I was a member of the Republican Party for 45 years, and putting to paper what I think is going to happen in next year’s election gives me no glee. I polled the listeners to my talk show last week and, with that and the conversations I have had on the street, I can safely say that 80 percent of my listeners support Republican President Donald Trump.
President Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost 3 million votes. In 2020, that margin may double. Trump won the Electoral College by 36 votes with 306. He won essentially the unpredictable votes of Michigan (by 11,000 votes), Pennsylvania (by 44,000), and Wisconsin (by 23,000). That means Trump won the presidency with a margin of voters who could fit in a large football stadium. I predict he will not be able to do this again.
Not only will he lose these states, other states will be in play. Florida, North Carolina and Arizona are becoming more doubtful. Even Texas, Georgia and Ohio will have to be fought for by the Trump campaign, meaning that campaign funds will be stretched to cover states which would normally be safe for the GOP.
My Trump-supporting friends think he can beat any Democrat. I believe, if Joe Biden wins this nomination, and remembers what state he is in, Biden wins a landslide. With Elizabeth Warren, it would be tougher for the Democrats, but they can still win. Trump will call her names like “Pocahontas” and “socialist” (the latter of which she is), but it won’t carry the sway it once did. Average folks, especially female voters, are getting worn thin with his appealing to our worst instincts instead of our best.
The activists of the national Democrats will control the convention and platform. These people are not only against coal, they are going after natural gas. (See Mayor Bloomberg, the Sierra Club, AOC, et. al.) Trump has alienated all the national media and press except Fox News and talk radio. Too much of a coalition has been created that will be against anything this president is for. See Iran (which he is right about), North Korea (which he is wrong about) and tariffs (we will never know). In all, Trump’s loss will not bode well for West Virginia.
Not all of this is the president’s fault. He was denied legitimacy from the first day, even though he was legally elected. He started with a great staff around him (Mattis, Tillerson and Kelly), but couldn’t help wanting to be surrounded by people who tell him yes instead (Fitzpatrick, Pompeo and Mulvaney).
This is a president who promised to build a wall and wound up with a bigger influx of illegal immigrants than any time in history. That is what happens with polarization politics, and plenty of people are tired of it.
I cannot name one person I know who did not vote for him in 2016 and now plans to vote for him next year. Can you? I know a lot more Republicans who have turned the other way. No 2016 blue state will switch to him in 2020 either.
So Donald Trump will carry West Virginia, but his strong support around here will not be enough to keep him in office in 2021.