President Donald Trump is already running for re-election. In fact, he has been doing so for months now, filing for re-election on his inauguration day. Former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush were both in office for more than two years before they filed for re-election.
Here’s why he has a good chance of winning if he can stay in office that long.
Trump kicks off the 2020 campaign
Trump has held rallies in key battleground states, like Iowa, Florida, and Pennsylvania, initially dubbed a “Thank You” tour, which might as well be called the “Thank You, Please Vote For Me Again” tour.
He is also already raising millions of dollars to put to his re-election bid. In the first three months alone, The New York Times reports, Trump raised over $7.1 million for the 2020 race, as well as over $23 million raised with the Republican Party. This far exceeds what Obama and the Democrats were able to raise in the first three months of his first term.
And since there are so far no Democratic contenders, Trump gets to leap out to an early uncontested start in the 2020 presidential election.
In addition to the rallies, and the fundraising, Trump is already running campaign ads. His “First 100 Days” commercial talked up his early “successes,” while taking a shot at the media.
The Russians will be back
As former FBI director James Comey said during his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, “They will be back.”
And while Comey also pointed out that they don’t have any allegiances other than to meet their own interests, it is clear that they see Trump as a viable means through which to enact their will and ultimately get what they want.
There is every reason to believe that the Russians will be back with their hackers, and their army of fake social media accounts spreading targeted propaganda, all aimed at helping award another term to President Trump.
The Democrats are weak
The Democrats already failed to beat Trump once, and have fared equally poorly in the four special elections to fill seats left vacated by Trump appointments. While it was highly unlikely that the Democrats would win any of those races, even a single win could have provided a wealth of momentum going into the 2018 midterms, and then the 2020 presidential campaign.
The Democrats look like a party lost, grasping for its relevance, a win, a message, anything. A slogan for the midterms floated by the Democratic Congressional Committee perfectly sums it up: “I mean, have you seen the other guy?”
I mean, did they see what happened with Hillary Clinton when she tried to win mostly by attacking Trump, with much less to say about why voters should vote for her instead? You cannot simply win by pointing out that the other candidate is lousy, particularly in an era where the average person thinks every politician is lousy. Obama won on a campaign of hope and change, and Clinton lost on a campaign of, “I’m not him.”
As for who will challenge Trump, the field remains questionable. While many names are currently being bandied about, of those that seem likely at this stage, most are relative unknowns to a large swath of the country, and you can ask Bernie Sanders how that works against you.
Underestimate Trump at your own risk
Many of the same people who said Trump could never become president are now saying he can never get re-elected. While his poll numbers at this point leave much to be desired, he was unpopular when he ran the first time as well. Granted, so too was his opponent, but, as he proved once already, he doesn’t have to win over the majority of the country to take the White House. He just needs to win the electoral map, which, as he likes to point out, had a whole lot of red in 2016.
If the Democrats want to win in 2020, they better start playing with the passion of a runner in second place, because whether they are aware of it or not, that is exactly where they find themselves. And the starting gun went off months ago.