Trump Is Still On Track To Win Reelection

Back in December, I penned an op-ed here making the case that President Donald Trump would likely win re-election. At the time, Newsweek insinuated I was off my rocker. They were not alone; throngs of folks on social media and via email informed me that I probably rode the short bus to school in my early years and that everyone would be better served if I just went away.

Well, I’m here to tell you that Trump is even closer to winning reelection now than he was at the end of last year. I am not alone in this observation. The Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter is seeing the playing field much the same way I am.

Heading into 2020, Trump’s primary strengths remain incumbency — since 1900, nearly 80 percent of incumbent presidents have been reelected — and the economy.  Since FDR, every incumbent president, “who has avoided a recession in the lead-up to an election year was re-elected.” A trade truce or deal with China will most likely ensure a recession does not occur before next November.

Contrarians point to national polls and the slew of battleground state surveys, including Florida, and argue Trump is losing “bigly” to a handful of candidates and is therefore toast. The situation is certainly not ideal for Trump, but early polling from previous presidential tilts suggests the media and anti-Trump forces are getting way ahead of themselves. Who can forget that in June of 1983, eventual Democratic nominee Walter Mondale was leading President Ronald Regan by 10 points or that in June of 2011 a generic Republican presidential candidate was leading President Obama by 5 points?

Unless something totally unforeseen happens such as a major military conflict, the global economy tanks, a Thomas Eagleton situation grips the Democratic Party, Trump becomes ill, etc., this is going to be a close race — the country is just that evenly divided, and thus the race will likely be decided by just a handful of states (FL, NC, AZ, IA, PA, WI, MI).

The biggest hurdle the Trump reelect faces is that his disapproval rating has hovered above 50 percent for quite some time. The Democrats can thank their willing accomplices in the press big time for that.

So what does Trump need to do to win reelection? His team can start by taking a page out of the 2012 Obama campaign playbook — and that is precisely what the Trump campaign is doing.

Read more from Ford O'Connell at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy