Before going into my rationale, please note that I voted for Trump against Hillary in 2016 and would do so again.
This call is based on my analysis of the setup, not political wishes.
I cannot recall the last time I voted for a Democrat for president, but I did not vote for Bush in either 2000 or 2004. I voted Libertarian.
This Is Not 2016
It's important to note that this is not 2016. Trump was never well liked, but Hillary was despised.
Yet, despite the fact that Hillary was despised, Trump barely won. People pat themselves on the back for predicting a Trump win. In reality, they were lucky.
No one could have foreseen that Comey would come out of the blue at the last moment with a blast at Hillary. I believe that tipped the election.
It also took a completely foolish campaign by Hillary, ignoring key states like Wisconsin and Michigan.
Democrats will not make the same mistakes in 2020.
My one caveat in my prediction is that neither Elizabeth Warren nor Bernie Sanders nor Amy Klobuchar wins the Democratic nomination.
Klobuchar is polling at 3-5% so she is an enormous longshot.
Given that Warren is slipping in the polls, and rightfully so, I do not expect any of those to happen.
Warren is a radical left Marxist.
To understand Warren, please consider Elizabeth Warren Has a Bad Plan for Everything.
Warren is just the kind of lightning rod that Trump could defeat.
I commented How to Re-Elect Trump in One Easy Lesson, nominate Warren.
Trump vs Biden, Sanders, Warren
Please consider Trump Trails Biden but Leads Warren in Battlegrounds.
Those polls are very stale (November), but they accurately reflect my thoughts.
Go to 270 to Win, and flip just three states, say Wisconsin (I believe a given), Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
2016 With PA, WI, MI Flipped
That is a very plausible scenario and in fact close to my baseline. The Democrats could easily flip Arizona and North Carolina as well.
Anis Shivani at Counterpunch.org comments Donald Trump Will Easily Be Reelected: There's Been No Repudiation Of What He Represents and There Won't Be.
Now vs Then
I strongly disagree.
What got Trump elected is not what will get him re-elected.
In the UK, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made the same foolish mistake. Corbyn was never elected but Theresa May lost her majority to Labout in 2017.
Corbyn attributed that to leftist policy as opposed to a piss poor campaign by May. He thus went with an even more radical Left campaign as noted in Jeremy Corbyn Goes for Broke With Last Desperate Act, US Democrats Take Note.
If the Democrats go nuts as noted in my caveat above, yep, I have to reconsider.
Trump is acting in many ways, just like Corbyn. And his supporters are cheering him on.
Face the facts: Trump is an arrogant bully, one of the biggest narcissist political leaders the world has ever seen, and a complete jackass to alleged allies.
Independents could possibly overlook that vs Warren, but not against Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, or Pete Buttigieg.
Strongest Economy Ever?
I vehemently disagree with Barry Ritholtz on economic policy, unions, etc.
But here a Ritholtz post that caught my eye, simply based on facts: Economic Errors Right Wing Edition
Simply put, this isn't the strongest economy ever. And wage growth in particular has been abysmal.
Trump's trade policy has been a disaster to both farmers and the steel industry.
Farming woes are well understood, but steel is another matter.
Trump is polling about 43% according to up-to-date Approval Ratings despite a record high stock market, plentiful jobs, and allegedly the best economy in decades.
**How unpopular is Donald Trump?**
Wow. Let that sink in. Trump ought to be polling 60% or higher with that economic report.
What happens if the stock market drop? Heck what happens even if it doesn't?
Once again this reminds me of the UK election.
On November 18, with the election on December 12, I made this observation in Fear of Corbyn Outweighs Fear of Brexit:
"This election is no longer primarily about Brexit, it's primarily about Corbyn."
Right Slogan, Wrong Year
Similarly, and unless the Democrats are willing to nominate another lightning rod, this election, unlike the last, will be about "anyone but Trump".
Appealing to the Base
Trump is making the same mistake that Corbyn did: Appeal to the radicals.
Trump is no longer bothering to appeal to the base, he has gone one further to appeal to radicals.
I have news for everyone who has not thought about this.
Base and Radicals Aren't Going Anywhere
The base and the radical right wingers are going anywhere. The core conservatives and the radical conservatives will never vote Democratic.
It is not the core that Trump needs to win over, rather it is the independents.
The independents, me included, did vote for Trump in 2016.
On average, I believe the swing voters and independents that carried the day for Trump have finally had enough for all the reasons stated above.
It will no longer take a recession to beat Trump, all Democrats have to do is stay away from the likes of Warren.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock