Trump May Just Win in 2020
Trump is an extremely unconventional President, but that may not matter in 2020-just as it didn’t in 2016. In a time of failing institutions, non conventional candidates like Trump are having a moment worldwide. The following arguments will be deployed to re-elect President Trump, a proposition that has a 50/50 chance of happening. As of the time of this publication, Trump has a higher approval rating than the leaders of the U.K., France and Canada-all of whom represent the neoliberalism he so despises.
A Strong Economy
Under President Trump’s economic record, America has experienced a boom the likes of which the US hasn’t seen in 20 years. Under Trump, US has the lowest black unemployment of all time, the lowest female unemployment, and one of the lowest unemployment rates of all time.
Like President Obama, Trump has seen positive job growth every month since he took office. Manufacturing has grown at a rate of 714 percent more than Obama, largely due to Trump’s tariff policy. In just over 2 years, 4 million new jobs have been created and unemployment has reached its lowest number since 1969. Since the inauguration, the unemployment rate has fallen from 4.8 to 3.8, a 25 percent reduction in the figure. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate has actually increased a steady one to two percent.
All of this has paid off for Trump, with the most recent poll showing 57 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the economy. 54 percent approve of his handling of unemployment. 71 percent of the same respondents said the economy was good. Even 1 in 5 Democrats think Trump is doing a good job on unemployment and the economy as a whole.
A slight plurality approve of the Republican tax plan. A net increase in approval of the plan by over 30 percent since it was first introduced. 80 percent of Americans received a tax cut from the plan, and their take home pay has increased for the first time in ages since 2017. Raises in hourly wages have been the best since 2010. Meanwhile, Trump’s Tariffs are bringing in an estimated 60 billion in new revenue each year. Economic booms like this are not normal. Three recent economic expansions come to mind, and in each there was a major event. The 1950’s expansion was due to returning veterans getting their education and jobs through the GI bill. It coincided with the largest baby boom in history. The 1980’s saw a massive financialization of the economy, and the birth of the computer. Globalization was beginning to start as well. The 1990s saw the true birth of globalization with agreements like NAFTA, the creation of the IMF and WTO as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union. It saw the birth of the internet-arguably the greatest invention for mankind since Gutenberg’s printing press, and who can forget the chronic deregulation of the area. In the 50’s, 80’s and 90,s we had also gotten out of a recession, making the rebound even bigger. 2019 has no such characteristic. No disruptive technology on the scale of the computer, we’ve been out of recession for a decade, and birth rates are declining. A savvy politician would credit their policies as the means for this strange economic period.
Due to executive action by the President, domestic oil production has hit rates not seen since the 1970s, helping American business and making America less reliant on our adversaries.Not content with more than doubled oil production in ten years time, President Trump is now pressuring OPEC to lessen its oil restrictions. Because of his leadership, the US now produces 10 million barrels daily. The stock market has increased 19,827 to 26,000, an increase of 30 percent in less than three years. Trump secured an extremely lucrative weapons deal with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2017, where the US sold over 110 billion in arms in an official state visit-the largest transaction of its kind.
Trump has also followed through on his trade promises.Trump ended negotiation of the Trans Pacific Partnership, a deal that would have outsourced jobs at record pace that had the support of most Republicans and Democrats. Not content with ending this disaster, Trump is now renegotiating NAFTA-a disastrous trade deal signed by former President Bill Clinton and championed by the previous 3 Republican Presidents before him. NAFTA cost America an estimated 500,000 jobs according to the Economic Policy Institute. While at Brussels, Trump forcefiully argued that many European NATO allies weren’t paying their fair share of the collective defense budget and got some concessions for them to do more in the coming years-a move somewhat trivial but long overdue.
In terms of foreign policy, Trump has gotten the US involved in fewer foreign interventions than any President since Jimmy Carter-a President known for his dovelike stance. This anti-interventionism is extremely popular with the American people in every opinion poll going back over a decade.
Despite his tendency toward nonintervention, Trump has essentially destroyed what remains of Isis. After defeating the group in Mosul in July 2017, ISIS continued to lose influence. In December 2017, Iraq’s Prime Minister announced ISIS had been defeated in Iraq. After a defeat on March 23, ISIS holds no territory in Iraq and Syria for the first time since 2012.
