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HORIST: Can Trump be re-elected?

HORIST: Can Trump be re-elected?

Even as the final votes are being counted for major races in Florida, Georgia and Arizona, the 24/7 cable news outlets have begun speculating about the 2020 presidential election race.  Even as some wonder if Trump will still be around for a re-election campaign, most of the focus is on the likely Democrat candidates.

CNN put up postage-stamp size photos of the potential contenders – which, at a quick glance, looked to exceed more than 30 wannabes.  It was said that Republicans had enough contenders in 2016 to mount a baseball team, including a few relief pitchers. Using that analogy, the Democrats are close to putting together an entire league.

The Democrat situation is so convoluted that it is impossible to speculate on possible scenarios.  One would have to explore entirely too many assumptions.  It is much easier to speculate whether Trump can get re-elected – assuming he is not forced out of office.  One only need offer up two prescient narratives – one in which he is re-elected and the other in which he is not.

The best place to start is with an answer to the headline question: Can Trump be re-elected?  While it is much too early to know definitively, we can look at where he is today and what it would take to win re-election.

What stands in his way?  In many ways, it is Trump, himself.

I would open the debate on future re-electability by arguing that based on what we know today, Trump is not re-electable.  To become re-electable, he would have to change the current political trajectory to respond to harsh realities he does not even acknowledge.  A lot depends on whether he sees himself as re-electable or not.  If the election were today, he would most likely lose.  But it is not today, so there is hope and opportunity.

One of the most important factors is that Trump has NEVER been the people’s choice.  Yes, he won the 2016 election fair and square – there is no question as to his legitimacy.  And yes, he is by far not the only president to enter the Oval Office without the majority support of the public – that was true of Kennedy in 1960 (49.7%), Nixon in 1968 (43%) Clinton in 1992 (43%), Bush II in 2000 (48%)and The Donald in 2016 (46%) – but with the exception of Bush II and Trump, the others actually won a plurality of the popular vote.

There is a lesson for Trump to be learned from Bush II.  He overcame his loss of the popular vote to go on to barely eke out a re-election majority of 50.7 percent of the vote.  In between those two elections, Bush had favorable ratings as high as 70 percent.  He was actually suffering a precipitous decline heading into his re-election campaign.

In the past two years, Trump has never been seen favorably by more than half of the nation.  He has fluctuated between 35 and 45 percent in most polls. And that has been because of the unpopularity of him as a person – that old obnoxious personality thing.  It was that personality that cost him the popular vote in 2016 and by foolishly making the midterm election about him, the GOP fell far short in the popular vote AGAIN.

Republicans lost control of the House, a few governorships and a handful of state legislative chambers not because of the issues – more than two-thirds of the nation were happy with the economy and believed the nation was going in the right direction.  Trump’s personality trumped the issues.

Now that the Democrats have the House and can undertake a barrage of politically beneficial investigations – and other negative events will be coming to roost in the next few months – Trump has a Herculean task to make any gains in public esteem and respect.

There are many like me who have supported his conservative policies, but not his pugnacious and mendacious personality.  We stand against those who hate both Trump and his policies – the #NeverTrump Resistance Movement – and those who make his personality more important than the policies, even if they agree with the latter.  You see that in such people as Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol and columnist George Will – not to mention several former Republicans who have completely gone over to the other side as a cadre of false-flaggers.

Trump began his campaign with most Americans not liking him.  In the more than two years since he rode down that escalator in Trump Tower, nothing has changed that in his favor.

One of the adages of political reality is that one should never fight with folks who buy ink by the buckets – or to update, provide commentary by the hours.  Trump is absolutely right that the Fourth Estate has become increasingly dishonest and corrupt – serving as propagandists for the left and prosecutors of the right – but they still control the national conversation.  Trump’s problem is not that he took up the fight against the press – that needed to be done – but how he did. The wrong way.  He did it in his inimitable swashbuckler manner – using combative and bombastic language without making  a more convincing credible case.

What could have been – and should have been – the Republican’s generational ascendency as the primary political force in America that began in 2010 has been killed off by Trump.  Given the chance to make significant inroads into the minority communities, Trump has enabled the Democrats to extend their hegemony – as unjustified as it is – over the black and Hispanic vote.  The criticism that Trump is not a unifier as was Ronald Reagan – also a pariah with the left-wing political and press establishment — is sadly true.

