Donald Trump Will Win the 2020 Presidential Election

Joseph Kukral, Op/Ed Editor

The outcome of the 2018 midterm election portends another surreal conclusion in 2020, cryptically similar to that of 2016. Furthermore, it reveals why some voters are vehemently in support of a man that has no integrity and is utterly indecent. It is disheartening to realize that the issue of race is why President Donald Trump will be able to secure another election victory in 2020. And to the chagrin of Democrats, he will secure this victory by again winning the electoral college and losing the popular vote, probably by an even wider margin than in 2016.

Trump is perceived as bigoted, undemocratic and unlawful by those on the left, which are attributes they believe render him unpalatable for reelection in 2020. However, what observers fail to recognize is that for those who support Trump, his presidency is a perfect remedy in the simplest of ways. The country is changing rapidly, and in the view of aggrieved white voters, the optimal solution is to erect a bastion that disavows change, even if it is done in a boldly grotesque way. Political pundits attribute to economic insecurity Trump’s ability to garner the support of white working-class voters; however, any natural observer can recognize that Americans today do not vote by weighing the nuances and outcomes of public policy, even if it is in their interest. On the contrary, because of rapid demographic change and people’s delicate, but often incendiary, sentiments regarding race, many votes are cast in the most tribalistic of ways.

A CNN exit poll of midterm election voters found that nearly 20 percent of Republicans believe minorities are favored over whites. A study conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute indicated nearly 50 percent of Republican voters believe reverse discrimination against whites is more of an issue than discrimination against minorities. Parallel to other nationalist movements around the world, Trump voters detest globalization as well as its proponents, whom they call “globalists.” And most importantly, they detest demographic change.

Racial strife is regrettably a fundamental narrative to our national story. It continues to be written as our country fails to cleanse itself of the original sin of slavery. Throughout our national history, events of progress and tragedy have continuously ignited the lamentations of Americans contending with racial division. Whether it was the acts of John Brown; the legislation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which realigned the parties; or the election of the first black president, all of these events triggered racial backlash. Whether latent, as can be seen with the assent of Trumpism, or glaringly tumultuous, as was the case with the Los Angeles riots, the roots of this backlash lie in feelings about race. Without question, racial division is driving the malignant tribalism of American politics. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 brought forth an outcry from some white voters who desired to “take their country back.” Shortly thereafter, Trump embraced the birther movement, aiming to delegitimize Obama and simultaneously began his informal campaign to restore America to what it once was: less black and brown and more white.

Many white working-class voters are fearful of losing an America they once knew and are driven to preserve it. Trump knows how to recognize and instill fear in his voters, and he is skilled at controlling the national discourse. Unsurprisingly, he chose to emphasize immigration in the recent midterm election. Trump knows racial animus drives his base to the polls. And on election day, his base delivered in Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Florida and in almost every rural county in the country. This is precisely why Trump will win the 2020 presidential election.

As America becomes more racially divided, so will it become more politically divided along geographic lines. People forget that Obama won Indiana and North Carolina in 2008. Now, both those states are solidly in favor of Trump. Similarly, Florida and Ohio are appearing to be the same. Rural counties in those states are growing in their support of Trump as the Democratic Party is becoming more diverse and less appealing to white working-class voters. This will allow Trump to carry key swing states that will propel him to victory.

In last week’s midterm election, Democrats nationwide won the popular vote by 7.1 percent. In a typical presidential election, this would constitute a landslide. However, if this were a presidential election with Trump on the ballot and not a midterm, Trump still could have won the electoral college. This can be explained by the increasing amount of polarization that delivers urban areas overwhelmingly to Democrats and rural areas to Republicans. The advantage goes to Trump because rural areas decide swing states which win the electoral college.

One should fear that this outcome will create a legitimacy crisis in our country. The Democratic candidate may win the popular vote by some 10 million votes in 2020, yet Donald Trump could again defy almost every pundit, poll and prediction and win the electoral college, making him a two-term president.