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One year before we elect the next president, more than half — 56% — of Americans say they think Donald Trump is likely to be re-elected.

Even though impeachment of Trump by the House will happen, the Republican-controlled Senate almost certainly will not vote to remove him from office, leaving Trump to insist he has been vindicated and able to seek a second term.

He has a war chest of about $158 million, and it is growing. And he will claim the economy is in great shape.

Ann McFeatters

Ann McFeatters | Tribune News Service

Even though about 49% of Americans (it goes up and down a few points) say they would like to see Trump removed from office, so far Democratic presidential candidates have failed to garner a lot of excitement among independent voters.

In recent polling, one year before the vote, Joe Biden leads Trump in potential popular votes.

But, as we have found out twice since 2000, the winner of the popular vote does not win the White House if he/she does not win enough electoral votes.

Biden versus Trump in key states such as Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Florida, Arizona and North Carolina is a 50-50 proposition. (Note that Ohio is no longer considered a swing state; it is solidly red.)

The bottom line of polling data at this snapshot moment in time shows that if Biden and Trump were running against each other, the final outcome in electoral votes would be too close to call.

If Elizabeth Warren is pitted against Trump at this point in time, she loses.

If Bernie Sanders is pitted against Trump right now, Sanders loses.

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Their ideas are deemed too big and out of reach.

Democrats have not yet decided how to campaign against Trump. They could move to the center, where more swing voters don’t like Trump and are willing to consider getting rid of Trump.

But that is not where Warren is, with her $20.5 trillion “Medicare for All” plan, which could not possibly get through a Republican-controlled Senate. That is not where Sanders is with his free college for all pledge, etc.

Democrats could go all out to entice young voters and liberals who voted for Sanders in 2016, voted for Jill Stein or who didn’t vote at all. This would involve making many impossible-to-keep, unaffordable promises of big-government solutions to such thorny social issues as poverty, lack of adequate education, racism, opioid addiction, far too costly but often ineffective health care, and lack of wage growth.

Democrats could beat the drums against Trump’s scorn for ethics and narcissistic approach to government, calling out the rampant corruption he and his family have introduced to Washington (already a very corrupt place).

Democrats could highlight impeachment, the obviously illegal bribery/extortion attempts he made in withholding a congressionally approved $400 million aid package to Ukraine in a failed exchange for a bogus investigation designed to smear Biden.

Democrats could concentrate on how Trump has spent more than $1.5 trillion to help the wealthy, failed to help the middle class, refused to hike the minimum wage, gutted Obamacare, refused to accept climate change science, alienated and abandoned our allies, made the air and water dirtier, made reproductive rights more difficult for women to keep, sullied our national efforts for civil and individual rights, gave away national crown jewels to drillers, appointed judges who think like he does. The list is long.

Democrats could emphasize that government is working for the elite, not for all.

If Trump wins re-election, Democrats have one hope of forestalling his efforts to make the U.S. more authoritarian. Almost certainly keeping control of the House, they might also take control of the Senate. The recent November state elections showed that there is great disquiet in the land. The Senate is getting closer to Democratic reach, but such a goal is too far yet from the realm of probability.

In the scope of human history, democracy is still a foundling. If democracy were a human, in the Trump era we could conclude it has been failing to thrive. But Democrats are flailing, and although a year may seem a long way away, time is running out.

If there is good news for Democrats it is that while 56% of likely voters think Trump probably will be re-elected, 55% do not want him re-elected.

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Tribune News Service columnist Ann McFeatters can be reached at amcfeatters@nationalpress.com.

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(45) comments

martian2

too all the fanatical followers of Trump, who put total faith and confidence that he is their savior and rationalize his every misstep or lie. A timely quote from the last good Republican president. "Never let yourself be persuaded that any one great man, any one leader, is necessary for the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 350 million followers, it will no longer be America." Dwight Eisenhower

new2Lax

I guess there are many more that would feel your wrong than not. Know professional would make a statement on the condition of a person without an examination and anyone that buys into a professional making a statement on a diagnosis without an examination is the one with a that needs a diagnosis. Imagine what people on these posts must think of how you came to your conclusion, it’s kind of what Democrats do, look at the Mueller Russia investigation, for two years they knew there was collusion and they and Adam Schiff had the proof. They listened to the media and made their decision, now after two years, here we are, on to the next hoax.

