The longer Donald Trump is in office, the more normal his presidency will appear and the more accustomed Americans will become to his administration. The passage of time allows even the unusual and shocking to seem regular.
The perception that the White House is a circus, as it’s being portrayed by some members of the media, won’t last forever. And events like last night’s State of the Union will contribute to a sense that Trump is finding his feet. Unless something dramatic happens, Trump’s second year will look better than his first, when the bar was set exceptionally low. And if his third year looks better than his second, then we’ll have a trend.
The Democrats need to stop focusing on how to convince voters they made a mistake in 2016 and start figuring out how to beat Trump in 2020. Their toughest hurdle will be the fact that when the economy is strong, it’s rare for an incumbent to be thrown out of office. It’s too early to predict what will happen in the next election, but the current trajectory is better for Trump than his popularity numbers indicate.