We are still 17 months away from the 2020 US Presidential election, but that race started months ago, in fact, given that President Trump lodged his candidacy in January 2017, it could be argued that his entire first term has been one long election campaign.
It seems that Trump will have to go through a form of Republican Primary, as former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld announced back in April that he would be running. And it’s not impossible that other contenders might think about getting into the ring, though their odds of defeating the incumbent would be long. In the history of the United States, only one incumbent elected President has failed to gain the nomination of his party. That was Franklin Pierce, whose pro-slavery sentiments led to his losing the Democratic nomination to James Buchanan.
But while the prospect of Trump losing to a Republican is an unlikely one, the betting markets suggest that the Democratic nominee – whoever that is – could be an odds-on chance to beat him in the 2020 Election. According to the current odds in the US Presidential Election Winning Party market, the Democratic Party is available at 10/11 while you can get odds as high as 23/20 for the Republicans, with Any Other Party available at 33/1 and Independent at 100/1.
Those are fairly bad numbers for an incumbent President, but they reflect the enduring unpopularity of Trump’s Presidency, which hasn’t climbed above 45 percent in approval rating poll trackers since the end of January 2017. Given the narrow nature of his electoral success in 2016, which depended on edging out Hilary Clinton in a handful of swing states while losing the popular vote decisively, his path to re-election appears to be a narrow and difficult one.
But the Democrats also have obstacles to overcome. All of the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination have their flaws, though admittedly they all poll better than Trump. The main problem, however, is how to tackle the impeachment question. Trying but failing to impeach the President could have political consequences, but not trying could also be politically damaging, particularly if Trump is able to point to good economic indicators. The Democrats have every chance of dethroning Trump, but there’s a long way to go yet.