oldhomey

Psychiatrists and psychologists make long distance diagnoses all the time. It is true that they are not clinical diagnoses that can be acted upon, but that being understood, it is informed opinion, nonetheless. You get on here and call people crazy all the time, including me, on occasion. You have no portfolio for making such a determination, however, so it amounts to everything else you say on here, new2 -- worthless.

new2Lax

Think of it this way, think of it as a long distance diagnosis, it is an informed opinion. I was always asked what my opinion was on so many folks, dealing with thousands of employees over the years, listening to what they had to say, reading what they had to say, giving my opinion on what they had to say, after a while you listen and learn.

My opinion is based on reading what you say, analyzing it and coming to an opinion. Using the term crazy is a long distance opinion as well.

oldhomey

Know way! as you might say, new2. I can't imagine you you dealing with thousands of employees. You don't seem to listen to reason now, so I doubt that you ever listened to anybody before making up your mind about them. You have never demonstrated on these posts that you have learned from anything other than a handbook that told you step by step what you were supposed to think, sort of like living in a paint by the numbers world. Of course your opinion is "based on reading what you say, analyzing it and coming to an opinion." Duh! The thing is, however, is that demonstrably you lack any sort of analytical powers, so your opinions are always predictable and almost always wrong.

PhysicsIsFun

Know [sic] way indeed. I just find it hard to believe that the idiot, Newt, held a position in which he was responsible for 5 employees let alone thousands. He can't even write a coherent sentence unless his keeper is there helping him.

oldhomey

Oh, Physics, when I brought this up a year or two ago, new2 assured me he "had people" on his staff who cleaned up his writing for him. It is one thing to proofread and fix up somebody's grammar, but can you imagine anybody on any staff anywhere who could straighten out new2's completely scrambled thought processes? If any CEO tolerated a "thinker" like new2 in his company's hierarchy, it could only be a CEO who was the cousin or brother in law of new2 who was under tremendous family pressure to give the poor dolt a position with a title and then locked him in a hall closet office where he would have been kept, hidden from the rest of the world. I find that highly unlikely, as CEOs last only for a few years, and new2 says he worked for 39 years before he was summarily cashiered. So I expect he is lying about his past, too.

Climatehoax

Homey what has trump ever stolen from anyone? He’s put more money in my life than any president with tax cuts and booming economy. He doesn’t have plans to dip DEEPLY into my pockets as the clowns in the DemoRat party. If I lived in Chicago I’d vote for Trump several times, then I’d hire a bus and offer a free meal to any homeless who will vote for him, I’d even get my dead relatives to vote for him, you know like the crooked Dems do.

oldhomey

Well, I should think it would suffice to raise a couple of things that are on the record from court records, Climate, about people from whom Trump has stolen money. He amassed tens of millions of dollars from other donors through the years to finance his Trump foundation. He just admitted in court that he used that money not for charitable purposes, as his donors would have expected, but to pay his own bills and even buy a portrait of himself for one of his properties. He was ordered to dissolve the foundation and not engage in that sort of charity again in New York State. I believe his progeny, his sons and daughter, are also banned from engaging in forming a charitable foundation, too. Then we can go to Trump University, an undertaking that offered expensive but useless academic classes on line. Thousands of students took out big time loans to sign up for courses with the expectation that they would make big money in real estate. It was all shown to be a worthless sham. He should have gone to jail but was already president, and got off with a paltry $25 million fine. And go back through the records of his six different bankruptcies of his businesses. He left small businesses begging for their money that was never forthcoming, though he arranged to emerge from bankruptcies with tens of millions of dollars in his own coffers. I am sure there is more, and perhaps others will offer them, but this is off the top of my head. You seem to be counting your net profits without an eye to what is coming down the pike in the next year or two.

new2Lax

I just added up what you say Trump stole and it is a fraction of what the Clinton Foundation stole, 144 million for the pay to play scheme they pulled. If you deduct the 8 trillion in added wealth to the country as a whole, Trumps got a long way to go in comparison to the Clintons. The money the Clintons got was primarily from foreign donors and they all had a financial interest on their minds.

oldhomey

That is what you always seem to have dominating in your mind, new2, your financial interests. Perhaps you could outline for us how the Clintons "stole" $144 million. No? That is what I thought.

capedcrusader

That is another lie and you know it. Can you ever be honest? Wasn't it you who said we would have another terrorist attack on our mainland if people voted for Obama?

martian2

he stole from charity funds ear marked for veterans. If you are as uninformed as D about this, I'm sure you two can work together and verify it. The state of New York fined him 2 million dollars for stealing. Oh but who cares right, he is Trump, he can do no wrong.

