President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly shattered political tradition, may find himself in another unprecedented circumstance in 2020: He could become the first president ever to be impeached by the House and then seek another term in the next election.
That unique prospect could scramble the electoral calculations next year for both parties.
For Trump, an impeachment confrontation that highlights the aspects of his presidency that most concern swing voters — from his volatility to his willingness to skirt if not smash legal constraints — could force him further toward a 2020 strategy centered on maximizing turnout among his core supporters.
For Democrats, a bitter impeachment fight that divides Congress and the country almost entirely among party lines could upset one of the key underlying assumptions driving the competition for the party’s presidential nomination: While most Democratic primary voters appear focused primarily on finding the nominee they believe will most effectively take the fight to Trump, a searing impeachment struggle could create more public demand for a candidate who pledges to bring the country together, some operatives in both parties believe. Candidates will have their first chance to address the impeachment inquiry on the debate stage since it was announced during the CNN/New York Times debate Tuesday in Ohio.