Trump effect
President Trump's approval ratings are falling, and his failure to build the U.S.-Mexican wall endangers his consolidated political base. As my colleague David Drucker reports, top Texas Republicans now fear that the president may lose Texas in 2020.

Yet, I believe Trump has an increasingly good chance of reelection. Why?

Because of the growing division between the basic political ideology of most Americans and the campaign platforms of 2020 Democratic Party presidential aspirants. The first point to note here is that most Americans identify as either conservative or moderate, rather than liberal. A 2018 Gallup poll, as below, shows that while the number of self-described liberals is growing, the gap between self-identified conservatives and liberals remains near 10 points.
© Gallup
I believe that this gap is the critical element in allowing Trump to win reelection, because there's no question that the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries is now centered around a contest of who can be the most liberal.

Enter the Democrat from California, Sen. Kamala Harris. At a CNN town hall event on Monday, Harris outlined her plan to raise taxes on corporations and wealthier Americans. But the senator also argued not just in favor of "Medicare-for-all" but also eliminating private healthcare insurance! As Phil Klein explains, that political calculation is far to the left of the mainstream consensus. Indeed, in its overt socialist authoritarianism (denying access to a product and requiring deference to government service), it would appear to be a very risky proposition.

Of course, Harris is only the tip of the iceberg. The Democratic 2020 presidential field believe their route to the nomination requires their offering of the gamut of liberal Democratic aspirations. That's why Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., offers a punitive wealth tax and an almost pacifist foreign policy. It's why former Obama administration official Julian Castro has shown overt sympathy for socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and her ideal of a 75 percent marginal income tax rate.

This is not to say that Trump is a shoo-in for reelection. The president's unpredictability and his almost theatrically thin-skin are repellent to many moderates. But Trump has an ace card alongside his being more moderate than whoever he will face. It's the economy, stupid. At every income and business level, the economic success is a huge feather in his electoral cap. If Trump can maintain that economic boom, he will be well-placed to portray his eventual Democratic challenger as too risky in being too liberal. But Trump could better position himself here. His greatest weakness is in failing to outmaneuver Democrats on fiscal conservatism. Trump continues to ignore the mathematically vested political need for entitlement reform. This limits his ability - which in the context of exceptionally expensive Democratic pledges on issues such as "Medicare-for-all" would appear to be vast - to present himself as the elder statesmen of fiscal sanity.

Nevertheless, in Democratic attempts to outdo one another on the far left, Trump has good reason to be optimistic. America is not a social-democratic citadel like France. If Trump bluntly articulates the reality of that political model, he'll be in good shape.