One former White House official outlined a theory of the case that has gained some traction: Trump’s policies will continue to be popular all the way through his reelection campaign, but his approval rating will never crack 45 percent — creating an opening for Biden, or someone like him, to recapture the loyalty of white Rust Belt Democrats who helped elect Trump in 2016.
“What we can’t let voters do is think they can get the same policies with someone they like better, like Joe Biden — someone who would fight for them but who doesn’t have the crass edge,” said the former White House staffer. “I hope CNN has Kirsten Gillibrand on every minute of every day. Love it. Bring it. She’s easy to destroy. If you’re the president, or the RNC, you’re more worried about someone who looks like Biden — someone who has more mainstream appeal, who blue-collar workers could identity with.”
A competing worst-case scenario theory advanced by another top Republican strategist is that the strongest Trump opponent would be a “thoughtful, centrist, minority” with grassroots organizing skills, like Booker, whom Trump has dismissed.