Ever since he became the president of the United States, people have wondered whether Republican Donald Trump will win a 2020 reelection. As the 2018 midterms approach, it's a question that's weighing more heavily than ever on political analysts. Some say yes to the possibility of a second victory for Trump while others remain skeptical. Either way, it's a loaded subject.
In February, Trump shared his intentions of running for a second presidential race, but a CNN report on Thursday noted that a "wide array" of House and Senate Republicans have yet to declare their support for him. The news network described the lack of definitive say on backing Trump as "deep uncertainty on Capitol Hill" and shared quotes from Republican lawmakers about whether they'd align with Trump in his second bid.
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn of the Republican Party told CNN, "I don't know what the world is going to look like. But let's say it's not something I've given any thought to." When he was asked the same question again after a few days, Cornyn persisted, "I haven't even thought about that election." He added, "I'm worried about the midterm election."
CNN reported that Cornyn wasn't the only one to shy away from giving a categorical thumbs-up to Trump. Republicans like Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander said that there were other issues to focus on. "Look, I'm focused on opioids," Alexander told CNN and added, "And I was just re-elected myself three years ago. So, I'm focused on that." Though some Republican lawmakers have pledged their support in 2020, the number that hasn't could be telling.
Beyond those who won't openly say yay or nay to Trump, there are a few Republicans who are doubtful of Trump committing to the idea of running one more time. Although Trump has already picked Brad Parscale to be his campaign manager in 2020, some GOP members don't think the president will actually go through running for office again.
When CNN asked Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga whether he'd back Trump in a second bid for presidency, he said that it's a "little loaded." He explained, "One: we need to make sure that he's actually moving forward and wants to go after this ― so when he makes a declaration, then I think that would be a time to determine whether there are others [who] run or not."
Other Republicans, like South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford, have their focus elsewhere. Sanford told CNN that he was "more worried about my own race right now." Additionally, Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois expressed to CNN that 2020 was "pretty far away" to mull over so soon.
But some political analysts push against this narrative of uncertainty among politicians about another Trump presidency. In the fall of 2017, Doug Sosnik, previous senior adviser to former president Bill Clinton, penned a foreboding op-ed for The Washington Post boldly titled "Trump is on track to win re-election."
Sosnik said that Trump could easily win another term as the country had stepped into a "new era in American politics" and that political terrain, he wrote, "isn't going to change." Sosnik pointed to the president's "loyal" followers whose contempt for establishment politics in Washington, D.C., remained consistent to Trump's advantage. At the end, Sosnik said, "It would be as big a mistake to assume that Trump cannot win reelection in 2020 as it was for those of us who never thought that he could become president in the first place."
If there was one lesson that the 2016 presidential election taught Americans, it was to expect the unexpected. For now, analysts can only speculate about what the November 2020 election holds for the United States.