Having witnessed the car wreckage of the 2016 presidential election, I will be forever wary of making political predictions. The forecasts for Trump and Clinton were so horribly wrong that, at least for a while, it made a complete mockery of the polling profession, relegating the 'experts' to the stature of palm readers and fortune tellers.
However, upon closer inspection, the polls were not actually so horribly wrong and got much right about the election. As Ron Faucheuax at The Hill pointed out:
National polls only measure the popular vote. Clinton did, in fact, win the national popular vote by 2.1 points. The average of the 13 final national polls had Clinton ahead by 3.1 points, which was only a point off the actual result.
Ironically, all 12 polls that had Clinton ahead turned out to be closer to the final outcome than the poll that had Trump ahead. While that may seem crazy — since Trump, not Clinton, is headed to the White House — it's true. The poll that put Trump ahead (by 2 points) was off by 4.1 points, while polls that gave Clinton the lead were off anywhere from only one-tenth of a point to less than 4 points.
While polling may not be entirely accurate, they are still taken seriously for a reason. And a new poll along with changing demographics indicates president Trump should be extremely worried about his reelection prospects in 2020.
In a poll from Monmouth University, a distinct sentiment appears to hold true: the majority of Americans do not approve of the job Trump is doing, and an even bigger majority want him gone by 2020. 55% of the population believe the country is "heading in the wrong direction", and only 36% of the population believe he should be re-elected as president in 2020.
If that wasn't bad enough, the changing demographics of the country, particularly in the South and Southwest, make 2020 a battle he is ill equipped to win. Just take a look at this map published by Axios today:
As you can see, Trump will have to run an almost perfect campaign to have a shot of winning, and that is a tall order for a man with no discipline, no self control, and no long term strategy for staying in power.
As Axios points out, "To win re-election, President Trump must wage a two-front war: Not only does he have to defend Democratic-leaning Midwest states that sealed his victory in 2016, but he now needs to defend against clear Republican erosion in the South and Southwest."
While the Democrats face their own internal problems, it is hard to see how this could be worse for Trump and the GOP. If the Democrats elect a reasonably competent candidate who can get the majority of the party behind them, they would have to actively try to lose the election for it to be competitive.
Of course there are no guarantees the Democrats will elect a reasonably competent candidate (the party is spectacularly good at shooting itself in the foot), but they should feel very confident going into 2019/2020 based on the current political climate.
From the very beginning, one always had the feeling that things were going to end very, very badly for Trump and the GOP. While they claimed a huge victory in 2016, the truth may well be that it was merely the beginning of an even more spectacular demise. Trump's strategy of appealing to angry white men has given him short term success, but it may well end the GOP's grip on power for many generations to come.