Election 2020

The 2020 Race Is Completely Unpredictable Because Politicians Are Awful

We're vastly more interested in the upcoming election than we were in 2016. We're also convinced neither party represents us. What could go wrong?

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Here's an interesting development regarding the 2020 presidential race: We're both vastly more interested in the election than we were four years ago and we're convinced that neither major party represents us. What could possibly go wrong? Pretty much everything.

According to a recent Fox News poll, voters are extremely engaged in the election compared to where they were four years ago. Fully 57 percent of registered voters told Fox that they were "very interested" in the 2020 race (question three). That compares to just 30 percent around the same time in 2015. At the same time, Rasmussen finds

that 47% of Likely U.S. Voters believe it is fair to say that neither party in Congress is the party of the American people. In surveying since 2010, this finding has ranged from a high of 53% in 2014 to a low of 41% last year. Thirty-five percent (35%) disagree, while 17% are undecided.

So what happens when you combine historically high levels of interest with equally high levels of frustration with the major parties? Massive unpredictability, at the very least. That mindset is reflected in Bridget Phetasy's essay "The Battle Cry of the Politically Homeless," which appears at the Spectator USA website and is subtitled, "Anyone moderate with a brain and anything to lose has largely gone silent." After noting that everything is politicized these days, the self-described "politically disinterested citizen" writes,

Democracy doesn't die in the darkness; it dies when politics become team sports, in full view of a bloodthirsty, cheering electorate. We will return to the Dark Ages or we will evolve. Is that likely? I dunno. Have we evolved that much from the Roman Colosseum? Barreling into 2020—it doesn't seem like it.

While both sides increasingly weaponize reason and peddle conspiracy in order to defend insanity, millions of sensible, moderate Americans grapple with the choice to join a tribe, tune out, or go insane.

If it's way too early to guess which Democratic candidate will survive his or her party's presidential Hunger Games and take on Donald Trump next year, this much is certain: The winner will be the person who not only turns out partisans but also woos the large number of independents. According to the latest numbers from Gallup, 38 percent of Americans identify as independents, 29 percent identify as Republican, and 27 percent as Democrats.

It's unlikely that either major party will see a surge of new members as they get increasingly shrill, bitter, and partisan leading up to Election Day. President Trump is already floating policies that are geared to fire up his base. He wants to end birthright citizenship and double down on trade war with China, and in anticipation of a recession, he's already lambasting the Federal Reserve for not doing his bidding. The Democrats have their own reflexive responses, including amping up charges of racism against any and all voters who disagree with them on just about anything.

The end result of such ugliness is not likely to be a great awakening of civic engagement but something like The Great Tuneout, with weaker-than-expected voter turnout and even less faith and confidence in whoever manages to squeak into office. Which, if past is prologue, will lead not to less government but more.

That is, alas, how things work: A decline in trust and confidence in political and social institutions historically breeds demand for more control and regulation by the very government we respect less and less.

For possible ways to resist this downward spiral, go here.

NEXT: March For Our Lives Calls for Confiscating Guns, Investigating the NRA, and 'Reforming' the Supreme Court

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80 responses to “The 2020 Race Is Completely Unpredictable Because Politicians Are Awful

  1. I also think turnout in the general will be low which probably favors Trump because the Democrats will not be able to pivot to the center and pick up enough independents to get over. If the black vote is lackluster despite all of the blatant pandering they’re finished.

    1. “”the Democrats will not be able to pivot to the center and pick up enough independents to get over.”‘

      Agree. I think many independents will sit this one out.

      “”If the black vote is lackluster despite all of the blatant pandering they’re finished.”‘

      I believe it will be. Look at their options. Biden? A guy to help mass incarcerate them? Sanders? The white savior. Harris? See Biden. Warren? See Sanders.
      They didn’t really come out to support Hillary the last time.

      I think we may see one of the lowest turnouts in a long time.

      1. I’m not so certain. Wasn’t there record turnout in the mid-term? If so, why would we expect turnout to be low in the presidential election?

        1. It’s going to depend on the atmosphere next year. The Kavanaugh hearings really became a bit of a flashpoint that got people invested.