Arguably, Trump’s biggest foreign policy achievement remains ongoing. After a series of bizarre taunts between the two men, President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim began to formally negotiate terms of peace between the two nations during a summit in June 2018. This marked the first time the two nations had negotiated since 1994, and the first time a President had ever met with the leader of North Korea (the closest approximation was when President Eisenhower met with leaders of a unified Korea in the 1950s). While a lot of work still remains,
North Korea has eased relations with South Korea, sanctions have been lifted, NK destroyed a test site, North Korea has returned the remains of US soldiers, reducing the militarization of it’s border and more talks have been agreed to. These achievements alone represent the most progress a US President has made in regards to North Korea.
Trump has raised more money than any incumbent in history for re-election by this point in their campaign. Despite being roughly 10 points underwater, Trump’s approval ratings remain better in swing states. He does 1–5 points better in AZ, IA, OH, and PA. Trump does 6–10 points better in NC and FL, and over 10 pints better in GA. Trump’s approval is better than his national average in 7 of 11 swing states.
Incumbent Presidents also tend not to lose elections. Since 1980, only George HW Bush has lost re-election. In most cases, the incumbent President has actually added on to their popular mandate, even after having fairly rocky first terms. The key case study for this phenomenon is Richard Nixon. In 1968, Nixon barely won the popular vote-securing a margin of 0.7 percent-finishing with a measly 43.4 percent of the vote. Nixon only received 301 electoral votes. Four years later, Nixon won the biggest majority in Presidential history. He won 60.7 percent of the vote, 49 states, and posted an astounding 23.2 percent margin of victory. All three are records still unbeaten to this day. President Reagan had a similar story, winning 49 states, posting an 18.2 percent margin of victory with 58.8 percent of the national popular vote. With Reagan, the victory is more improbable because Reagan had approval ratings in the 30s throughout huge swaths of his first term.
Minnesota has been trending Democratic by 2.4 points per year. States likes Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa have the last few election cycles as well, re-affirming Republican electoral college strength in the industrial midwest-even though all states were considered the Democratic firewall throughout the 1990s and 2000’s. If Republicans were to start consistently winning this band of states Trump flipped from Obama in 2016 plus Minnesota (which he only lost be 1 percentage point) it would net them a total of 80 Electoral votes. Added to the 163 votes they’ve received since 1964 (other than the Clinton and Carter years) and the GOP has a firewall of 243 of the 270-nearly the mirror position Democrats recently found themselves in during the Obama years.
Catering to the base
Trump’s main re-election strategy is based on a policy playbook first put into action at the Presidential level by Karl Rove in the 2004 election. Rove’s argument rejected the notion that politically involved centrists who carefully weighed the policies of both candidates decided who would be President. Rove postulated that it was whatever side that could het their numbers out the highest in their political base. Trump has based his entire Presidency on solidifying his base of die-hard supporters to vote for, campaign and contribute to his campaign. By “triggering the libs” through inflammatory rhetoric, Trump has done multitudes to please his most die hard supporters.
As President, he’s done his best to keep his promises, but only specific promises. The promises he made to the base of the Republican party. On Immigration, he’s done everything he can to be the most hard line he can. Just 8 days into taking office, Trump put into place his attempt at the “Muslim ban”. The Muslim ban became a travel ban targeting seven muslim majority countries. Trump later banned refugees from entering the country. forstIn 2018 he detained children migrants and separated them from their parents at the border. Trump has recently taken his hard line position even further, putting in place the most tough people possible in terms of enforcement at the border.
Trump has taken a hatchet to the Obama agenda. He got the US out of the Paris Climate Deal, scaled back diplomatic relations with Cuba, engaged more with Russia, canceled TPP talks, withdrew from the Iran deal, shredded Obama’s Clean Power Plant rules, and has signed a series of deregulatory bills aimed at undercutting Dodd-Frank (Obama’s largest financial service reform package). While failing to repeal the ACA, Trump has challenged it’s constitutionality, repealed some of it’s taxes and individual mandate, watered down reforms, interjected new mechanics to make it fail, cut funding, and cut registration. What remains of the ACA is an empty husk, and Trump’s 53 Senators could probably now repeal the law, having the House take all the political blame for the law they deliberately sabotaged.
Trump’s firings of key personnel are also likely help him with his base. As a man who captured the country’s imagination with his firing of incompetent people, many in the right wing base cheered the day Trump fired James Comey. The same goes for Trump’s controversial comments made all throughout his Presidency.
Even a fool knows that many of the “successes” of the Trump Presidency are things out of his control. The President doesn’t completely run the economy, and foreign policy is bigger than any one man.
But one key group doesn’t know these things: the average American voter. Add in Trump’s base, who have been kowtowed to since day 1, and you have a compelling reason that Trump might actually win re-election.