Why Trump Does Not Need the Popular Vote to Retain the White House in 2020

Zambakari, Christopher. 2019. "Why Trump Does Not Need the Popular Vote to Retain the White House in 2020." The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Forthcoming

6 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2019

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: October 1, 2019

Abstract

It has been said that all politics is local. Nowhere is this more so than with presidential elections in the United States. The 2020 presidential election is (already) in full swing, and a record number of Democrats are running to unseat President Donald Trump. Trump’s opponents — those who are appalled by his policies, rhetoric and polarizing campaigns, in Washington, in the media, and in academia — find it inconceivable that Trump could win a second term. As columnist Sonali Kolhatkar notes, we ignore Trump’s “proximity to victory at our peril,” and recently, Nate Cohn noted that Trump’s Electoral College margin could be even larger than it was in 2016. Trump does not need the popular vote to retain control of the White House. Moreover, Trump appears better prepared and a far more formidable candidate than in 2016 — notably when compared to many of his current rivals.

The reason behind Trump’s Electoral College chances in 2020 is found in the structure and make-up of the U.S. Electoral College, politics at the national level and the impact of local elections on the general presidential election. All Trump needs to win a second term is to carry the Electoral College votes, which is a function of local politics seen at the national level. The House of Representatives will likely remain in the hands of the Democrats while the Senate and U.S. Supreme Court remain in Republican control. That leaves Trump with a political advantage.

Keywords: Election 2020, US Presidential Election, White House, GOP, U.S. Constitution, Sun Belt, Republicans, battlegrounds, Democratic Party, Donald Trump, Electoral College,

Suggested Citation

Zambakari, Christopher, Why Trump Does Not Need the Popular Vote to Retain the White House in 2020 (October 1, 2019). Zambakari, Christopher. 2019. "Why Trump Does Not Need the Popular Vote to Retain the White House in 2020." The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3462812

Christopher Zambakari (Contact Author)

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