It is no secret that the victory Trump earned in 2016 was an awfully narrow one. After all, he polled as the least popular presidential nominee of any major party in the modern polling era. 

President Donald Trump is not doomed to be booted from the White House after one term. As 2016 proved, he could win with well under fifty percent of the popular vote. However, there are many warning signs that Trump is in for quite a battle for the ballet in the 2020 election. 

Why might Trump fail to secure a second term in office? Let’s count down the many reasons.


19. Voters now understand that a Trump presidency is worse than Hillary's presidency would have been

Countless voters in 2016 simply took their chances by voting for Trump.

Many did not trust him but still decided that out of their two unlikeable options, Trump was the better bet. But U.S. citizens now understand that Trump’s promises to improve the country are mostly tall tales.

18. Strong Democratic rivals

The president may have a harder time slamming his Democratic opponents in 2020 than he did last time around. Despite taking hard hits, the 2020 Democratic nominees are looking stronger than Clinton did during her 2016 campaign.

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have both been targeted harshly by the president and conservative media outlets; however, both still have solidly positive approval ratings — even after nationally televised debate performances that multiple New York Times columnists deemed “politically suicidal.”

17. Lack of the element of surprise

Many voters treated the prospect of a Trump presidency as a joke in the last election. Most thought he would never be able to pull it off, especially when looking at the outcome the polls were predicting. Millions of citizens were in for a shock when they realized that the poll reports should be taken with a grain of salt. This time around, voters will know that anything is possible, no matter how improbable.

16. Erratic stock market

Trump has made the stock market extremely volatile due to his seemingly compulsive habit of “mess(ing) with trade,” as stated in a Market Watch article. Although the stock market has done exceptionally well under Trump, his erratic decisions heavily affect the manner and frequency in which it rises and falls in great leaps. And investors do not appreciate having their stock market portfolios played with.

15. Tremendous lack of popularity with minorities and women

Trump has been consistently unpopular, especially among young, female, non-white and/or college-educated voters. He has made questionable, sometimes offensive statements about these many groups of people which have severely hurt his chances of winning them over. Both Clinton and Obama began their presidencies with Gallup job approval well above 50%. Trump, however, remains the only president in the modern polling era never to reach 50% approval.

14. Surprising lack of enthusiasm from the state of Texas

Texas is likely going to support Trump in 2020, but, of all of the states he won in 2016, it’s also the one where his approval rating last year was the lowest. A surge in turnout among nonwhite voters (who are historically very Democratic-leaning) or those who stayed home in 2016 could be significant, particularly if coupled with a broader lack of interest from infrequent Texan Republican voters.

13. The millions of people who voted for Obama but did not vote in 2016 could return

Historically, a boost in turnout benefits Republicans since these voters more regularly tend to be older and wealthier (and therefore more Republican). However, 2020 may be different because Trump is popular with Republican-leaning voters who also don’t turn out heavily unless they feel inspired to go to the polls for their candidate—a push they may not be feeling as of late. Also, when factoring in the infrequent Democratic voters—of which there are at least 4.4 million who voted for Obama in 2012 but did not support H. Clinton in 2016—it will be a tight race indeed.

12. The Trump administration’s scandals and investigations

There are many ongoing investigations into Trump’s administration and his personal affairs. It has been a continued game of the administration stubbornly blocking any search for new information. Because of this, citizens have been discouraged from supporting the current Republican party. These investigations will likely come into debate more heavily in the following months as the election cycle heats up.

11. Even less popular Democratic candidates are polling far better than Trump

In 2016, Trump won voters disapproved of both major-party candidates by a 50 to 39 percent margin in national exit polls. In a recent Fox News poll, respondents who disliked both Biden and Trump favored the Democrat over the president by a whopping 43 to 10 percent margin.

10. U.S. citizens don’t trust him

U.S. Citizens are keen on avoiding war, but some of Trump’s decisions are pushing America further and further into dangerous territory concerning foreign matters. For starters, his denuclearization policy with North Korea—which was a monumental success for Trump—appears to be deteriorating. Trump pulled off what no U.S. president before him had been able to accomplish when he set up multiple in-person meetings with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to negotiate denuclearization of the country. But talks have since floundered while the North Koreans started testing short-range ballistic missiles after months of calm. If negotiations fade, that could undermine Trump's major foreign policy achievement he has tried to cultivate these past two years.

9. His trade war is potentially costing the average American hundreds of dollars

Trump's policies using tariffs to hammer other countries and bring them to the negotiating table are having harmful effects on the US economy. The tariffs on China could end up costing American households $800 each year, according to recent estimates. This is due to many U.S. companies potentially having to raise the prices of their goods to keep up with the trade war.

8. Much of the rhetoric Trump used to sell himself in 2016 will not work this time around

America has long had enough of the many angles our president finessed to win the White House during the last election. One major selling point for many voters was Trump’s promise to rid America of corrupt politicians—or, more notably quoted, to “drain the swamp.” He also boasted: “I'm not a politician! I’m an outsider!” to garner trust in those who had long since lost faith in American politics. And there is, of course, the persistent campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”

7. It is very unlikely that he will have a challenger as unpopular as Hillary Clinton was

In 2016 Trump was running against a historically unfavorable opponent. There were plenty of people who disliked both Trump and Hillary. Nationally, Trump had a 17-point edge with those voters, according to exit polls. His major competitors this time around are once again in negative poll territory— Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren sit at negative 1 point, Sen. Kamala Harris at negative 11 points, and Sen. Bernie Sanders at negative 17 points—but Sanders is the only one currently “beating” the 15-point negative result that Hillary Clinton was at in 2016.

6. Former Mass.Gov. Bill Weld will be a primary challenger to Trump in the upcoming election

While the Republican National Committee is sticking by Trump instead of remaining neutral, Weld could still harm the president's chances of reelection. While primary challenges against sitting presidents have not resulted in the challenger’s ability to secure the nomination away from the reelection-seeking candidate, it can still harm the party’s chance of winning. Long and drawn out primary fights between Weld and Trump could inflict considerable damage that ends up hurting Trump in the general election.

5. Trump’s lack of noteworthy accomplishments

When running for reelection, it is vital that a candidate has as many accomplishments on his track record as possible and that he takes time to remind the public of all he has achieved while in office. In Trump’s case, he has not delivered on enough of his campaign promises to have much to brag about. He has appointed federal judges, made tax cuts and improved the economy overall, but there is a disappointing lack of action taken in regards to many other policies he wished to change in his time as president.

4. Democrats will likely approach this election with far more energy and motivation than they did in 2016

The Democratic base of voters showed their enthusiasm in the 2018 midterm elections, taking back the House majority in a sweeping fashion. There is certainly higher energy on the Left nowadays than there was three years ago now that Democrats have realized the hard way what comes from losing interest in a general election.