A few years before Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States of America, few would have predicted that the former reality TV star and billionaire would ever lead the nation. Fast forward to the GOP race, and it still seemed like an impossibility, with bookmakers in Vegas and around the world offering staggering odds on a Trump presidency.
But those odds deceased, the inevitable happened, and history will now remember the 2016 race as one of the biggest shocks in US politics. The only question now, as the race to 2020 begins in earnest, is “Who will become the 46h president of the United States?”
Will Trump hold onto a position that few expected him to claim in the first place; will we see another surprise outcome?
In this article we’re going to take a closer look at the 2020 presidential race to see who the likely contenders are based on the data available to us.
A Second Term
Of the 44 US presidents prior to Trump, 17 were elected for a second term (Franklin D. Roosevelt was actually elected for 4, while Grover Cleveland served his two terms non-consecutively).
Based on that stat alone it means that 38.8% were reelected. However, modern presidents seem to have the odds a little more in their favor, as four of the last five US presidents served two full terms. This is no doubt the main reason why the vast majority of oddsmaker still have President Trump as the favorite to win the 2020 presidency race.
But then you have to factor approval ratings into consideration. Reagan saw his ratings peak prior to his first and second term; while Obama and Clinton experienced relative stability throughout their terms.
The only exception is George W. Bush. His approval rating was sky high a year into his reign, only to slide to one of its lowest points when he was re-elected. Trump’s approval rating is currently lower than all of these re-elected presidents suggesting that he may struggle to win the race.
Turnout is always key. The US presidency is a two-horse race, with democrats/republicans rarely switching sides. Throughout the 2016 race Republicans were more engaged than Democrats. The majority supported their representative even if they didn’t entirely agree with the choice, while the same couldn’t be said for Democrats, with many supporters of Bernie Sanders refusing to back Hilary Clinton.
In recent years, there has been a change in the tides. There were far more democrats voting in 2018 and if this is paired with a strong, popular and charismatic representative, it seems likely that they’ll give Trump a good run for his money.
Democrats are also doing a better job of capturing votes from growing demographics, such as young women, African-Americans and Latinos.
The bookmakers consider all likelihoods, using vast algorithms to better understand the race and to try and predict the outcome before anyone else. That’s how they make their money after all.
We looked at the odds of all major bookmakers across Europe, where gambling is more widely accepted and available, and in all cases Trump was the favorite. What’s more notable, however, is that they seem to be convinced that the Democrats will choose a female representative. Kamila Harris is currently leading the race, but Elizabeth Warren, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand are all high up on the list.
In fact, the list of the top 10 representatives is an even split between male and female, and the odds of a female winning the race are better than the odds of Bernie Sanders winning it.
So What Will Happen?
If the odds and the probabilities are right then Trump will either win or go very close, and he will be opposed by a female representative as he was in 2016. However, nothing is a sure thing and the figures also tell us that if the democrats choose a representative that can unite the party and attract many of the demographics that didn’t vote in 2016, and if Trumps’ rating continues to fall, then the 46th president may be a democrat.