The perils of predicting 23 months before election day
The 2020 campaign is on! We have not seated the new Congress, and the pundits are already making predictions. I guess we live in the age of perpetual campaigns.
However, 23 months before election day has not turned out to be a reliable indicator in years past.
Let's go back to December 1990: did anyone see Governor Clinton winning the 1992 election? What about Ross Perot taking 19% of the popular vote? As I recall, most of the Democratic heavyweights decided to pass on 1992 because President Bush (41) seemed unbeatable.
Let's go back to December 1998: did anyone see a Bush-Cheney ticket? I wonder how many people saw a close election in 2000.
Let's go back to December 2006: did anyone see Senator Obama winning the nomination or the presidency? My guess is that most Democrats did not, either.
Let's go back to December 2014: did anyone see Donald Trump? I did not.
My point is that 23 months is not exactly a good barometer for the next election.
What will happen over the next 23 months?
First, let's look at the Democrats. As Camille Paglia wrote:
The Democrats (my party) have been in chaos since the 2016 election and have no coherent message except Trump hatred. Despite the vast pack of potential candidates, no one yet seems to have the edge.
They will present their "hate Trump" ticket to enter the party, but can they agree on anything? What about all of those "billionaires" who financed a lot of 2018 campaigns? How will they react if the new House cannot deliver?
My guess is that Michael Bloomberg will go solo in 2018 because he really wants to run against President Trump. As I recall, Ross Perot really wanted to run against President Bush and elected Governor Clinton.
Second, let's look at President Trump. He has to improve some of the electoral shortcomings, from suburban women to minority groups, as our friend Richard Baehr outlined a couple of weeks ago. Last, but not least, the U.S. economy will make or break President Trump. My guess today is that it will work for him.
So don't bet your life on predictions 23 months before. They are usually wrong!
What happens in 2020? My guess is that President Trump will be re-elected, but it's only a guess.