          By this time next year, people might be a bit burned out on the whole mess. But there could be another issue that flames up and draws interest.

          1. They can always manufacture an issue, and the media will cooperate in fanning the flames, so I wouldn’t count on low turnout among Democrats. For Trump to win he’s going to have to get high turnout among Republicans.

            Fortunately, they’re all producing a LOT of soundbites for that purpose. Unfortunately, the only positive media Trump is going to get is paid media, and many media outlets may experiment with refusing to sell him any space for his advertisements.

      2. Vic….Let me offer an alternative for you (and others) to consider.

        What I see is a Statist party with two streams: Team D & Team R. Both teams are completely disconnected from the problems, cares and concerns of the people. This has helped accelerate the apathy we have seen for many years now (apathy, as measured by declining voter participation in all elections: federal, state and especially municipal). Actions do speak louder than words and people are speaking by opting out. So yes, we may see a lower turnout – that is possible. And is easily understood.

        What is different this time is the degree of polarization, and the absolutely poisonous atmosphere we find ourselves. We have not had this level of division for over 150 years. The Press (the MSM), ostensibly a guardian of our Republic, has clearly chosen a side. They make no secret of their preference, and have acted unethically to sway multiple elections (2000, 2004, 2008, and 2016). So we can’t rely on the Press to give the electorate unbiased information in a transparent manner. People know it. That is why trust in the Press has collapsed.

        So what happens? In the quiet of the evening, Americans will decide what is really important to them. In 2016, POTUS Trump won the election by people who whose gaze was firmly fixed on SCOTUS, and the Judiciary more generally. Based on what we saw with both confirmation hearings (and the obscene tactics used), those people will again come out in droves. They are energized.

        Others will look at their 401K balances, and decide they won’t risk it with the batshit crazy expensive ideas of Team D. Those who are elderly are not going to want to risk their medical care with the ‘Medicare 4 Everyone’ proposed by all Democrat candidates.

        But the number one factor I think will motivate people is actually quite simple, and most ‘human’: Giving the proverbial middle finger. For three years now, Team D (and the MSM) has made a point to demean and denigrate people who voted for POTUS Trump. They are called ignorant, stupid, deplorable, racist, nationalist, misogynistic – and those are the kind things. That is just not a winning national strategy. Do that enough, and people become trenchant (happened), truculent (happened), and then they go ‘radio silent’ because they have made their choice, and they know what they’ll do. This is where I think we are, currently.

        It remains to be seen how world events, and economic performance will impact the election next year.

        1. But there is a large core of people who buy into the MSM raciss message.

          Most people, I think, voted for the lesser of two evils, rather than for an ideal. I don’t think that’s going to change. It may depend on the D candidate, but convincing the middle that Biden or Warren is worse than Trump (with sexist voters if it’s Warren just cause she’s a woman) may not play.

        2. For the Dems it will be a case of ‘what will they do for us if we elect a Dem’. Considering the massive negative opinion the Dems have on ‘white people;, and in particular, ‘white men’. I would guess they will not be able to count too much on their vote in 2020. What white person would vote for someone who patently hates them because they are white. Considering the population of America is overwhelmingly white, this is absolutely not a very good strategy for the Dems.
          Trump, however, is now a known quantity. He has a record to run on. for anyone who has seen their lives improve, and particularly their financial circumstances why would they possibly replace Trump with someone who will increase their taxes, which every single Dem candidate has already stated they will do.
          As for election promises, Trump has consistently kept many of his promises. He campaigned relentlessly on building the wall which he has started to do. All delays to this promise have come from the Dems who have done absolutely everything they could to stop him keeping this promise to the people who elected him.
          Trumps base has increase and despite the immense and relentless negative coverage by 90% of the bias media, his poll numbers are gradually increasing.
          I honestly cannot see him losing this one.

    2. The best reason to vote for Trump in 2016 was that he wasn’t Hillary. He doesn’t automatically get that vote this time.

      I guess it could pan out that the reason to vote for Trump in 2020 is that he’s not a socialist. But I think many independents will not vote this time.

