This past week we’ve seen a huge number of pundits take the position that because Donald Trump has been acquitted by the Senate, he’s now on a path which will lead to victory in 2020. None of these pundits seems to be able to spell out how Trump is supposedly going to get from Point A to Point B, or what he’s going to do to make it happen. As best any of them can explain it, Trump is going to win via magic wand.
Palmer Report keeps pointing out that nothing in politics ever works this way. We have a long time until election day, and lots of things can happen between now and then. But the reality is that Trump’s current underwater approval rating means that if the election were held today, he’d get blown out. This isn’t even up for dispute. No amount of voter suppression, Russian hacking, or Electoral College hijinks can move the needle enough to overcome the big margin that Trump would lose by right now. Unfortunately, the election is not being held today. But if Trump wants to have any chance in 2020, he has to find a way to expand his current base. It turns out that’s not just my view. Trump’s own aides agree with me.
Donald Trump’s aides are privately admitting to the New York Times that he just doesn’t have the votes right now: “Most of the president’s aides concede that his base of supporters is not enough to re-elect him, and that he must attract the voters who were repelled by his behavior and voted against Republicans in the 2018 midterms.”
Again, nine months is a long time, and Donald Trump will try various antics between now and election day aimed at turning things around. But the reality is that right now Trump isn’t just losing, he’s not even in contention for 2020. The ratings-hungry media loves trying to bait the Resistance into staying glued to the television all day by insisting that Trump is magically winning. But back in the real world, Trump is currently on an ugly path to losing. The Resistance has no reason whatsoever to be pessimistic about 2020. Instead, the Resistance simply has to put in the election work in order to help make sure that Trump’s upcoming antics don’t move the needle for him, and Trump will in fact lose.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report