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OPINION: Republicans will be better off without Trump in 2020

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Zach Richards, a sophomore studying education, argues that the Republicans will not benefit from another four years of Trump.

With the 2020 presidential election in just over 13 months, expect the Republican party to spend millions of dollars and thousands of volunteers to work tirelessly to get President Donald Trump reelected. However, it’s time for Republicans to ask how that will help them in the long term.

The first thing to know is that the yield curve just inverted. What this means is that the U.S. Treasury’s short-term bonds are more profitable than long-term bonds. All nine recessions in the United States since 1950 were preceded by a yield curve inversion and a recession follows a yield curve inversion usually within six to 22 months.

If a recession happens before the 2020 election, then Trump will probably lose anyway since the economy is the best thing he has going for him right now. However, if Trump wins reelection, it’s easy to see a recession happening sometime during his second term. We’re already in the longest period of economic growth in American history, and it’s not hard to imagine another recession happening sooner rather than later.

At the same time, Democrats seem favored to keep the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats currently lead Republicans by seven points in the generic ballot, and the House has not flipped during a presidential election since 1952. While Republicans taking back the House is possible, it seems the modal outcome for a Trump victory is that he’ll still have a Democratic House blocking his legislation and giving him a hard time.

Plus, midterm elections almost always work to the presidential party’s detriment. If Trump wins reelection and has a recession soon after taking office, it’s not hard to see Democrats keeping the House and winning back the Senate in 2022. From there, it’s easy to see a Democrat winning the presidency in 2024, and with unified control over the House and Senate that Democrat will be able to pass their legislation.

On the other hand, imagine if a Democrat wins in 2020. Right now it’s unclear what Trump’s actual reelection chances are, and a lot can change in 13 months. However, Biden, the current Democratic frontrunner, leads Trump by an average of 7.7 points in all the head-to-head polls done so far. Warren leads by four points and Sanders leads by 4.8, so a Democratic victory is certainly possible or even likely.

However, based on which states are having senatorial elections in 2020, it seems likely that Republicans will keep the Senate after the 2020 election. While Democrats winning the Senate is possible, it would be an upset and any Democratic candidate taking their chances of winning the presidency should be preparing for Republican obstruction of any of their legislation.

Just as Trump might face a recession soon after he takes his second oath of office, a 2020 Democratic victor faces similar possible hardships. With the midterms usually going against the president’s party, a 2020 Democratic victory would probably result in Democrats losing the House in 2022 as well as the Senate if they had it in the first place. Since presidents who are in office when a recession hits are very vulnerable to losing reelection, the modal outcome seems to be that, if a Democrat wins in 2020, a Republican will win in 2024, this time with unified control over the House and Senate.

This is to say nothing of Trump’s personal behavior, alleged sexual assaults, racist attacks and corruption scandals and how they may be hurting the Republican brand in the eyes of young people and minorities, who are making up an increasing percentage of the population. If Trump wins reelection in 2020, it’s very possible GOP politicians will imitate him thinking Trump’s behavior is a recipe for success, and in a country with changing demographics, that would be foolish.

Ultimately, if the two houses of Congress remain in split control, then it won’t matter too much which party wins the presidency. For the long-term health of the Republican party, it might be best just to let the Democrats win this one.


Please note that these views and opinions do not reflect those of The New Political.

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