New York: US President Donald Trump will formally launch his re-election campaign on Tuesday, defiantly facing the threats of impeachment but hoping to float to office again on his steadfast voter base, a good economy and an opposition that has yet to coalesce around a challenger.
As he announces his run before an audience of 20,000 at a sports arena in Orlando, Florida, he will have before him the task of swimming against a tide of negative polls - less than half the people surveyed approve his job performance and he lags behind every possible Democratic challenger - and the threat of impeachment and investigations. In 2016, his announcement was met with shrugs and amusement, but this time, despite the negatives, he is seen as a formidable challenger after successfully waging an asymmetrical election warfare. He has made politics very personal with a tsunami of vitriol against his foes at home and abroad, and the media. But they too have retaliated and it will depend on how deep they will penetrate among the voters in the middle.
A measure of his potential vulnerability is the Republicans loss of control of the House of Representatives in the mid-term elections, which was pegged as a referendum on Trump. But his party improved its position in the Senate. For him to achieve anything meaningfully - if he is re-elected - he'll also need to regain the House.
Even though the Republican Party convention to formally nominate him will be in August 2020 and till then he has to run the gauntlet of state primaries and caucuses to collect his delegates, he has gained complete control of the party.