September 19, 2019

2020 projections are useless, but here's another

It's far too early to predict whether president Trump will win re-election in 2020, but nobody is letting that stop them from making bold predictions. I'm not going to do so. Not exactly. I think there's a realistic range between best cast and worst case for the president. I'm going to kick off my election season discussions with that range as I see it, right now. Thre is still time and room to blow both these scenarios out of the water for or against the president. That said, let me start with the worst case for the president.

Worst case scenario: president Trump loses Wisconsin and Indiana due to the farming bankruptcies as a result of an ongoing U.S.-China trade war.  He loses Michigan as a result of the GM strike fallout and the constant media hammering of the president. Pennsylvania is lost because it was close in 2016 and Democrats are fired up to win back the state.

The good news is that while the president loses in this scenario, it's not a long fall, and he has a lot of runway to prevent this from happening.  Which leads to his best case.

Best case scenario: president Trump holds his 2016 states - Ohio is not in question, Florida is a reasonable hold, as is Georgia and Arizona.  Harder holds are, in order of ease of holding, North Carolina, Iowa (yes, there will be some fallout from the impact on agriculture over the trade war with China, but probably not a color-shifting change), Michigan, Wisconsin (which is going to be harder this cycle than it was in 2016)  and finally a razor thin win in Pennsylvania is still feasible.

Then there's gains - the president, especially if the China trade war resolves to his favor, could see pickups in states like Main, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Nevada and possibly even Virginia.

Click the map to create your own at

At this point, I think the outcome is somewhere in between.  2020 is President Trump's to lose and he seems poised to avoid losing.  I'd guess at this point he'll be re-elected but there's a lot of game time left to play and any projection and this point is more for fun than real prognostication.

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