President Trump’s Re-Election Odds Plus The State Of The Democrat’s Race

The odds are President Donald Trump will be re-elected in 2020. Why? Well, 65% of Presidents who run for re-election win.

That becomes the baseline for President Trump entering this cycle. The percentage is based on nearly two-thirds of all incumbent Presidents who’ve run for re-election winning. There is a clear incumbency advantage. There are other numbers that come into play, based on a president’s approval ratings as we close in on Election Day. Which don’t look now but is just months away. I’ve tracked President Trump’s reelection odds-based upon history and approval ratings. As of today, 57% based on average polling and 64% based on likely voters.

President Trump remains the odds-on favorite to win reelection regardless of whom Democrats nominate. To the extent that the challenger can impact the race, that provides the road map for Democrats. Given that the odds are best for President Trump with likely voters, a Democrat who can most successfully appeal to non-likely voters would be the best opportunity for Democrats in the upcoming election. 

The current average polling with the changes since the previous update in the Democratic race looks like this:

  • Biden: 28% (-1)
  • Sanders: 19% (+1)
  • Warren: 15% (flat)
  • Buttigieg: 8% (-1)
  • Bloomberg: 5% (-1)

New Year, one less candidate to kick it off in the Democrat’s race for President as Julian Castro exited the race this week. His exit barely impacts the race as he was only averaging 1.2% support, but it does serve to cull the field to thirteen candidates a month in advance of actual votes being cast in Iowa. It’s safe to say that nowhere near 13 credible candidates exist and don't be surprised to see additional defections leading up to Iowa as money dries up and candidates drop out to attempt to save face. Attention has been drawn to the fact that only one minority candidate remains in the race and he, Cory Booker, isn’t even polling at 3%. To me, it’s an indication that perhaps identity politics isn’t working even among Democrats. We should generally support the best candidates who’d represent our interests and country rather than attempt to exploit superficial differences. 

The bigger storyline as we’re a month away from showtime is the highly unusual trend of top tier candidates dropping support to lessor performing candidates. Generally, at this stage in the process, your top tier candidates consolidate support from the lesser performers. Instead, your lower-tier candidates are getting second and third looks and pulling away support from the fringes of the top contenders. This speaks to potential weaknesses in this field of candidates.

Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

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