The challenges facing Donald Trump ahead of the 2020 election

It’s fair to say that throughout Donald Trump’s first term as President of the United States, he has so far done little to win the hearts of those who opposed his presidency. There have been numerous controversies following Trump throughout his first four years in office, notably the articles of impeachment that were brought against him last year. Indeed, recent months have brought more opposition against Trump, through his handling of the coronavirus crisis, and his comments following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. 

All of these factors, and more, have contributed to the President’s prospective Democratic election opponent Joe Biden gaining ground in the polls. Donald Trump’s chances of re-election have never been in greater doubt, and it’s clear that he will have work to do on the campaign trail if he is to win a second term in the White House. Here, we look at a few challenges facing Trump as he gears up for the 2020 presidential election.

Coronavirus response

No-one could have seen the current global pandemic coming, but a lot has been made of Trump’s at-times controversial handling of the crisis that is the spread of Covid-19. From his reluctance to impose a lockdown across the country, to his perhaps ill-advised usage of the drug hydroxychloroquine to prevent contracting the virus himself, Trump has left many Americans confused and appalled at his management of the situation.

The death toll and infection figures across the US make for grim reading, and in terms of Trump’s chances of winning a second term in office, much will hinge on his ability to manage the crisis from here on out, to find a way to ensure the country’s citizens are as safe as possible while gradually opening the economy once more. Unemployment has soared as a result of the pandemic, and an area which was one of Trump’s real objective successes before the pandemic is now in turmoil.

Healing divisions

The fallout over the killing of black Minneapolis citizen George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin has caused widespread unrest across the country. Demonstrations and protests have been held in major cities, and these have escalated into violence in some areas. Trump’s handling of the situation has been questionable at times, and the President has found himself embroiled in a spat with Twitter over his comments on the social media platform, some of which, Twitter’s bosses have found to be inflammatory. 

It’s important that Trump finds a way to heal the divisions that have been wrenched open by the death of Floyd, and to soften the enmity that has erupted yet again at the death of another black US citizen at the hands of police officers. It’s a delicate situation for any politician, but if Trump can find a measured way of easing the tension across the country, it could stand him in better stead for November. 

Building trust

If Trump is to win a second term in office, he’ll be relying heavily on winning in many of the crucial swing states, as he did in 2016 to defeat Hillary Clinton. However, given the turbulent nature of Trump’s first term in office, it remains to be seen whether or not he has alienated many voters who might have considered themselves on the fence as to which way to vote in 2020.

It’s difficult to say for sure how likely it is that Trump will win the election, but having at one stage looked like a sure-fire thing that he would win a second term, recent events might well have done damage to Trump’s prospects. We’ll have to wait until November to find out the extent of that damage.