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Guest Editorial: A big surprise in 2020 presidential politics

There could be a really big surprise in presidential politics between now and Election Day 2020.

If I am correct in what I think that surprise could be, then it will upend the electorate. It will cause President Trump to reassess his campaign rhetoric. It could cause the Democratic candidate to either win - or lose - on a grand scale.

In 2016, we sensed that the voters were restless and that the outcome of the election process could be surprising and might not go according to the pundits' predictions. Jeb vs. Hillary. It didn't turn out that way because Jeb was a wilted flower as a campaigner and Hillary was, well, Hillary.

As we know now, there were actually two surprises in 2016. Trump being the Republican nominee and then Trump defeating Hillary.

Now, in the spring of 2019, some voters seem restless again. And while many may not like Trump personally, they are strongly opposed to the radical socialist-leaning agenda being promoted by the activists who control the process in the Democratic Party.

The Democrats couldn't beat real estate developer Trump in 2016, and it will be even more difficult for them to beat Trump as an incumbent president in 2020.

Flat out, the Democrats will not nominate 76-year-old Joe Biden despite current name-driven polls saying he would beat Trump by 10%. They won't nominate a 78-year-old Utopian socialist in Bernie Sanders either, although he is also leading Trump in head-to-head polls. Nor will they nominate Elizabeth Warren in her late 60s.

Why none of the above? The Democrats haven't elected a president older than 52 (Carter) since Harry Truman upset Thomas Dewey more than 70 years ago in 1948. In fact, the Democrats have only elected two presidents older than 60 since the Civil War! (FDR and Truman.)

So here is the surprise that I think could happen in 2020. For the first time in history, the Democrats will have two females as their party's nominees. Let's hold off for now on who those two presidential and vice presidential candidates might be, but it's no secret in national politics that Michigan and Wisconsin are two of the five states that will determine the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

Trump won in Wisconsin by just 27,000 votes and in Michigan by only 11,000 votes in 2016. One would think that Sen. Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota (if she were the Democrats' vice presidential running mate, for example) would jog across the St. Croix River bridge from Minnesota to Wisconsin just about every other day and then keep right on going to Michigan.

She is strong with unions, blue collar workers and minorities, and these are just the voters the Democrats insist they need to win back these states in 2020. It would almost seem as though she could leave the other 48 states to the Democratic presidential candidate.

How would President Trump react to an all-female Democratic ticket? If would be fascinating to watch.

On the other hand, could an all-female Democratic ticket cross the threshold of plausibility with the electorate so that the voters would be comfortable with one of them being their commander in chief?

Don't know. Could go either way. After all, Ronald Reagan didn't cross the threshold of plausibility with the voters until early October in 1980.

An all-female ticket for the Democrats in 2020? Yes, that could happen, and it would qualify as the surprise of 2020 in presidential politics if it did.

Bob Goodwin, Bethesda, Maryland, has worked for four United States presidents and has been involved in seven presidential campaigns. He and his family have been summer residents of the Nisswa area for the past 37 years.

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