Trump will likely win reelection in 2020

More than two dozen Democrats reportedly are eyeing the possibility of challenging President Donald Trump in 2020.

Media darling Beto O’Rourke has met with former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaObama puts out call for service on MLK Day: ‘Make a positive impact on the world’ Trump, Pence visit MLK Memorial Trump offers to limit his border wall to strategic locations MORE.

Former Vice President Joe Biden claims that he is “the most qualified person in the country to be president.”

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi Harris2020 Dems seize on MLK Day for campaign messaging Kamala Harris staffer mocks O'Reilly for saying Harris 'lost' his vote for president Harris after announcing presidential run says her 'highest priority' is protecting Mueller probe MORE says she will make her presidential decision “over the holiday.”

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The Boston Globe editorial board praised former Massachusetts Democratic governor Deval Patrick for calling it quits on 2020, and suggested that the Bay State’s senior Senator Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann Warren2020 Dems seize on MLK Day for campaign messaging Kamala Harris staffer mocks O'Reilly for saying Harris 'lost' his vote for president Kamala Harris announces presidential campaign MORE would be wise to heed his example.

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonElise Stefanik seeks to tackle GOP’s women ‘crisis’ ahead of 2020 Russian pop star linked to Trump Tower meeting cancels US tour Graham angers Dems by digging into Clinton, Obama controversies MORE would like to run for a third time, but slumping ticket prices on her current speaking tour are an ominous sign.

And then there is Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) Sanders2020 Dems seize on MLK Day for campaign messaging Sanders knocks Trump in MLK Day speech Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices MORE, who lost the Democratic nomination to Clinton in 2016 but who is nevertheless mulling a bid as well.

Simply put, 2020 is about to get pretty wild on the Democrats’ side of the ledger, and no one should be shocked if it descends into a no-holds-barred mosh pit of progressive egos slamming each other and Trump at every turn.

Let us also not forget about the mainstream media who will be salivating and panting for the next year and half over who will represent their beloved blue team in the big head-to-head contest.

Still, it is important to keep a few things in mind.

Assuming Donald Trump runs for reelection, he is the favorite to win — despite recent polls. Even the bookmakers are currently in agreement.

The reason is simple: incumbency has its privileges. Since 1900, 20 presidents have run for reelection. The incumbents have won 15 times and lost five, if you include former President Gerald Ford who was never elected at the ballot box in the first place. If you remove Ford from the equation, the winning percentage among presidential incumbents would likely be good enough to capture baseball’s Cy Young award in recent years.

Further, despite the chirping of the pundits about what 2018 means for 2020, recent history has shown that there is in fact very little correlation between a president’s first midterm election and their reelection bid. Case-in-point, Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonBuzzFeed story has more to say about media than the president Agency function is tied to how people feel about their job — that's bad news for USDA research 5 myths about William Barr MORE’s party lost 52 House seats in 1994 and Barack Obama’s party lost 63 House seats in 2010, yet both men garnered more than 330 Electoral Votes in 1996 and 2012, respectively.

Add in the fact that the 2020 Electoral College playing field will likely be very similar to the 2016 edition (40 states are essentially already decided and 10 are up for grabs), and one starts to see why Trump has a very real chance of securing four more years in the White House. To prevail, the Democratic nominee would have to either sweep the Rust Belt (Pa., Wis., Mich., Minn.) or dislodge Florida or Arizona from Trump. Not an easy task. 

As an incumbent, President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump claims media 'smeared' students involved in encounter with Native American man Al Sharpton criticizes Trump’s ‘secret’ visit to MLK monument Gillibrand cites spirituality in 2020 fight against Trump’s ‘dark’ values MORE’s biggest worry is not a particular candidate or ticket or even the Russia investigation at this stage, but whether the country endures an economic recession in 2020. So when Trump told the Fox Business Network’s Trish Regan in October that his biggest threat was the Federal Reserve, he was pretty close to the mark.

None of this is to suggest that Trump is a shoo-in for reelection or that he doesn’t have some glaring vulnerabilities. He certainly does as the Cook Report’s Charlie Cook recently outlined.

But if Trump can find a way to broaden his voter appeal, eat into the Democratic advantage on healthcare and shine a big spotlight on the Democratic Party’s cantankerous ways in Congress now that they have the House back, Trump will be a two term president.

NOTE: This post has been updated from the original to correct the spelling of Barack Obama's first name.

Ford O'Connell served as director of rural outreach for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign; he runs a political consulting business, is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, and is a regular commentator on FOX Business. He has also appeared on CNN. Follow him on Twitter @FordOConnell.