Amy Walter at Cook Political Report has a good piece out on the Democrats' best shot in 2020. The setup:
"There’s something of a consensus forming that the 'easiest' or least risky electoral path for the Democratic nominee in 2020 is to reconstruct the so-called "Blue Wall" in the industrial midwest. If the Democratic nominee wins every state Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, plus Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan, that Democrat would win 278 electoral votes — eight more than the 270 needed to win. Just as important, it means that Democrats wouldn’t need to sweat Ohio or Florida. They can lose those big, electoral-vote-rich states, and still have enough to win the White House."
"Trump carried the Wolverine state in 2016 by less than 11,000 votes. But, a recent WDIV/Detroit News poll finds Trump’s job approval in the state a bleak 38 percent favorable to 53 percent unfavorable....More ominously for the president, his job approval rating among independent voters in the state was just 43 percent, with 50 percent disapproving. EPIC/MRA pollster Bernie Porn, who founded the non-partisan Michigan-based polling firm more than 25 years ago, told me that even a motivated GOP base will get Trump, at best 43 percent of the vote. The rest needs to come from independents and/or disaffected Democrats."
"A Marquette University poll in mid-January found Trump’s job approval underwater by 8 points (44 percent to 52 percent). More dangerously, however, almost 50 percent of voters in Wisconsin (49 percent) say they’d definitely vote against Trump in 2020, while another 8 percent said they’d probably vote against him. Meanwhile, just under a third of Wisconsin voters (27 percent) say they will definitely vote for the president in 2020 with another 12 percent saying they’d probably support him next year."
"Unfortunately, we don’t have much recent polling in Pennsylvania. But, a January Morning Consult survey pegged Trump’s job approval in the state at -10, similar to his showing in Virginia."
So, what could go wrong?
"Ambivalent voters who disliked both presidential nominees. Tepid enthusiasm from Democrats for their nominee. Tremendous support and energy from Republicans for theirs. Those were the three most important factors in Trump’s success in the three blue wall states. As we look to 2020, we know that Trump continues to enjoy solid support from his base, but the Democrats are at least equally energized to get out and vote against him. This leaves the battle for the 'ambivalent' voter as the most critical piece of the 2020 strategy. Trump has done little in his tenure in office to woo those not already in his base. The only question now is if Democrats will nominate a candidate who can appeal to these voters, or if they will choose a flawed candidate who will, once again, force these voters into having to decide between the "best-worst-choice."
Hmm. Now who might be the Democratic candidates who could appeal to those voters? That's the 64 zillion dollar question.