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US: Why Donald Trump won’t be re-elected

Didier Gauvin
By Didier Gauvin

Doctor of political science

Posted on Monday, 4 November 2019 07:58

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and U.S. President Donald Trump watch a woman carry a card announcing the rounds during a mixed martial arts fight in Madison Square Garden in New York, New York, U.S., November 2, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Economic woes and disenchanted voters are far more likely to unseat Trump than impeachment proceedings.

Is the impeachment launched by the Democrats against Donald Trump likely to succeed before the November 2020 vote?

Beyond the difficulties of such an initiative, it is safe to assume that, even if the proceedure is not completed, the current American President is unlikely to be re-elected.

And for solid reasons.

Economic decline. Sad.

The economic situation in the United States largely determines the re-election of a president.

Trump, however, is losing the trade war he started. Late in the process, he realized the negative impact on international markets and pushed his negotiators to sign an agreement with China at all costs.

Even if this long-awaited agreement temporarily calms nervous markets, the idea gaining ground in the US is the trade war led by their president has something to do with the current economic slowdown.

A former Fed official, William Dudley, stated publicly that the Central Bank should prevent Trump’s re-election as it “represents a serious threat to the American and global economy”.

  • If the slowdown in the national economy continues, the tenant of the White House will find himself in a worse position during the 2020 presidential election.

The economy plays a central role in the re-election of a president, but not everything depends on it; the image of the statesman also counts.

The image projected by this president, however, has deteriorated so badly that his fellow citizens are now in favour, with a growing majority (55%), of his impeachment.

If the election of Trump was totally unexpected — including for himself — the surprise effect will no longer be felt in 2020.

Alienated voters

It has been said that he was elected by default, because of the mistrust created by Hillary Clinton, perceived as the embodiment of political correctness.

But Trump’s personality and results eventually opened the eyes of many American citizens, including a strategic portion of his electorate that no longer seems willing to trust him so blindly.

Beyond the major handicap of a hostile female electorate, which has distanced itself from the presidency, and the unsuccessful efforts to rally the Jewish electorate, which remains largely democratic despite an outrageously pro-Netanyahu policy, Trump has already lost a substantial part of its traditional electorate.

The support he enjoyed among Midwestern farmers was eroded by the impact of Chinese retaliation: falling prices, sluggish markets, and falling incomes.

  • As a result, his support has declined significantly in several pivotal states that had ensured his election in 2016. In Wisconsin, only 41% now support him, compared to 55% who are opposed.

The same trend is emerging in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and Michigan — key states for the election.

The negative impact of the impeachment procedure, which is aggravated by the increase in revelations and scandals, cannot be overlooked.

The weariness of presidential escapades has reached such a level that it now transcends political divisions.

The hostility towards Trump is transparent.

On 19 August, the conservative newspaper National Review wrote, “Even Trump’s supporters are getting tired of his daily outbursts. The military, diplomats, intelligence agencies, but also senior Republican Party officials, such as Senator Lindsay Graham, have come to despair of a president who has abandoned the Kurdish allies to their fate to keep a vague election promise.”

The case of Trump’s conversations with his Ukrainian and Australian counterparts betrays his mistrust of his own services and supports the thesis of a president representing a “risk to national security”, justifying the initiation of the dismissal procedure by Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

However, the Speaker of the House of Representatives has until now been concerned about avoiding a potentially counterproductive and unsuccessful approach as long as the Republican Party stood united behind Trump.

Febrile and panicky

If dismissal ultimately depends on the Senate vote, where Republicans are in the majority, the President’s mistrust of Congress — never mind that the “obstruction of Congress” in itself is a reason for dismissal — and the current dynamics of increasing delegitimization of Trump could tip a sufficient fraction of Republican senators.

Trump’s current panic shows that he probably realises his re-election is in jeopardy.

The alarm seems to have spread to his administration, aware that he is approaching the election in a weak position, and that the polarization of the campaign will probably not be enough to ensure that the current president will be re-elected in November 2020.

 

This article first appeared in Jeune Afrique.

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