Donald Trump remains atop the heap, but it’s the Democrats who are far behind.
Americans went to the polls for an early glimpse of the 2020 election. Voters had a chance to respond to a number of important issues, including immigration, health care, and gun control. The results were predictable.
The Republican incumbent, President Donald Trump, still leads the GOP. It may surprise you to learn, however, that he still leads the GOP in total votes cast and in electoral votes. However, it’s also bad news for the president, who got stuck behind his Democratic opponent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in national popular vote totals.
Republicans as a party have done a poor job of advancing their agenda in recent years, particularly in the Congress. Donald Trump ran on a program of economic nationalism and “America First” policies. However, it seems those same policy policies have failed to inspire the citizenry to look out for their own best interests.
The GOP electoral performance—not to mention the historic unpopularity of his own party—throws into question what the future holds for the Republican party. Trump’s decision to field his own vice president, Mike Pence, is problematic at best. Pence is so anti-abortion that he has refused to appoint any federal judges to the court that would have been affected by an abortion rights case he ardently supported as governor of Indiana.
That said, given the current electoral climate, such a choice would be a waste of time and a colossal distraction from the work at hand. The GOP has grown significantly less conservative since Ronald Reagan’s tenure, a clear development that should make Republicans angry. The party should take a hard look at how they are perceived by the American public.
If Republicans aren’t looking good, neither are their Democratic opponents. Much of that apparent weakness stems from a lack of voter enthusiasm for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who received fewer votes than her Republican challenger, Geoff Diehl.
Warren was tossed out of office in Massachusetts as a moderate, and her rhetoric on social issues has alienated some voters from her party. Nonetheless, she’s a political force in her own right. No matter how you feel about Warren’s policies, she is attractive. It’s a testament to how disconnected most Americans feel from their government, at least in American politics.
The election’s outcomes are not directly correlated with how the electorate feels about the candidates, and voters who do not like the candidates should not vote for those candidates. Furthermore, it’s the president who is president, not the people themselves. The buck stops with the president, regardless of the results.
Even though the Republicans lost an election in which Democrats hoped to gain a supermajority in the House, President Trump still plans to hold a State of the Union address, despite opposition from almost every Democrat in the House of Representatives.
Furthermore, every effort to impeach the president is expected to die in the Senate. Even if the Democratic majority in the House does not succeed in impeaching the president, a president who they are united in their desire to remove from office should not be allowed to hold a normal event that is based solely on patriotism and the desire to inform the American people.
In political terms, the election has actually been a relative disaster for the president. It puts the Democrats in a better position to take charge of the Congress, and it could even potentially reshape the Republican Party. That’s a potential win for the president, but it’s a downside for the country.
If Donald Trump keeps winning and winning, there is a very real possibility he will become more divisive than ever. He is the president, not a robot, and that alone makes him an important figure for all Americans to keep in mind. If Donald Trump keeps winning, the country’s history will not only bear witness to a successful president in the mid-20th century, but will also reinforce the view that a politics is function, rather than personality.
A president who has been so successful could also solidify the notion that politics is the only way for a country to address its problems.
If Donald Trump loses, Americans will take notice. Some could be pleasantly surprised, and Republicans would give themselves a chance to learn from their mistakes. More importantly, however, if President Trump loses, it will expose what a hollow victory he has been in this year’s election.
Debra Braverman is the first woman to chair the Republican Party of Illinois.