President Donald Trump’s re-election efforts will focus on three key states that he carried in 2016. Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin will be major targets for Trump’s 2020 campaign. He won these states in a surprise upset in 2016.
Trump won all three states by just 77,000 votes combined. Some analysts see this as a once in a generation fluke and blame Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton for not campaigning there. All three states were Democratic-voting for many years before 2016.
However, it will not be easy to replicate Trump’s unlikely victories in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump’s re-election team seems to acknowledge this. They are planning to walk a narrow path back to the White House. This is a risky strategy for a president whose popularity has taken a serious hit.
The re-election strategy will also try to flip Minnesota and Colorado, which Hillary Clinton narrowly won in 2016. There are also concerns about Florida. Though Trump carried the crucial state last time, he has been widely blamed for the longest government shutdown in history. This has dented his support in all the swing states he won.
Many Democrats are lining up to challenge the President, including high profile Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. Former Vice President Joe Biden appears poised to enter the race. Some commentators believe Biden will succeed among blue collar workers, though his working class appeal is disputed.
Trump lost the popular vote by some 3 million ballots in 2016, but the vagaries of the electoral college saw him swept into the White House. Two of the last five presidential elections have been won by candidates who lost the popular vote, both Republicans. Trump will probably need to win the popular vote in 2020 to have any chance of re-election.