With Election Day 2020 exactly one year distant, the bases of both political parties are squarely in their corners and the rest of the nation — independents and swing voters — are left shaking their heads.
polls this far out are unreliable. For now, Democratic candidates for president
need to concentrate on local polling in primary states, while President Donald
Trump must watch his approval, right track/wrong track feelings, and consumer
confidence polling in battleground states as the most reliable early barometer
of his standing.
to the tumult of Election 2020 is the impeachment inquiry in the House of
Representatives — what that becomes, and how it affects Democrats, Republicans
and, most importantly, the president.
forecasting the possible outcome of Election 2020, one key consideration in
many minds is congressional retirements. To date, 17 Republican House members
and four Republican senators have announced they are retiring; just five House
Democrats and one Senate Democrat have said they will retire.
Congress of 535 members, however, it is not out of the ordinary to have
turnover — and, in my opinion, too much prognosticating weight is given to
retirements. After all, elected service in America should be an opportunity,
not a career. All 435 members of the House are up for reelection in 2020, along
with 35 U.S. senators.
current state of the House is 233 Democrats, 197 Republicans, one independent
and four vacancies; Democrats hold a 37-seat House majority. The likelihood, as
things stand today, of Democrats retaining their majority in 2020 is a safe
bet. The odds are with them.
Senate, Republicans control 53 of the 100 seats; Democrats hold 47 seats, and
two are held by independents, giving Republicans a six-seat majority. It is
more likely that in a bad year for Republicans — meaning the loss of the White
House — that Democrats would flip four GOP seats to take back the Senate. And,
in 2020, Republicans will hold 23 of the 35 Senate seats up for election, which
gives Democrats twice the number of chances to flip seats. Senate Republicans
will need the political coattails of the president to stay in the majority.
Thus, the Senate races in battleground states are the contests to watch in
early polling that will give some good signals of what to expect a year from
Republicans are more united as a party but face uncertainty and unease with the
looming impeachment in the House. Democrats are in disarray because of an
identity crisis of who and what they are as a party; many Democrats running for
president have embraced a “Democratic socialist” agenda that quite possibly
could turn into a Democrat/socialist candidate for president and party
this the fact that Democrats may have bitten off more than they can chew with
impeachment. Should Democrats not impeach and just censure the president, they
know President Trump will take a victory lap just as the 2020 campaign heats
up. On the other hand, should the House impeach and the Senate not remove the
president, that too could help Donald Trump, as he might be viewed by many
voters as the victim of a political witch-hunt. The chances of the Senate
removing the president, based on the evidence as it exists today, are slim and
none. Thus, Democrats have more to lose from this folly.
Democrats in particular should be careful what they wish for. If the House were
to impeach the president by the end of the year and the Senate were to take up
a trial in the early part of 2020, then the Democratic senators running for
their party’s presidential nomination — Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Bernie
Sanders (I-Vt.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Cory Booker
(D-N.J.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) — must sit in judgment as jurors and will
be taken off the campaign trail in early caucus or primary states like Iowa,
New Hampshire and South Carolina. A Senate trial could take months; a U.S.
senator cannot be in two places at the same time. And some voters may wonder
how those senators can sit in judgment of an impeached president and be
impartial jurors when they have a vested interest in removing the person they
are seeking to replace.
support for President Trump is a balancing act between rhetoric and results.
While many Americans do not like his words, they do like many of his deeds in
office — and a president’s greatest strength going into a reelection campaign
is his record. Trump is blessed today with great economic numbers; from low
interest rates to low unemployment, the nation’s economy is humming. Add to
that the fact that we are not at war and our homeland is secure, and you have a
recipe for success on Election Day. So President Trump’s prospects will be
weighed by his success in keeping his promises thus far and his pledges to
build on those in a second term.
Democrats select a nominee who is unelectable because of a far-left or
socialist agenda, then their beds will be made. It is not enough to “hate”
Trump out of office — you have to vote him out. Thus, if Democrats overplay
their hands on impeachment and removal, and if they select a nominee who is too
leftist, they will hand President Trump a second term. Today, Democrats appear
way too negative; it simply is not enough to be against something — you have to
stand for something that Americans want and need.
2020 will be a stark choice for the electorate. Never before in modern times
has there been such a contrast between parties and candidates.
prediction is that Democrats will keep their majority in the House, Republicans
will keep their majority in the Senate, and Trump will be reelected. The reason
is simple: Republicans have a record to run on, while Democrats have
overreached and are out of touch with the nation’s values, direction and
BRADLEY A. BLAKEMAN, OPINION CONTRIBUTORS —VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE
THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL
A. Blakeman was a deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to
2004. A principal of the 1600 Group, a strategic communications firm, he is an
adjunct professor of public policy and international affairs at Georgetown
University and a contributor to Fox News and Fox Business.