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CalebsParadox

2020: The Antithesis

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President Trump has been incredibly unpopular among the Republican establishment and political moderates, and talks of senior Republican officials to not run for reelection were ignored when Trump declared his intention to seek reelection during the State of The Union, 2019. However, the next few months saw Republican after Republican declare their official candidacy for the Republican nomination, turning an uneasy nomination to a bitter primary battle. 

The Democrats, smelling weakness in the controversial President Trump, have an incredibly crowded field. Elizabeth Warren declared her candidacy in early June and became an instant frontrunner, and this was followed by announcements from every wing of the Democratic Party. Franken promises a likable and compromising president, Gillibrand is the heir to the Clinton machine, Booker has made inroads with the progressives in the party, CEO Tom Steyer faces pressure to run as an alternative to the disastrous president Trump, and Rep. Moulton leads a branch of the party calling for a more disciplined president with respect for order. 

Come June 1st, there are still names yet to be announced. Biden, Garcetti, Steyer, and McAuliffe face pressure to run despite formal denials to do so. Even Gov. Martinez is pressured to challenge the incumbent president. All that can be said for certain is that both parties in for a very bitter primary. 

Republican Candidates: 
Pres. Donald Trump (NY)
Gov. John Kasich (OH)
Sen. Marco Rubio (FL)
Sen. Ted Cruz (TX)
Sen. Rand Paul (KY)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC)
Gov. Susana Martinez (Undecided) (NM)
Fmr. Ambassador John Huntsman (UT)
Gov. Susan Collins (ME)

Democratic Candidates:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
Sen. Kamala Harris (CA)
Sen. Cory Booker (NJ)
Sen. Al Franken (MN)
Sen. Martin Heinrich (NM)
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (Undecided) (VA)
Gov. Martin O'Malley (MD)
Rep. Seth Moulton (MA)
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI)
Mayor Eric Garcetti (Undecided) (CA)
Mr. Tom Steyer (Undecided) (CA)

(Bonus points if you can guess who I'm playing as before I start posting :P )

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July 1st Polling: 

Republicans: 
Pres. Donald Trump: 29.8%
Sen, Ted Cruz: 9.1%
Gov. John Kasich: 8.6%
Sen. Marco Rubio: 4.9%
Sen. Rand Paul: 4%
Sen. Lindsey Graham 2%
Remaining candidates: <1% each
Undecided: 40.4%

The Republican electorate may give Trump an edge today, but that's not guaranteed even a week from now in the polls. The primary season is still incredibly early in, and voters have yet to fully make their mind up about who they want to give their support to. Additionally, a true "anti-Trump" candidate has yet to emerge. Once the primary field develops, we can expect to see undecided voters flock to non Trump candidates, as Trump already has the support of his base. We currently project Governor John Kasich, vocal critic of Trump, to become a very prominent force in the primary battle to unseat the incumbent president. However, this title could just as easily go to Rubio, or even Cruz if evangelicals show up to reject the current administration. We give Trump a 85% of winning the Republican primaries if current polling holds. However, his years in office have never been as turbulent as the current, so public opinion may sway dramatically in or out of his favor. 

Democrats: 
Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 22.3%
Sen. Kamala Harris: 9.9%
Sen. Cory Booker: 9.2%
Sen. Al Franken: 8%
Gov. Terry McAuliffe: 4%
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand: 3%
Mr. Tom Steyer: 1.8%
Gov. Martin O'Malley: 1.6%
Remaining candidates: >1% each. 
Undecided: 39.4%

The Democratic primary is dominated by one force: Warren. The older Senator has been a force for progressivism for ages, and has the full legacy of Senator Sanders and the progressive wing of the party. Harris, a fellow progressive from California, has made gains across the nation, as has Booker, who has made inroads with progressive groups across the nation in the past four years. The progressive faction of the party has arguably been campaigning for president since election day 2016, so it should be a surprise to no one that progressivism is the defining force this early in the primary season. With the incredibly high amount of undecided voters, we expect to see a strong moderate figure surge to challenge Warren, though we may not have that defining moment until the debates later this year. Franken seems the obvious choice, with his years entertaining the American public making him likable and reasonable, but Gillibrand has the full support of the fundraisers and political machine that got 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton to near presidency. However, many are clamoring for fellow Clinton-esque Democratic Fmr. Governor Terry McAuliffe to enter the slug fest, despite competing directly with Gillibrand on policy and donors. 

As for minor candidates, O'Malley has tried to define himself as the primary anti-Trump Democrat since before Trump's election, but his technocratic policies don't have much appeal. Heinrich hopes to surge on moderate support, while Democrats clamoring for new faces are pressuring Fmr. Mayor Garcetti and CEO Tom Steyer to enter the primaries. Seth Moulton hopes to define himself as a proud military veteran able to restore order to the U.S. after a chaotic four years of Trump, and Gabbard is kinda hoping to coattail the current administration and the progressive vote into securing the nomination. 

