Donald Trump is already laying the groundwork for contesting the results of the upcoming 2020 presidential campaign between him and his potential Democratic rival.
In a Saturday morning Twitter post, the president whined about Matthew Whitaker’s disastrous congressional testimony from the day before, saying it shows that “Dems are trying to win an election in 2020 that they know they cannot legitimately win!”
“The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see,” Trump said. “When the Republicans had the Majority they never acted with such hatred and scorn!”
The Democrats in Congress yesterday were vicious and totally showed their cards for everyone to see. When the Republicans had the Majority they never acted with such hatred and scorn! The Dems are trying to win an election in 2020 that they know they cannot legitimately win!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2019
Trump is suggesting he won’t accept a 2020 loss
Forget the factual inaccuracy of Trump‘s claim that Republicans “never acted with such hatred in scorn” when they controlled Congress. He obviously paid little attention during the Obama years.
The main takeaway from the president’s Twitter post is that he plans to call any 2020 election results illegitimate if the Democratic nominee beats him. And, according to recent polling, Trump is trailing just about every possible opponent he might face.
A new Public Policy Polling survey released at the end of January shows every Democrat – from Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders to Beto O’Rourke and Cory Booker – beating Trump, sometimes by double digits.
The poll shows Trump‘s approval is at a dismal 40 percent, and he can’t get past 42 percent of support against any potential Democratic nominee.
Democratic firm @ppppolls surveys early 2020 head-to-head contests:
Biden 53%, Trump 41%
Sanders 51%, Trump 41%
Harris 48%, Trump 41%
O’Rourke 47%, Trump 41%
Warren 48%, Trump 42%
Booker 47%, Trump 42%
Gillibrand 47%, Trump 42%
Trump approval: 40/57https://t.co/bATutAFANR
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) January 22, 2019
Even Donald Trump, a man who keeps himself insulated in his Fox News reality, understands that his political fortunes are collapsing ahead of 2020. As a result, he is already paving the way to contesting the results.
That’s a dangerous place for a democracy to be.