The 2020 Election Strategy: Dems vs Trump
With the 2020 Election nearing, the Democratic party is scrambling to find ways to defeat Trump and the GOP.
Southern US states have typically been the stomping grounds for Republicans including Trump, so in 2020 Democrats are focusing their strategy on these red states to flip them blue. Dems are also being advised to reduce any direct criticisms or attacks on one another to avoid providing Trump and Republicans with potential ammunition. So long as Dems retain their current standings and favorability, they have the possibility of winning the White House.
After a clear win in the 2018 Midterms for the Democrats, the party is looking to the South and other Republican strongholds to ensure a Democratic victory in the 2020 Presidential election. The party also wants to retain control of the House in 2020 during the General election, as well as, possibly overtake the Senate. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has a set target list for 2020, 36% of targeted seats are in the South which is up by 12%, regarding targets in 2018.
The largest concentration of African-Americans is in the South who strongly lean Democratic. This, along with targeting more diverse Southern suburbs, which were once overwhelmingly Republican, could provide Democrats with traction and votes to undermine the Republican grip on the South and odds for the Republicans in the 2020 election. “…Red states are starting to turn purple…It means that [Democrats] can be competitive in places that before they would have lost,” said Adolphus Belk Jr. a professor of Political Science and African American studies at Winthrop University.
According to a state by state poll from Gallup regarding Trump’s job approval rating, the incumbent President would have a hard time winning an election if the 2020 Presidential election occurred today. Trump’s approval rating above 50% is only within 17 states accounting for a total of 102 electoral votes. However, numerous states have given their approval rating below 40% which account for 201 electoral votes.
The GOP and Trump plan to play on extremes, citing the extremely liberal and progressive ideas that current Democratic presidential candidates are running on. The party’s plan is to highlight the Dems “extreme” proposals like open borders, Medicare for all, and the New Green Deal as unattainable and socialist to flip voters back on their side. An inside source to Trump said he has been looking for “big contrast issue(s)” to help propel and solidify his bid in 2020 and odds to win.
The Democratic candidates in the race must choose between progressive, liberal, or moderate approaches. With some candidates running on liberal policies many within the party feel they will alienate centrists and moderates who may default to voting for Trump.
Many Democratic officials were successful in the 2018 Midterms because they appealed to moderate and attainable policies known as “Kitchen table” issues. While the shift toward a more liberal agenda has largely been accepted by White highly educated Democratic-aligned voters, Democratic African-Americans and Hispanics remain aligned to more moderate policies.
Not only does this policy stance bring a challenge to mobilizing Dem voters, but also how the candidates act nearing the nomination may pose a roadblock. In 2016, Dem candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton attacked one another publicly during tours and debates, allowing Republicans and Trump to gain ammunition and in part allowed for the Democratic party’s undermining and Trump’s election.
The focus this election in 2020 is to prevent Trump from gaining a second term, which means Democratic candidates will need to play nice with one another to seem more cohesive and unified. Otherwise, Trump, the GOP, and Republican media will use ammunition given by the Dems themselves to undermine any favorable odds for Democratic nominees. It is no doubt that Republicans will try to expose weaknesses or cause greater division in the Democratic party to lower the odds of the Dems gaining a foothold on the 2020 Election.