all, the president didn't get impeached for asking Ukraine to investigate the Vermont senator.
"Biden could take [Trump] down," he predicted.
He May Yet Finally Destroy The Affordable Care ActTrump has made ending the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- or "Obamacare" as it's colloquially known -- a key part of his presidency. Killing the ACA would also eliminate health care coverage for around 20 million Americans who get insurance through one of its mechanisms. This is not a winning political stance for Trump as his attempts to destroy the law have failed, but this week the Supreme Court announced that it will hear a case that could ultimately spell doom for Obamacare.
That would be a victory for the president, but it would also by a pyrrhic one. In addition to killing the program upon which millions of Americans -- many of whom are Trump voters -- rely on for their health insurance, a decision that kills the ACA would also allow insurance companies to deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions.
"Killing the ACA would... eliminate health care coverage for around 20 million Americans who get insurance through one of the ACA's mechanisms. This is not a winning political stance for Trump," Newman noted.
Although a Supreme Court decision on the issue wouldn't occur until after the election, the Yahoo Finance writer added that voters can expect Democrats to hammer on the president's plans to destroy the ACA during the election season.