Without trying to seem in favor of any side, it is the simple truth that the Democrats will have to defeat the Republicans in the 2020 United States Presidential Election. Looking ahead at this, let's review some of the short term history, and actions taken by either side, on a per issue basis.
1. The Migrant Caravan
While it is pretty clear how the President feels, namely that this caravan contains "stone cold criminals" and "unwanted Middle Easterners", both quotes from President Trump, and many other groups of people that could do harm to the United States and its people. The President, and his fellow Republicans, clearly blame the Democrats, and their immigration enforcement and policies.
It is less clear how the Democrats stand on this. Of course they feel the President it is wrong, but they are not actually responding to the rhetoric coming from the other side. Simply stating that it is not true does not seem enough, at least not in 2018.
I would agree that not getting a clear stance of the policy, and how the country should perhaps change immigration, causes a lack of trust that any action will be taken. This means that if I would be undecided, I could see the Republicans at least take action, which most people agree is needed, versus the apprehensive, and defensive, stance of the Democratic side.
While we know there are plenty of plans, they are very diverse in their solutions, and that will also come across as a lack of urgency on that side.
A response from Charles Schumer and Nancy Pelosi was to accuse the President of shifting the issue, away from health care. While this may be true, it again shows very little attempt at attacking the issues.
2. Election Results Mid-Terms 2018
The Democrats won the house back, and called it the "Blue Wave," but as they lost seats in the Senate, it seems clear that no real winner should be declared. The President also declared victory, and only he did actually loose. He expected to keep the house, or at least claimed as much. (see here)
Changing the color of the House to blue brings back a lot of the check we have been missing, but the question will be how this power will be used. This will become clear early in the new year, if the Democrats can apply that sense of urgency they have seemingly been lacking.
While I paint the outcome as a wash, the Republicans have been much more successful at making it seem like a victory. As they Democrats did go all out, but did not take the full win, it is made seem that they are therefor the losers of this event. This will also prove itself in the coming months, but if it comes down to attitude, I believe the Republicans to win that battle.
3. The Economy
For now the economy seems stable, and rising. This will boat well for the Republican side, but this a lot can happen in the next two years. An issue I see is the lack of credit Trump receives from the Democrats for a booming economy. While it may or may not be true that most of the economic success stems from policies started by President Obama, this is not the experience and how people see it that are now doing better then lets say 4 years ago.
It may not be the right way to look at things, but this is simply how people work. The idea then also is that the Democrats will need to focus on agreeing with that strategy, and coming up with something new to sway those that put the economy as their main issue. On the opposite side, all the Republicans need to do is pray nothing major negative happens to the economy and wallets of that same group.
4. Military Spending
Something the President is very proud of is the major increase in defense spending that was included in the last budget. Democrats were actually very much on board with this, and this may not be the right choice. This defense spending could have been used to bring up the discussion of why we still need to spend $840.7 billion in 2018 alone,for the Afghan war effort. That is not even discussing the efforts in Iraq, and other nations that currently either have boots on the ground, planes in the air, or ships off the coast.
Republicans are throwing their party line, and this is all they can, and probably should, do.
While more subjects matter, these are a few recent ones, and at the top of the mind for voters. It seems that while I hear nothing but an expected victory for Democrats in 2020, from Democrats, it will be much harder then it seems.
In the eye of a Democrat, Trump has proven to be not only a bad leader, but perhaps even a traitor, or at least a criminal. This alone will not bring them victory, as most are able to balance that out against the results in their lives, to the issues that are important to them specifically.
Also, it seems that the Democrats may rely on the Presidents lying, which is obvious, but they are thinking that just because the President lies more, it matters to most. I don't think it does... Let me explain. As many politicians understand they are seen as liars, which really is unavoidable. They promise people things to gain their vote, while they can never be sure they can achieve that item. It seems the Democrats think people care that one lies more or less, and this is mostly not the case. Once lied to, by both sides, this simply becomes a game, and it is just one more the Democrats are not as good at. Of course I wish that politicians could simply not lie, and while I truly believe most don't actually lie, as that requires intent, it still is picked up by the listener that way, and it is a failure in politicians to understand that it only matters what the listener hears, and not what you say. To conclude this, as politicians are seen as not being truthful, perhaps stop focusing on Trumps lies, or level thereof, and focus on how the government will work when a Democrat would be in charge.
It would be nice if their would be some resistance from within the Republican party, which I think would actually help them in 2020, as people might swing back that have now left the party line. As is common for the incumbents, all they really have to hope for is a status quo of the situation, and they can likely drag home the victory.