The impeachment inquiry focused on President Trump has been big news in the last week. You might, therefore, think that this would be bad for his upcoming 2020 presidential reelection campaign. But so far that does not seem to be the case–at least in some ways. In fact, the threat of impeachment may have actually given his campaign a boost. Here, Election Central looks at why this may be, and what it may mean for Trump’s possible reelection in 2020.
So, how much money do you think the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) have taken in during this quarter of the calendar year? The answer is $125 million! That brings the total dollar figure raised so far this year to over $300 million. To put that number in perspective: Bernie Sanders, the highest-earning Democratic candidate, raised $25.3 million this quarter, bringing his total to $61.5 million so far this year. That’s an impressive total for a candidate, but still only a tiny fraction of what Trump and the RNC has achieved. In fact, Trump has more resources at this point in his campaign than any other candidate in history.
One might think that people would be less likely to donate to a candidate–even a president–whose future looks so unclear. But according to the Trump campaign, the decision by the House of Representatives to gather evidence towards a possible impeachment proceeding has actually motivated Trump’s supporters to flock to his side. They see the impeachment as unfair, and they want to show their support of the president by donating to his campaign.
The Trump campaign has partnered with the Republican National Committee to launch an aggressive plan to ensure that Trump is reelected and that the House of Representatives is once more under a Republican majority. To that end, the RNC has invested heavily in cable television ads that defend Trump against impeachment accusations, while at the same time trying to take down former Vice President Joe Biden–one of Trump’s leading Democrat contenders. The RNC also plan to go after House Democrats whose potentially vulnerable seats are up for reelection.
The short answer is yes. At this early stage, it appears that even when bad press comes out against Trump his approval rating isn’t damaged. In fact, it’s at the highest level of the year, according to several major polls.
Some political analysts attempt to explain this with the same reason that Trump was elected in 2016–because he doesn’t follow the rules. He disrupts the “norms” of what we expect from our government. And a lot of people support him for this very reason, and don’t judge him the same way that they might judge a more “traditional” politician. Whatever the reason, Democrats who hoped that an impeachment inquiry against Trump’s would immediately hurt the president’s reelection chances may be in for a rude awakening.
Dig Deeper Use Internet resources to determine how much money Barack Obama had raised by this point in his 2008 re-election campaign. How does this amount compare to Trump’s totals? Based on this information, can you draw any conclusions about Trump’s potential success in 2020?