The most likely scenario – although not assured – is that Trump will be less popular as 2020 approaches and will not be facing a Democrat candidate less popular than him.  Rather than build up his reputation and broaden his political base, Trump has suffered additional self-inflicted damage that has narrowed his base – if defined as all those who voted for him in 2016.  Five thousand diehard fans in a stadium do not change those facts.

This grim evaluation of Trump’s re-electability does not take into consideration any outcomes from the eventual Mueller Report, cases currently before the Federal court in the Southern District of New York, the non-federal criminal cases being pursued by local district attorneys, any additional lawsuits, more outrageous or fact-challenged statements and any new revelations by all those Trump folks who are now cooperating with prosecutors.

For Trump to be re-elected in 2020, it would take more strategy and more luck then he has hitherto exhibited – somewhat of a personality transplant.  The catchphrase in these times is “It’s the personality, stupid.”

So, there ‘tis

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry HoristLarry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Nguyten

    yes. president Trump will be reelected in 2020

  2. george

    hell yes,the president will be reelected

  3. george smyrnios

    yes he will

  4. Inkpad

    It also depends on and most importantly is that he spends the next two years overhauling the voting system to eliminate voter fraud that’s clearly rampant on the democrats side Florida Georgia and most other states especially and eliminate non citizen voting another democrat tactic to sway elections in thier favor

  5. clifford sturdivant

    It is really a SAD commentary that “personality” is the driving force to get elected in this so called “greatest” country on earth. We are becoming, if we are not already there, a 3rd world nation. If a nation continues to admit people into the nation that never assimilate – it is doomed to die. We are a dying nation – FL recounts are a good example. Balloting should be easy – one ballot, one vote, into a box, on one piece of paper – NO Electronics!!

    We need people with good policies and good intentions – are there any left in the USA? Maybe, but who wants to open themselves to the BS that goes with seeking a position – SO we accept nincompoops and non-competents!!

    • Robert J. Nowakowski

      YES, YES I love the idea of a thumb print for verification of a U.S citizen to vote..In Illinois only a signature is required. Stupid.

  6. Walter

    Trump will lose and it could be a whitewash. He hovers bettween 35-45 his core. He now has an uphill fight in the rust belt. And finally, he won’t have Hillary. He lost the popular vote last time, he’ll lose that again. He cobbled together electoral vote with the help of independents, that lightning won’t strike again.

  7. Harry & Beverly Flinner

    If our votes count, YES we feel Trump will win in 2020, we do not judge him on his personality or his past deeds, it is what good he is doing to MAKE AMERICE GREAT AGAIN

  8. Judith Lorraine

    Yes, Trump will be re-elected. Our Black Brothers and Sisters are waking up to the deceit of The Big Liars Club and are talking it up among themselves. HOORAY for them!
    Second, THUMBPRINTS on Voters Registration, All I.D. Licenses and they MUST be presented on the ballots. There is only ONE THUMBPRINT, IN ONE STATE, ALIVE AND HUMAN!
    Time for the highly contagious virus called “headupyourassitis” to end.

  9. Ciliff Fallsworth

    Hope and hard work will prevail for now, but the forces of evil are in the book. It is painful to witness our nation being overtaken such as the rest of the world already has. I write this not with a pessimistic view, but with a hopeful heart there is still a chance we can right the ship and even if not (which seems evident), that we always have faith within our God and the teachings of Jesus…nothing can take those truths away…

  10. Jim Smith

    Trump has destroyed true conservative Republican ideals and truths. He has ruined our party in this great nation. Impeach him and bring in Pence. The only way Republicans will keep the office come 2020.

  11. Brenda Thomas

    Yes President Trump Will Be Reelected!!! We Love Trump!!!

  12. donald


  13. Deborah Dejarlais

    Yes he will. American public will see the waponized Intel n privious administration falsehoods n broken laws, then once all details out, the American people won’t resist Trump’s leadership.

  14. Linda

    I’m very hopeful Trump will be re-elected. The Democrats will do anything to win. We conservatives should be all vigilant, not si trustful that Trump will win. We should all go to the polls to vote ( there’s enough Christians to beat the opposition if we are unified.) There’s so much fraud around. Why are the liberals wants an open border. This illegals will be allowed to vote come 2020, they are planning well in advanced. So watch out!!!

  15. Jacquot Lequang

    1000% yes!