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Sanders, Harris, Biden… can anyone beat Donald Trump to become the next US president?

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No sooner had the US midterm elections for Congress concluded than jockeying began for the presidential elections in 2020. Barring either impeachment, which seems unlikely, or a health crisis, Donald Trump will seek re-election.

Although the last sitting president not to be re-elected was George Bush Sr in 1992, polls suggest Trump is consistently disliked by a majority of Americans.

Democrats see a remarkable opportunity to regain the White House.

In last November’s elections for the House of Representatives, Democrats out-polled the Republicans nationally by millions of votes. But because each state has two senators, a third of whom are elected every two years, this did not translate into control of the Senate – probably the most powerful upper house in the world.

That imbalance is reflected in the presidential system, in which each state has votes in the Electoral College equivalent to their total representation in Congress.

Because votes are tallied by states, Hillary Clinton out-polled Trump by three million votes, but did not win the Electoral College. Her majority was too concentrated in large states like California and New York.

Read more: Trump will likely win reelection in 2020

The lure of the presidency can attract otherwise rational people to illusions of grandeur. Rolling........

© The Conversation