We currently give Warren a 65% chance of securing the nomination, Harris 20%, and a stunning 15% to Gillibrand due to her extensive contact with Democratic donors and the Clinton machine. 

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July 6th: 

Records leak revealing that Trump has asked China to "work with him" on his reelection campaign and to "go soft" for the duration of the campaign season. Trump has angrily declined all accusations, and has tweeted out "Libs too scared to admit my trade policy is just working in China, Sad!". Kasich, Cruz, Rubio, and other Republicans have immediately come out against these revelations and expressed their intention to unseat the president. 

Democratic response was condemnation across the board, with Gov. McAuliffe giving a rousing statement about the need for a leader with high integrity who is unwilling to "snake around" with foreign governments. Surprisingly, Rep. Moulton got a whirlwind of media attention when he declared that President Trump should be impeached for this and that the White House needs a charismatic military leader like himself to take control of the White House. Both are expected to increase in the polls after clear moments defining themselves as Democratic leaders against the current administration, though Moulton may make the bulk of the gains due to being an official candidate. 

On July 7th, Paul Ryan issues a public statement that impeachment will move forward against President Trump. 

Trump again responded over Twitter in a fury, tweeting out "Congress can't tell truth from Dem lies, they should all be replaced! #FakeNews"

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I'd be rooting for Al Franken

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July 16th: Trump impeachment hearings are set. 

July 18th: Leaked emails from Trump to former Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reveal that Trump had promised Pelosi "good graces" if she could further Congressional gridlock. Trump has stated that "It is totally my right to ask that woman to respect my administration, and I have the UTMOST respect for getting bipartisan administration through!". Sen. Ted Cruz gave a harsh condemnation of the administration and called for "good folk" to rally around his campaign to unseat the current president. 

Trump is sagging further and further in the polls, and Democrats are floundering in the revelation that Pelosi (Since replaced by Joseph Crowley after an unexpected resignation) had colluded with the administration. Moulton is riding tides of popularity after years of condemning Pelosi as an inefficient leader and a hindrance to the Democratic Party, while Franken is making gains due to several sharp statements about Trump's behaviour. Warren is falling dramatically due to what many voters perceive as a lackluster response to the Trump impeachment news and a weak message of unity in the face of Pelosi's betrayal. 

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July 29th: Kamala Harris is discovered to have been "serviced" by a staffer in an inappropriate way, courtesy of some uncovered emails. Massive leaks are already shaping up to affect the primary race in a way never before, somewhat due to the rising power of WikiLeaks and other leaking organizations.

This resulting scandal is huge as Harris is a married woman and someone with presumably high integrity before now. President Trump tweeted out "Freaky woman, wouldn't even be my first-or last- choice! Sad! Hope her campaign goes down the DRAIN! #MAGA"

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August 5th: 

New polls coming out are showing an increasingly tight race in the Democratic primary and an incredibly different race than we had anticipated. Sen. Al Franken has risen to become the frontrunner, garnering about 18% of the vote in an average of all polls in the latest month. Close on his tail is the incredibly surprising Rep. Seth Moulton, who has ridden the Trump controversy and Pelosi scandal to immense media attention, polling at around 14%. Warren has fallen from grace, her failure to capitalize on the recent events has cost her, and Harris has hurt the progressive cause to both. Warren is currently polling around 13%, while Harris is closer to 5% still. 

McAuliffe officially entered the race, and as a result he and Gillibrand are now both suffering from low polling numbers. Both currently poll around 7%, but one will become the clear Clinton darling as the primary progresses. Tom Steyer has also entered the race, claiming that California and the U.S. needs a real choice (6.4%). Booker is catching fire fast, polling around 10%, and surprisingly O'Malley continues to impress with an unexpected 8% of voters favoring him. 

The Republican side is much messier, if that were to be possible. Trump has fallen so far in the polls that he's now under 5% of the vote, and Cruz taking the high road has made him the clear frontrunner, garnering around 20% support. Kasich and Rubio are following close behind, at 16% and 14% respectively. Surprisingly, Lindsey Graham's campaign has taken off and around 10% of voters are planning to cast their ballot for the older neoconservative. Gov. Martinez has officially declined to seek office. 

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If the election were held today, Franken vs Cruz, we would expect a narorw Franken victory. Americans appear to be tired of Trump, but not necessarily conservatism and the Republican Party. That will be an important distinction for the general election to come. 

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Why did this playthrough end?

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1 hour ago, vcczar said:

Why did this playthrough end?

My computer crashed and I never saved it, I just kept it running. The premise was Moulton becoming the "Anti-Trump" who represented order and stability that Americans missed after four years of the chaotic Trump administration. I was incredibly surprised at how quickly I rose in the polls and that was also hard to explain and probably tipped readers off to who I was right of the bat. I will probably give it another shot in the near future, though you'll know my intentions this time around. 

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