For perhaps the first time during his entire presidency, it seems reasonably clear that President Donald Trump is a favorite to win a second term at the ballot box this November.
For a myriad of reasons, Trump has always been an ahistorical president. He famously lost the national popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, instead relying on a Rust Belt-centric coalition to secure a narrow victory in the Electoral College. The somewhat lopsided nature of the final Electoral College margin obscured the fact that Trump’s victory was only due to a mere 77,000+ voters spread across Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. And Trump’s job approval rating average has never once risen above 50%, which has oftentimes been viewed as a marker presidential incumbents strive to hit in order to feel comfortable about their chances for re-election.
The president’s margin for error, in short, is very slim. And while the Democrats’ overly zealous partisan impeachment stunt has no doubt disproportionately hurt Democrats across many of the key Rust Belt swing states, the reality is that his approval rating in many of those same swing states was was lagging far behind a comfortable level prior to the impeachment saga’s onset.
But despite all these trends, there now seems to be an emerging consensus that Trump is a favorite, albeit a slight one, to be re-elected this fall. This emerging consensus is correct, and there are a few reasons for that.
The president had a historically good week last week. In a span of three days, the Democratic Party exhibited an unforeseen level of gross institutional incompetence in the dumpster fire that was their botched Iowa caucuses process, Trump gave a very well-received State of the Union Address, and he was acquitted on each of House Democrats’ two adopted articles of impeachment. Furthermore, the post-Iowa fallout and crystallizing polling consensus for tomorrow’s New Hampshire Democratic Party presidential primary have both been simply disastrous for erstwhile frontrunner Joe Biden — the leading purported “moderate” of the Democratic field who many promoted as the candidate perhaps best positioned to defeat Trump in the general election.
The Democratic Party also evinced for all to see, during the State of the Union Address, just how substantively out of touch it is with the desired political agenda of the median “forgotten” American. Democrats routinely refused to applaud objectively salutary data about the extraordinary state of the American economy — an economy, that is, about which Americans have a higher collective sense of optimism than they have had in decades. Democrats at the State of the Union Address also audibly booed during the president’s powerful excoriation of the neo-Confederate, criminal-mollycoddling, illegal entities known as sanctuary cities. It is perhaps difficult to imagine a more out of touch moment than a political party opposing the deportation of violent illegal aliens who commit such heinous crimes as rape or homicide; alas, the modern Democratic Party, whose leading presidential candidates seem to love debating no issue more than they love debating whether to outlaw private health insurance for over a hundred million Americans, has become an utter parody of itself.
The leading candidate for the Democrats’ 2020 presidential nomination is an unvarnished communist who literally honeymooned in the former Soviet Union. Imagine the kind of person who gets married and decides to honeymoon abroad not in a Caribbean resort or a Pacific island, but in a freezing, gulag-riddled, totalitarian beacon of pure evil that, at the time of the honeymoon, happens to be in an existential state of “mutually assured destruction” with the United States. Seriously, try to imagine the kind of human being who does such a thing. That kind of human being is now the leading candidate to win the presidential nomination of the party of Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy.
Trump’s margin for error remains slender, and his average job approval rating still has a bit of work to do to allow his campaign operatives to sleep well at night. But for the first time of his presidency, it does seem that he is a favorite to win a second term.
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