Trump’s Only Goal: Push an Agenda Pleasing Only His Base

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore

Why This Approach Might Cost Him in 2020


Since President Donald Trump has taken office, he has been steadfast in pushing the agenda that got him elected. The message of being hard on immigration, slashing Obama-era regulations and a seemingly personal hatred of liberals has been prominent over the course of the past two years. Of course, the American people expected this, but has the president focused on pleasing his base too long?

The answer is yes. Understandably, President Trump has supported and gotten legislation passed that pleases his base, but now going in 2019 and with the 2020 election on the horizon, he’s making the mistake of not making any reasonable effort to come to terms with Democrats to pass any legislation or even to keep the government open.

Many Republicans may not see this as an issue, but this does damage his chances of being reelected in 2020. No matter what party a president is a part of, it does no good to let the government shut down especially in Trump’s case, when the main reason for keeping it shut down is not getting a wall that would cost Americans billions of dollars.

Another large group of voters that Trump is losing support in is independents. In a 2018 poll by NBC and Marist College, independent voters in Arizona, Ohio and Florida all preferred a Congress controlled by Democrats. Although the poll didn’t ask how they felt about Trump in the White House, it might be safe to say that the trend of preferring democratic control might continue into the 2020 presidential election. With those three states all being red in the 2016 election, this shift in independent preference could very well be seen in other red states.  

In addition to independents, moderate voters that voted for Trump in 2016 could vote blue in 2020. The president has made many controversial decisions while in office, including pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, passing a tax bill that only benefited the upper class and corporations and most recently declaring a state of national emergency to get, along with spending legislation, eight billion dollars for a border wall. These moves, along with many others, have not sat well with the majority of the American citizens. I believe this is enough to push voters that are on the edge or stuck between the parties to vote Democratic in 2020.

I realize that the popular vote means nothing with the Electoral College system, but 11 states that control 61 percent, or 165 votes, have enacted a policy called the National Popular Vote (NPV) plan that gives all electoral votes to whatever candidate wins in each state respectively. This policy has also been introduced in 50 states and has a lot of support across the nation.

Along with declining support from his electorate, the president has managed to increase participation in political activist groups. Many groups that have felt attacked or ignored by the president have spoken and demanded change in the past few years. For example, women rights groups have taken to the streets numerous times to demand more equal treatment. With Trump having made demoralizing comments about women in the past, this push for change from the largest voting group doesn’t come as a surprise. The current administration needs to try and patch the broken relationship it has with women across America.

At this point in his term, the president is his own biggest enemy. He continues to make decisions that he and his administration know will not sit well with Americans. As 2019 plays out, we will see what the president can do to increase his support across multiple groups, if he even makes an attempt to at all.