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Will Donald Trump be re-elected?
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The Presidential incumbency rate suggests Donald Trump will be re-elected

Statistically, sitting Presidents are much more likely to be re-elected regardless of opinion poll results. This suggests Donald Trump will be re-elected in the 2020 election.


History shows us that re-election of presidents is more common than not Opinion polls become irrelevant when we glance at empirical likelihoods

The Argument

Trump will win because voters are historically more likely to re-elect sitting presidents. This is proved by Regan, Obama, and Eisenhower.

Counter arguments

Previous presidents who were re-elected had increasing approval rates - Trump's are declining "It’s one thing to vote for someone you dislike, it’s another to vote for someone you think is a bad president. In other words, asking people whether they approve or disapprove of how the president is handling his job is going to be a better predictor of their vote than asking them whether they have a favorable opinion of a candidate" (Bernstein).



Empirical evidence and likelihood models Historical voting patterns


US Election History

Rejecting the premises

There is no logical or warranted premise for this argument. Trump has a declining approval rate, and increasing rates were the only reason incumbent president's were re-elected in the past.

Further Reading

"Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Barack Obama experienced more modest increases, but increases nonetheless. Reagan’s approval had already increased significantly in 1983 as the country recovered from the punishing 1982 recession. But it increased about three more points in 1984 before he was easily reelected" (Sides).


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 13 Oct 2020 at 16:26 UTC

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