      1. Could be but there are a number of never Trumpers that have been won over or at least had their fears allayed, a fair number of independents tired of being called bigots by the AOC crowd, and the lowest black unemployment rate in a long time. Not making predictions but Team Blue could have it tougher than they think.

        1. the lowest black unemployment rate in a long time.

          yeah, black UE fell from 14% to 6% under Obama and another point with the Con Man. Give him all the credit.

          Kind of like the woman who wanted 20 inches of dick in a gangbang and Trump pipes up afterward and said “You guys needed my One-Inch to make it happen!”

        2. I was pretty much a “never Trumper”. I consider myself independent but I’ve voted for far more R’s than D’s over the years. Hillary never had a chance at my vote, but I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Trump either. Then he won and I watched otherwise sane people go totally nuts. Trump Derangement Syndrome is a real condition. I still don’t particularly like Trump but the overreaction to him actually pushes me toward him. More important, I think his Supreme Court nominees are decent. They’re not perfect but they’re far better than what we’ll get from any of the current crop of Dem candidates. There’s a good chance that I’ll vote for him in 2020.

      2. Polling over the last few months put Hispanic support in high 40s and African american support in the mid 20s for trump. To put this on perspective, trump had mid 30s and low 10s in 2016 respectively. If those numbers stay Democrats are fucked.

        1. The New York Times to the rescue!

      3. The best reason to vote for Trump in 2020 is because of the fact that he has proven that he intends to keep his election promises and has a proven track record on the economy which by every metric is soaring.
        Why would anyone vote differently to Trump’s record. What can any other candidate do to improve on this

    3. Democrats will not be able to pivot to the center

      Biden is a centrist. Klobuchar and Bennet are too.

      I know wingnuts have been brain-washed by redneck TV to believe Bernie and Lizzie have taken over the Democratic Party but Biden’s 11 point lead belies that.

      1. Well said.

        Biden isn’t my first choice, but he can campaign on a promise to recreate the strongest 8-year run in US economic history. Since he was VP during that time.

        1. recreate the strongest 8-year run in US economic history

          1992-2000 or 2009-2017?

          1. Biden is a dud who has zero, I repeat zero chance of making it through the primaries, never mind beating Trump. Here are a few reasons:
            1. He is old
            2. He is white
            3. He has a penis
            4. He is boring

            1. I don’t even want to know how you know #3.

              1. I think the pronoun ‘he’ gives it away, half-wit.

                1. Facebook does not approve.

      2. The most left-wing person in his party in the 1990s is now a centrist.

        God help us.

    4. I love the way Americans think their vote in a prez election means anything & the way pundits & experts try to analyze this crap…As long as the system is in place where in 48 states (except for Maine & Nebraska where each Congressional district gets 1 electoral vote) the person who gets the most votes in a state gets ALL the electoral votes, the only votes that matter are in the swing states, all other votes mean ZIPPO!…Thus, probably 97%-98% of votes mean nothing!…Every state should give each Congressional district one vote, as the Founders envisioned!

      Trump won just about every swing state in 2016, but he won them by very small margins…Even if the economy holds up, I see this as very tough to repeat, especially because people have for years now seen his toxic personality & huge sensitive ego & people are getting tired of his constant battling Carnival barker ways that overshadow any good he has done!

      I see Warren getting the DEMON-CRAT nod & going against Trump and quite possibly beating him…..She seems to me to the best of their Insane Clown Caravan!

  2. Your own nominees in the Libertarian party don’t represent you either.

    1. Of course they don’t. That’s not the point. You can pretend that they do because there’s no chance they are getting elected anyway.

  3. Sure, shoot the messenger. Politicians are pretty awful people because the people who keep voting for them are pretty awful people.

    1. Court rules Electoral College members aren’t bound by popular vote

      Haha.
      The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the Colorado secretary of state violated the Constitution in 2016 when he removed an elector and nullified his vote when the elector refused to cast his ballot for Democrat Hillary Clinton, who won the popular vote.

      Clinton lost by one additional Elector.

