As Donald Trump’s presidency begins its third year, the next presidential election is quickly approaching the American public. Since Trump was declared president in November 2016, Democrats and non-Trump supporters looked forward to the 2020 election to continue the progress of the Obama administration. While Trump’s reelection seems unlikely because of people constantly criticizing him, it is not an impossible feat and Democrats, like myself, need to be weary of his influence.
My partial anxiety towards the 2020 race derives from the obvious outcome of the 2016 election. Various parts of Trump’s campaign, from his derogatory comments towards people of color and queer people, to his opposition to social programs created by Obama, seemed like enough baggage to hand the Democrats an easy win. However, he won (as we all shockingly witnessed), and his victory could be justified by multiple actions and resources.
Moving on to the 2020 election, Democrats recognize the possibility of his reelection, but hopefully they do not exhibit the same overconfidence of a win as they did in 2016. According to NBCNews, 56 percent of Americans will “definitely not” vote for Trump in the next election. Honestly, this polling data is not reassuring; does it refer to 56 percent of eligible voters or registered voters? Either way, early polls that predict voter decisions can easily deter more people from voting. The voter turnout rate in 2016 was at its lowest in two decades, which was most likely caused by an in favorability towards the candidates, and/or strong assumptions that Trump would not win. For the 2020 election, Democrats need to generate a strong sense of voter responsibility among eligible people. We need to remind non-Trump supporters of his potential reelection if not enough people turn out to vote for the second time.
An exciting feature of the 2020 election are the fresh-faced contenders for president. Many of these people, who have extensive government experience, excited audiences across the country with their campaign announcements. Eight confirmed contenders (and potentially Biden and Sanders entering the campaign trail), entered the Democratic race for president. Compared to 2016, there are significantly more Democrats in the pre-primary stage of the election. At first, I was worried about the number of candidates because I assumed the focus on the best candidate would be lost. However, the more people running on the Democrat side, the more opportunities for voters to see the issues they find relevant within the candidates.
There are several important topics in today’s politics that will determine the Democrat candidate who could lead the country, but a key component to winning the next election is securing the votes of the few mid-west and southern states that Obama won in 2008 and Clinton lost in 2016. Somehow, the Democrat who wins the primary needs to change the strategy of campaigning in these crucial states that determined the fate of the last election.
The result of the 2020 presidential election will determine the state of our country. Will we remain under the leadership of Trump and his controversial policies, or will we vote for a person who will promise progress and social justice? After everything Trump has done and said during his presidency, one would think he has no chance to win, but we cannot be reassured that the results will be different next year.