Donald Trump may not even run for president in 2020, which will make things difficult for Democrats, as their entire 2020 strategy seems to be based on not being Donald Trump, writes Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin in a Friday op-ed piece.
Between now and November 3, 2020, any number of things could happen that would result in someone not named Donald Trump being the Republican Party’s nominee for president in 2020, says Rubin. Unlikely though it seems now, Trump could yet be impeached and removed from office, especially if Democrats follow through on their threats to subpoena his tax returns, and find something fishy in there.
Trump may refuse, and Democrats may use that as an excuse to force him out of office. Or he may be indicted — or even in prison — by then, thanks to the Mueller probe. Equally unlikely, he may resign between now and then.
Or, as Rubin seems to believe is likely, the GOP may simply wash their hands of him and put up another, less Trumpian Republican up for the nomination.
That’s going to pose a problem for Democrats in 2020, as their current strategy seems to be based more on running against Donald Trump and less on running for their own platform.
“Democrats would need to focus almost exclusively on their own, alternative vision for the United States.”
That’s going to be easier said than done, however.
For starters, potential planks in the Democrats’ 2020 platform may not have the broad appeal that the party is hoping for. Medicare-for-all, slashing defense spending, addressing income inequality — none of those things are likely to resonate in the Rust Belt, swing states like Ohio or Pennsylvania, per the Washington Post.
“Democrats will need to put out a unifying, positive message that can stand on its own and unite their new coalition of young voters, nonwhites, women, suburbanites and college-educated voters.”
There’s also the fact that Democrats will have to adjust their message to whomever the Republicans put up in 2020. The GOP may, for example, put up someone with Donald Trump’s vision for America, but who is less bedeviled by accusations of illegal activity. Or they may harken back to a pre-Trump conservative who wants to bring the party back to its roots.
They’ll also need to consider whom they’re running against when they put up their 2020 candidate. While upstarts like Beto O’Rourke may appeal to the party’s base on an emotional level, they’ll need someone who can get the job done. Even if that means going with someone “boring” like Joe Biden.
“A stable, unflappable and familiar candidate who promises to make America normal again might be all that Democrats need.”