“Never make predictions, especially about the future.” – Casey Stengel
It has certainly been a crazy year in the political world. Those who study political science theories were perplexed as Donald Trump flipped the world on its head with his successful presidential campaign. So much has changed, and yet so much is still the same. Washington, D.C. still does not run efficiently or effectively. The candidate who captured the hearts and minds of the voters beat the candidate who could not run an effective messaging campaign. Although President Trump’s rhetoric is incendiary, he has been brought down to size by the scope of his office. We are only a little more than 100 days into his administration, but it has felt a lot longer than that. In the spirit of a sports column, let’s make some predictions for the next few years in this final edition of Red, White and True. Thank you all for reading and have a great summer!
1. President Trump will not be impeached.
This is something that has been bandied around quite a bit by opponents of the administration, but the logistics of impeachment are a lot more difficult than people realize. A supermajority of the Senate would have to vote on impeachment after the vote goes through the House. Getting a simple majority, much less a supermajority, of senators to do anything is a challenge. Trump’s impeachment is more likely if Democrats take back the House in 2018, but finding a constitutional reason to impeach and then successfully doing so is an extremely tall task.
2. Democrats will amass significant gains in the House but still fail to hold a majority after the 2018 midterms.
This one is a numbers game. In the Senate, there just aren’t enough seats for the Democrats to win in order to take back control of the body, as they will be trying to hold onto many of their own seats rather than go on the offensive. In the House, Democrats need a gain of 24 seats for control. A sitting president’s party always does worse in midterm elections, but Democrats just don’t have a coherent message or fundraising operation to pick up 24 seats. The special elections in Kansas and Georgia illustrated exactly that.
3. Despite being the sitting president, Trump will not escape the 2020 election season without a primary challenge.
This is an extremely bold prediction, but so much of this man’s political career has broken orthodoxy that it would not be a surprise to see a Republican primary challenger to an incumbent president, especially if Trump cannot unite the party in any way. Someone like Ted Cruz might see an opportunity to strike instead of waiting down the line when there might not be a chance to run again.
4. An independent candidate will have an extremely successful 2020 election season.
I’m not talking about Gary Johnson or Jill Stein. I’m talking about a completely independent candidate with no political party backing whatsoever. Two names come to mind: Mark Zuckerberg and Mark Cuban. Both are wealthy men with high ambitions and a common interest in taking down Trump. Maybe they will team up and create a superpower independent ticket. After this election, nothing can be counted out!