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An Assessment of Trump's Potential Opponents in 2020

Robert Dimuro

Posted on March 10, 2019 15:56

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Which candidate will invoke the right tactics and strike the right chords to have a reasonable chance at defeating President Trump?

As we are witnessing, many potential and declared Democrat candidates are jockeying for support to run against President Trump in 2020. It will be interesting to see how Trump campaigns against these candidates as an incumbent - he won’t need to rise above fellow Republicans and will be the favorite rather than the underdog. Undoubtedly, Trump will need to change his tone and strategy in order to be reelected.

Also, undoubtedly, Democrats cannot follow the same campaign strategies of Hillary Clinton. Almost every factor went against her, including the campaign slogan, “I’m with her,” calling Trump supporters Deplorables, and focusing her message and campaigning resources in ways that ignored key states and key constituencies.

The diversity of current Democrat candidates in terms of their platforms, rhetoric, and ethnic background, which was largely absent from the Democratic primaries in 2016, should prevent bad candidates like Hillary from becoming the nominee in 2020.

As I see it, there are two emerging categories of potential Democrat nominees. One is the usual category of “safe” candidates who are loyal to the center and don’t pose a threat to the status quo. These include Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Joe Biden. The other includes candidates that have “radical” views on one or more issues. These include Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and even Beto O’Rourke, since Beto’s views on immigration and border security, such as promising the tear-down of a completed border wall, are extreme.

In 2016, Democrats had a difficult time uniting around Hillary, as Bernie, who had burst onto the scene as an outsider, had galvanized support from a constituency of voters that Hillary couldn’t reach and was seen by many as the more honest, likeable, and winnable candidate.

Currently, there aren’t any political outsiders who are running or considering to run - everyone in the race seems to be well known and well respected by the people. This should foster an intense and entertaining primary season - similar to the nature of the 2016 Republican primaries.

Interestingly, Bernie is now one of the more well known and favored candidates to face Trump. Bernie is replicating his impressive grass-roots movement again this year, raising $6 million within 24 hours of announcing his campaign. His economic message hasn’t changed, highlighting income inequality, the need for clean energy reform, and the need for a medicare-for-all, single-payer healthcare program.

However, Bernie has changed his tactics in trying win over minority groups with the invocation of identity politics. He has already stressed repeatedly that Trump is a racist, sexist, and a bigot and is now tailoring his message to specific minority groups in lieu of broadly speaking to all working-class Americans.

In my opinion, this tactic is a big mistake for Bernie and any candidate who invokes it. At this stage, I’m making an early prediction that Bernie will be the nominee; however, if he or any other candidate continues to virtue signal to the regressive Left, Trump will easily win reelection.

Robert Dimuro

Posted on March 10, 2019 15:56

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Source: The Hill
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