Who Will Win?

As many of my “regulars” have discovered, I tend to share various articles and comments that I find interesting, timely, upsetting … or even questionable.

And here I am doing it again. 😎

I’m not a regular reader or participant of Quora, but I do get daily emails that include a listing of topics in which I’ve indicated an interest. Of course politics is one of them. 😉

Anyway, in today’s listing was the following question:  “Who will win the United States presidential 2020 election?” Naturally, no one can provide an irrefutable answer but I found the response provided by a person named Spencer Alexander McDaniel was worth thinking about so I’ve copied his answer here.

I think that it is impossible to say with any degree of certainty who will win 2020 United States presidential election at this point, but I predict that, regardless of who ultimately wins, the election will be extremely close. I do not think that anyone is going to win anything resembling a landslide victory and I think that the result of the election will come down to a small handful of important swing states.

I think it is entirely possible that we may see essentially a repeat of the 2016 election in which the Democratic candidate wins the popular vote and Donald Trump wins the electoral college. I am not saying that is what will happen, but I do think it is a possibility.

Donald Trump has four massive advantages that give him a huge edge over anyone who tries to confront him:

  • Trump is an incumbent. There is a very strong established tendency for Americans to favor incumbents over challengers. The last time an incumbent president lost a bid for reelection was in 1992 when Bill Clinton defeated incumbent president George H. W. Bush. That was twenty-seven years ago. If the Democratic challenger defeats Donald Trump in the 2020 election, it will quite literally be an event that has not happened in over a generation.
  • The economy has not crashed (or at least not yet). Many independents decide who to vote for based solely on the economy. Since the economy is doing ok right now, that means Trump is pretty much guaranteed to win votes from people who vote based solely on the economy.
  • Trump is a Republican. The way our political system works gives a massively disproportionate advantage to Republicans in the electoral college. Because Democrats tend to live in cities and Republicans tend to live in rural areas and the electoral college tends to give greater power to predominately rural states with low populations, Republicans naturally have an advantage over Democrats automatically.
  • Trump has the extraordinarily effective full-time propaganda juggernaut that is Fox News to back him up. Fox News can spin any news story to make Trump look good. Since most conservatives only get their news from Fox, no matter what Trump says or does, they will always think well of him. Even if you don’t watch Fox yourself, Fox still has massive influence over the news stories you are exposed to, because mainstream news outlets feel pressure to cover the stories that Fox News is covering, even if they are not really newsworthy, just because Fox is covering those stories and mainstream news outlets are worried that they will look “biased” if they do not cover them.

If Donald Trump were any normal president with these advantages, he would easily win the 2020 election, perhaps with even a landslide victory. Donald Trump, however, is not any normal president; he keeps saying and doing unbelievably stupid and immoral things and he has record-low approval ratings.

ABOVE: Photograph of our grouchy orange president, bloviating as usual

I think that, regardless of who the Democratic candidate ultimately ends up being, they will probably have a chance at beating Donald Trump. Nevertheless, beating Trump will certainly not be easy by any means. The Democratic candidate will have to put on an extremely good campaign and they will have to be able to successfully present themself as a reasonable, intelligent, and moderate antidote to Trump’s swirling cyclone of chaos, stupidity, and right-wing radicalism.

Obviously, this will be an extremely challenging thing for any candidate to do, especially since Fox News is guaranteed to vilify whoever it is that gets the Democratic nomination as the Antichrist and the illegitimate spawn of Satan and Stalin. Naturally, Fox News’s hysterical calumnies will make it into the mainstream press and greatly shape public opinion of the Democratic candidate so that even many moderates who hate Trump will be convinced that he is the lesser of two evils.

Overall, I think that, at this point, the chances of Donald Trump winning and the chances of the Democratic candidate winning are split roughly even. The election really could go either way. On the one hand, Trump has huge advantages over all the Democratic frontrunners, but, on the other hand, he is—quite frankly—a semi-literate, delusional, narcissistic buffoon with no moral compass who somehow always manages to turn even what should be a triumphant moment for himself into a humiliation.

Personally, my favorite candidate is Pete Buttigieg, who seems to me like not only the exact opposite of Trump but also like someone who would at least stand a decent chance against Trump. Nonetheless, I am all too aware that my own affinity towards him may be just because I happen to be a young, white male, moderate liberal from northern Indiana with intellectual predilections and a deep love for arts and literature. Thus, consequently, Buttigieg reminds me quite a bit of myself. I recognize that, if I came from a different background, I might not find him so appealing.

And, yes, I know lots of people have an intense and mostly irrational antipathy towards Buttigieg and I’m sure people will hate me too for even saying I like him, but, personally, I think he is the best candidate out of the mix. I will admit that don’t honestly expect him to get the Democratic nomination, even though I think he would make a good general election candidate. Ultimately, I’ll end up voting for whoever the Democratic candidate is in the general election, but, right now, he’s the one I’m planning on voting for in the primary.

ABOVE: Photograph of Pete Buttigieg. Look, I know lots of people hate him, but, right now, he’s who I’m planning on voting for in the primary.

***********************
NOTE: Normally, I would have simply linked to the answer but as I said, I’m not much of a Quora user so this is the best I could do.

P.S. I’m also a fan of Pete. 😊