DMoney

Nope. Burden of proof lays with the prosecution (you). You must prove he's done so, or what you are saying is meaningless at best.

oldhomey

Good Lord, D, here you are, again, defending Trump when he has been ajudged in a court of law of misusing funds and abusing his fiduciary responsibilities, which is a fancy way of saying he was stealing other people's money. The burden of proof was weighed, and he came up short. Have you no shame in your constant defense of this crooked, unethical man?

DMoney

I've defended noone. I've asked for verified and reliable info. On another board, after reading the source provided and after doing my own fact checking-- I agreed it looks like the fine and judgement are correct. I'm being the grounded one here. Asking for proof is not defending.

PhysicsIsFun

Do not bother with Dball. If he cared about facts and truth he would not support Trump.

oldhomey

Are you saying that Trump has never been proven to have stolen money from others? I guess I am not following you here, D. It is late, my wife had her lady social gathering here all night, I just got home and I am tired.

PhysicsIsFun

I have come to a conclusion. Dmoney is actually Kellyanne Conway. It is the only reasonable explanation for such stone walling of the obvious. Prove me wrong Kellyanne.

oldhomey

Climate has suddenly gone silent on the idea that Donald Trump may have, indeed, stolen money from others. That is a pretty simple conclusion to draw, since it has been shown to be true over and over again in courts of law.

oldhomey

Sadly, I have no reason to disagree with Ms. McFeatters here. It is still a long way before the conventions, but I am not very excited by the Democratic field. I am hoping that one of these Dems catches fire and begins to capture the enthusiasm of voters. It is ridiculous, considering that I have never seen a more vulnerable incumbent president in my lifetime than Trump.

DMoney

Need stronger alternate parties. The two party system sucks.

Climatehoax

Anyone not a DemoRat or Republican will be treated just like Trump. He’s an outsider and the good old boys in the parties will be bouncing off the walls just like DemoRats and many Republicans are now . An outsider doesn’t follow the ‘rules ‘ wink, wink.

oldhomey

Trump doesn't follow anything but his own ego and bankbook. Wink, wink. If you wink at the wrong time, he'll steal your wallet. He not only does not follow the rules, he thinks he is above them. You think he's on your side, Climate? You are a wanker.

capedcrusader

Like what?

martian2

Ms McFeatters relies way to much on polling data that asks if the election were held today. Well fact is the election is a year away. Lots of things can happen by then. so many variables, so much more corruption is to be revealed. Unfortunately so many mass killings yet to happen, lots more twitter tantrums to behold, and lots more Trump hate to spread. I am not real happy about the democratic field either, but I do believe they have a really good shot of making Trump a one termer.

new2Lax

Well your in luck, Bloomberg and now Deval Patrick. I think if it gets too bad, look for Hillary Clinton.

oldhomey

I don't want to see Clinton run again, but the way things are stacking up right now, I would be surprised that, if by some strange quirk she got the nomination, if she could not beat Trump the second time around.

new2Lax

This is a hoot. The middle is where Warren is. Now her health care is costing (0 trillion, seems she moved the other way to me. She also wants open borders, decriminalizing illegal entry.

oldhomey

You are a hoot, new2. You simply cannot keep track of the facts, and you are even worse when it comes to trying to express your thoughts.

new2Lax

Let me try expressing this, you would be a total idiot but for the fact you also think the Democrat candidates are insane. My guess for you it’s Biden, an idiot to be sure but he will have others running the country and voting for Biden we can all laugh off.

oldhomey

Donald Trump has shown every indication that he actually IS clinically off his rocker. I have not seen one of the two dozen Democratic candidates that show any sign of incipient insanity, but I guess you, a former crack HR man for a Fortune 300 company can read people at a glance. Would you be interested in comparing notes on insane behavior on their part compared to insane behavior by Donald Trump? It would make interesting reading, I am sure. If you are game, I am.

