The Slatest

So Far, Models Are Predicting a Trump Victory in 2020

President Donald Trump smiles during a joint press conference with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo on May 27, 2019.
President Donald Trump smiles during a joint press conference with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo on May 27, 2019.
KIYOSHI OTA/Getty Images

Three analysts who set up and look at predictive models say President Donald Trump is likely to win reelection in 2020. The secret? A combination of favorable economic data as well as the normal advantage that incumbents enjoy, according to Steven Rattner, a counselor to the Treasury secretary in the Obama administration.

In a column for the New York Times, Rattner notes that “one of the best” models to predict election outcomes makes clear that Trump is likely to receive a significant tailwind from the economy. Ray Fair, a professor at Yale, has come up with a model that takes into account GDP growth rates, inflation, and incumbency and has been quite accurate in previous cycles. In 2016, for example, the model accurately predicted a victory for Trump although it overestimated his share of the popular vote. According to that model, Trump’s vote share should be as high as 56.1 percent in the next election, although in reality the divisiveness of the candidate means the actual number won’t be as high.

Fair isn’t the only modeler to see Trump with a clear advantage in 2020. Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics analyzed 12 models and found that Trump comes out on top in all of them. Donald Luskin of Trend Macrolytics analyzed the Electoral College and came to the same conclusion.

“So the question for 2020 may well be whether Mr. Trump can overcome the majority of voters’ poor perception of him and use a good economy and incumbency to win re-election,” Rattner writes.