On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump officially became president of the United States. Trump is approaching the end of his third year in power with fairly high ratings, but his position is not so stable. If Trump makes serious mistakes, he will be defeated by a Democratic candidate Joe Biden (Brewer & Maisel, 2020). This will be possible in case of the economic downturn and consolidation of the party. Democrats will gain a chance to win the presidency if the dissatisfaction with Trump is superimposed on the wave of desire for change, and there is the potential for such a wave in American society.
Trump is the president of the minority, and this is evidenced by the low ratings throughout his presidency, despite rather high ratings at the end of the term. According to a poll by the University of Quinnipiac, Pennsylvania, 51% of respondents do not support the resignation of Donald Trump, while 45% are against his re-election (Strang, 2020). American society expected more action and more effective measures from Trump. The unemployment rate in the United States has reached 14.7% in recent months (Strang, 2020). It is noteworthy that in 2019, it did not exceed 4%, which made Trump more popular.
Before the pandemic crashed economic indicators, Donald Trump had been noticeably ahead of his opponent Joe Biden. Recently, however, under the influence of a pandemic, an economic downturn, and, most importantly, mass unrest in American cities on racial and social grounds, Biden has become a leader. This happened primarily as a result of protests shaking America (Hasen, 2020). They split, politicized society, and mobilized all opponents of the incumbent president, Democrats, Republicans, most of the media, and the representatives of racial and sexual minorities.
Racial clashes are one of the indicators that can affect the outcome of the election against Trump. Racism is a big problem in the United States, and mass protests and street riots continue following the death of George Floyd in the brutal police arrest in Minneapolis (Hasen, 2020). Gradually, unrest spread to many cities in the United States, including the country’s capital, and was accompanied by robberies and arson attacks. The National Guard was introduced in several cities and a curfew was declared, but this did not help to stop riots. Donald Trump’s reaction to the wave of protests through the US cities has drawn criticism from even his closest supporters (Hasen, 2020). He threatened the demonstrators with the harshest response, writing on his Twitter that he was ready to send troops to suppress the riots and that the security forces would open fire on the demonstrators.
Economic difficulties are another important indicator that can affect the outcome of the presidential elections. The state of the economy and, as a consequence, the degree of satisfaction of the population has always been a key factor determining the chances of the ruling party to remain in power (Ginsberg et al., 2018). The American economy has been on the brink of recession for several months, and Trump’s administration is making efforts to lower the refinancing rate and support the growth of financial markets (Brewer & Maisel, 2020). If the economy does not show serious signs of growth even at the beginning of the third quarter, Trump will have little chance to be re-elected.
Experts see the ability of the Democratic Party to maintain unity and mobilize the electoral base as another indicator that validates that Trump would not be re-elected. On the one hand, the fragmentation of the Democrats and the absence of clear leaders in the race for the presidency raise the question of their ability to compete. However, the Democrats, in the absence of clear leaders, will again rely on anti-Trumpism, a pathological enmity towards Trump (Ginsberg et al., 20218). If it worked in the midterm congressional elections, it may work now.
International problems are of little interest to the American voter; however, the war may become another indicator that will play against Trump’s re-election for a second term. Trump has consistently refrained from military conflicts throughout his presidency, but the elimination of high-ranking Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in Iraq in January 2020 increased their risk (Bazian, 2019). At the same time, the escalation of the conflict was avoided, and Washington and Tehran showed that they did not want to bring matters to a military confrontation. Thus, a military conflict with the participation of the United States may play against Trump.
Whether Trump will be a president again also depends on the US oil problem. The threat to US oil production is unacceptable for politicians hoping for re-election in 2020. Congress predicts that in the second quarter of 2020 the American economy will contract by 37.7%, and, in large part, due to the decline in WTI oil prices (Sabato & Kondik, 2019). The damage can be serious, especially given the Covid-2019 pandemic that has brought down the US economy.
In January 2017, Trump’s inauguration came as a shock to hundreds of thousands of Americans. If Trump is re-elected, the opponents of the current president fear that it could change the United States beyond recognition. The vast majority of Democrats believe that he is destroying the country, and elections in November 2020 are a chance to stop this destruction. The lack of a strong Democratic candidate works for the head of the White House, but Trump is still the president of the minority and can only hope for a strong electorate of Republican voters. Besides, various factors work against him and highlight that the current president has many chances not to be re-elected.
Bazian, H. (2019). Islamophobia, Trump’s racism, and 2020 elections! Islamophobia Studies Journal, 5(1), 8-10. Web.
Brewer, M. D., & Maisel, L. S. (2020). Parties and elections in America: The electoral process. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Ginsberg, B., Lowi, T. J., Weir, M., Tolbert, C. J., & Campbell, A. (2018). We the people: An introduction to American politics (12th ed., Essentials). Norton & Company.
Hasen, R. L. (2020). Election meltdown: Dirty tricks, distrust, and the threat to American democracy. Yale University Press.
Sabato, L., & Kondik, K. (Eds.). (2019). The blue wave: The 2018 midterms and what they mean for the 2020 elections. Rowman & Littlefield.
Strang, S. E. (2020). God, Trump, and Covid-19: How the pandemic is affecting Christians, the world, and America’s 2020 election. Charisma House.