United States President Donald Trump is scheduled to officially announce that he is running for reelection in the 2020 November presidential race.* He will make the announcement in Florida, a key state.
Despite the fact that 52% of Americans are unhappy with his leadership, Trump views this unpopularity as a challenge rather than a concern. Besides, it seems that the president is benefiting from the strong state of the country’s economy, although there are signs that the previous economic decline of 2016 could repeat itself. Today his economic success appears to be his best election guarantee. He has achieved almost full employment, there is no pressure with respect to inflation, and the brutal deficit he has incurred by lowering taxes and increasing spending will be a problem for his successor, not for him. In addition to this, Trump has also managed to achieve total internal control of the Republican Party.
In foreign policy, his commitment to unilateralism and isolationism, which has led to his arguments with, and abandonment of allies, combined with his fight against immigration and the trade wars with Europe and China, seems unlikely to change. And these policies have not fared badly, according to the response from his base. Everyone who voted for him in 2016 has reason to do so again. Trump has yet to disappoint them, and he also has a few other things going in his favor. The controversial Mueller Report, for example, did not recommend prosecution and has allowed him to repeat ad nauseam that there has been no collusion and no obstruction of justice.
But power also takes its toll, and Trump's victory four years ago in some states was so close that he cannot afford to make mistakes. Those who oppose him continue to focus on his temperament, aggressive outbursts and his insults to political adversaries and the media. His personality is the problem. Although no longer an outsider, there is no doubt that he is not a politician in the classical sense. His time in the White House has allowed him to retain the political initiative and catch the attention of the American public. This puts him in a better position, despite the fact that the polls place him behind his main Democratic rivals when it comes to the 23 candidates running for office, with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders being the best placed.
Some 21 presidents have won reelection in U.S. history, and 10 have failed in their attempt for a second term, the last of which was George H. W. Bush. A year and a half away from the election, the question is: Will the current economic boom be enough to guarantee Trump’s reelection or will his bad public image be his downfall?
*Editor's note: Donald Trump launched his campaign for reelection on Tuesday, June 18.