      1. The Constitution says Congress counts the electoral votes, Lord forbid the courts get to stick their dicks in it too.

      2. The downside of this is that now the Democrats have even more motive to threaten and bribe the electors next year.

        But the ruling itself? I think they’re right. The Constitution gives states the power to decide how electors are chosen, but then the electors themselves have the job of deciding who to vote for.

  4. Politicians are awful?
    Gee, when did Reason wake up to this fact?

    1. November 2016.

    2. Fonzie is too cool for pols

    1. Until the 2024 election. And the 2028, and the…

      1. Yea, it’s cliche.
        Then again, at the rate government power has been increasing, it’s not a sentiment without merit…

    2. Just one time, I would like to vote in an election that is not the most important election of our lifetimes. 🙂

      I mean, how fucking many times will we fall for that meme?

  5. The winner will be the one who woos large numbers of independents only if a large number of independents vote. If they tune out, turning out partisans will only be required.

  6. The 2020 Race Is Completely Unpredictable Because Politicians Are Awful

    There’s a hole in my sock because the Fourth of July fell on a Thursday.

  7. I guarantee a Democratic victory in 2020.

    Just look at the facts:
    We’re deep in the #DrumpfRecession.
    Mueller’s investigation has definitively proved that Rachel Maddow was right about #TrumpRussia.
    Americans are disgusted by the existence of literal concentration camps on the border.
    Orange Hitler has called neo-Nazis “very fine people.”

    Even if Drumpf retains the unfair advantages he had in 2016 — specifically a biased media and Russian hacking — it won’t be enough.

    1. The Dotard’s secret plan is to buy up small island nations and apply two electoral votes to each to win the Electoral College with only 34% of the popular vote.

      It could work.

      1. Nah, no way an incumbent gets reelected in an economy this bad.

        Did you know things are so awful, even a low unemployment rate is a bad sign? As AOC has explained, it just means people are working two or three jobs and barely scraping by.

        1. The Dotard wants more Keynesian free money and tax cuts to stave off his pending recession. Trillion dollar deficits don’t matter if you’re a Republican.

          #Trilliondollardeficitsdon’tmatterifyou’reaRepublican

        2. “As AOC has explained, it just means people are working two or three jobs and barely scraping by.”

          She also said the all life will end in 12 years. (I think it’s about 11 years and 4 or 5 months at this point.) I’m surprised these people are bothering to work 3 jobs. With only that much time left, I’d quit 2 and start seriously slacking at the one. In the last couple days of years, I’d disappear from the one as well. Gotta enjoy the last days, after all, and that’s hard to do behind a desk.

          1. As has been noted…AOC has gone pretty quiet on Twitter since her Chief of Staff left.

            There were tons of theories that he was the “brains” behind that operation. Maybe those theories…had something to them.

    2. You are truly deluded. There is no recession. Even the Dems would not use this line. Even they are merely speculating that a recession is possible. They are pushing this possibility to counter the incredible economy Trump has generated by every single measurable metric.
      I can’t decide whether you are merely a deeply partisan asshole or you are merely a stupid and ignorant troll.
      I suspect a bit of the first and a hell of a lot of the second

  8. We could possibly have our White Trash Incumbent vs a self-avowed socialist. Politics have degenerated into a shit-show.

    1. LOL — “White Trash Incumbent.” And don’t forget he has a #TinyMushroomDick!

      #PoorPeopleVoteRepublican

      1. That’s Stormy’s and Melanoma’s problem.

    2. I prefer to think of politics as a sort of Special Olympics for those who have zero athletic ability.

      But you feel free to cheer on your preferred, uh, “intellectually challenged” candidate from either of the two corrupt, stupid parties as he/she/xir crosses the finish line by spouting the most idiotic hogwash and doing it the loudest. Hey, not everyone can move quickly or well and we gotta give these poor sclubs some encouragement, right? By letting them rule over us, we can build up their self-esteem.

      1. “The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”

        ― G.K. Chesterton, 1930

  9. None of this babbling by the democrats matters until they actually publish the party platform. Then the bullshit stops; and we all know what the candidate is committed to. Then we stack it up against the republican platform, and see which one is the least oppressive to individual liberty, hold our nose, and go vote.
    Then we hope Alexa counts correctly.