DMoney

You have proof he's clinically insane? No? Then it's your humble opinion.

oldhomey

Yes, that is my humble opinion, based on the opinion of many, many psychiatrists and psychologists who have been watching Trump's deteriorating behavior in the White House? Have they had a chance to do a hands-on examination and consultation with Trump? No. Perhaps if he ends up in prison a more thorough examination will be possible.

DMoney

Yes, I'm sure it would. Do you know the political leanings of said medical professionals? How do you know it's not slander?

PhysicsIsFun

D your constant demands for proof are tiresome. They are your go to technique when defending the indefensible. Let's take a look at the notion of proof. I will address it in the two areas in which I have some expertise. In math we can indeed prove something is true through a rigorous series of steps which are each based on known mathematical axioms, but the entire methodology could break down if it is found that basic unprovable assumptions in math are false. In science all of the profound and most valuable tenets are opinions based on facts (observable data). These opinions ( evolution, quantum mechanics, relativity etc.) can never be proven to be true. We accept them as long as they continue to be predictive and useful and more importantly are not disproven with additional data. The greatest scientist are those who are able to explain phenomenon in a new way. Einstein and Newton both looked at the same thing and came to two different conclusions. Einstein's is considered to be more correct. Though Newton's conclusions are still used in most cases. So to summarize it is up to you to disprove that Trump is not a total idiot and a mental case. In science we accept a conclusion until it is disproven as it can never be proven. Many experienced mental health professionals have looked at his behavior and stated Trump has serious mental and emotional issues. Prove them wrong. They have lots of data to base their conclusions on. Show me the contradictory data, and don't tell us he is such a fabulous business man, because that was disproven long ago.

DMoney

There has never been a record released or found from a physician who has examined Trump that has determined mental/physiological health issues. If there had been--we wouldn't be having this discussion. Until there is, any claim otherwise is speculation and theory. What is theory in the realm of science and math that is not supported by verifiable data? Garbage--that's what. And I have never taught or studied these fields.

DMoney

I have a theory. The world is flat. I said it, so I must be right. PROVE me wrong. According to your logic, that's a justifiable argument.

PhysicsIsFun

D again you use the same empty arguments. They may convince you, but they do not work. Numerous professional psychiatrists and psychologists have written about Trump's mental state. They base their conclusions on observations of his behavior which is apparent to anyone with a television and a trained mind. They have written a book ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dangerous_Case_of_Donald_Trump) with explains their conclusions. I agree this is not proof as you know it, but I also explained earlier your insistence on your idea of proof is moronic. By the way, it has been mathematically proven that the earth is not flat since it was first done by Eratosthenes around 200 B.C.E. I will not go into the explanation of the proof, but it depends on the observations of the length of a shadow at noon at two different locations. He calculated the circumference of the Earth with a remarkable degree of accuracy. You just stubbornly cling to your rapidly vanishing conclusion that Trump is a normal person while the evidence builds up that he is anything but that.

PhysicsIsFun

Your questions about the mental health professionals' political leanings is on par with all of the garbage spewed by Republicans on the whistle blower's political affiliations. When someone tells you that it is raining outside, do you ask them if they are a Republican or Democrat? A fact is a fact. It has no political affiliation. What Trump said on the phone call and in other situations are facts. They are substantiated by more than one person. His behavior is on display everyday. Numerous professionals have concluded he is a badly damaged individual. Those coclusions are not about his politics. They are about his mental health. He is unstable and should never have been elected president.

capedcrusader

He also said Social Security is failing. It isn't. He lied about that too.

DMoney

It won't fair if propped up by changed rules that make it cost more than advertised and if contributors receive less and it takes longer. Yeah, that's really fair. Change nothing--it collapses.

oldhomey

Another less than brilliant observation from another flat earther.

DMoney

It's not my observation. I'm relaying fact and the sources are abundant and from both parties. And I don't really think the world is flat. Just making a point that every wild theory isn't true simply because it's as uttered.

oldhomey

When there is a demand for social services, and if the Congress of the United States passes legislation to provide those services, it is simply a function of government. It is fair because it came into being and into force according to constitutional law. That is what will continue to occur with Social Security and Medicare. When demographics shift and make different demands on the plans, Congress will take action to accommodate those new demands.

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