    1. Platform. Yeah that’s important. Unforgettable really. It’s all anyone will be talking about next Fall.

      1. I’m told they put the people they don’t trust to run the party, in charge of writing the platform. Gets them out of the way and gives them something to do.

      2. What party ever stuck to their platform?

        1. I’d say Trump has done just that. He was elected on the promises of building a border wall which he has absolutely started to do. He promised to reduce illegal immigration which he has absolutely done. He promised to cut taxes which he has done. He promised to renegotiate trade deals which he is in the process of doing. I can’t see Trump losing this one. There is absolutely nobody in the Dems who can encourage any independents to vote for them and their vote will be crucial in 2020.

  10. You guys are boring. I’m going over to Bratfart to harass some Fascists.

    1. No, don’t go, you’re…oh, well, I guess I can’t stop you.

    2. They’ve all got you blocked.

    3. Hint: If they really were fascists, you wouldn’t be permitted to bother them.

  11. I can be predict with absolute certainty that in 2020 the winner will not be anyone I want as president.

    I further predict that whoever wins will not be a libertarian (and certainly not a Libertarian).

  12. “At the same time, Rasmussen finds that 47% of Likely U.S. Voters believe it is fair to say that neither party in Congress is the party of the American people.”

    And yet, nearly 100% of that 47% will hold their noses and vote for a candidate from one of the two parties.

    Ain’t politics grand?

    1. The so-called “independents” will vote for the same party they always vote for.

  13. The Democrats have their own reflexive responses, including amping up charges of racism against any and all voters who disagree with them on just about anything.

    to be fair, this is their standard MO

  14. At this point, I do not plan to vote for anyone. I could vote for the Libertarian candidate, as I have in the past, but have come to realize that refusing to participate at all in a corrupt process is the only logical choice.

    1. I have voted via write-in for Dr. Ron Paul in 2008 & 2012 & his son, Dr. Rand Paul in 2016 & will do so again in 2020. I will sleep soundly knowing I did not contribute to the demise of this nation!

  15. So much winning
    Vs
    So much whining

    I wonder which message is more appealing

    1. Who’s winning?

      1. It appears you aren’t

  16. Because Politicians Are Awful
    Consider what the media does to politicians. What sane, non-egotistical, non-sociopath would run for office?

  17. “38 percent of Americans identify as independents”

    I have to wonder what this really means? We know that most independents are not really independent. For some they lean to one party but resist being called a member. For others it maybe a way to rationalize the fact that they don’t vote. In no cases does it mean you can reliably count on them for a vote. Thus the reliance on the “Base”, the most politically active, which typically means pandering. Downward spiral until we hit rock bottom and non voter are compelled to participate out of necessity. Question is will 2020 be the year it happens?

  18. We’re both vastly more interested in the election than we were four years ago

    Both you and your pet parakeet? You may be the only ones.

  19. I’m still not even sure if anyone is worth voting for at this point. My likelihood to vote for Trump is directly proportional to how crazy the democrat nominee is. The only democrat I’d even consider is Tulsi Gabbard, but unfortunately she’s not “establishment” enough to even really be an option. So yeah, looks like it’s either vote for Trump or Vermin Supreme… Not sure which one would be better. After all, I have always wanted a pony…

    1. I’m still not even sure if anyone is worth voting for at this point.

      You’re getting it. None of them are ever worth voting for. Why people still vote is beyond me. Just stop doing it. And stop paying attention to these “people”. You won’t be able to avoid hearing them sometimes, but if you just tune it out, you’ll be able to get way more out of life.

  20. Maybe someone here can explain to me why it is that, when people don’t trust government, they demand MORE government.

    I just don’t get how that works! If you don’t trust your car not to break down, you try to drive it less and for shorter trips. Don’t trust your employer to keep you on? You start shopping your resume around. Don’t trust your partner anymore? You start planning an exit strategy. Why would anyone become more invested in government if they believe it’s failing??