2020 Vision: What to expect from the United States this year

2020 Vision: What to expect from the United States this year

Part of the series



30 January 2020


Harbourside Room, Level 6, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Rocks


Public forum


S25 General Admission

One year from this month, a newly elected president will take office in Washington, DC. The long and intense competition leading to that day begins on 3 February 2020, with the Iowa Caucuses, the first nominating contest in the Democratic Party’s primaries for the 2020 presidential election.

The period between those two election calendar events is less than a year but no less momentous, as we are also expecting to see an impeachment trial in the US Senate, more US troops returning to the Middle East, and continued tensions between the United States and China.

What are Trump’s chances of re-election? Which Democratic challenger is likely to be Trump’s opponent in November? What impact will renewed tensions in the Middle East have on the election, and what are the implications for Australia? And what will be the trajectory of rivalry between China and the United States in this election year?

To hear more on these issues, the USSC hosted the first in a series of public events on the 2020 US presidential election by the US Studies Centre.

The panel featured analysis by USSC experts:

  • Simon Jackman, CEO and Professor of Political Science
  • Kim Hoggard, Non-Resident Fellow and former staffer for President Ronald Reagan and President George H.W. Bush
  • Brendon O’Connor, Associate Professor in American Politics and author of Anti-Americanism and American Exceptionalism
  • Ashley Townshend, Director of Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre 


  • Professor Simon Jackman
    Professor Simon Jackman

    Professor Simon Jackman was Chief Executive Officer of the United States Studies Centre from April 2016 to May 2022. Between 1996 and 2016, he was a Professor of Political Science and Statistics at Stanford University. Jackman's teaching and research centres on public opinion, election campaigns, political participation, and electoral systems with special emphasis on American and Australian politics.

  • V. Kim Hoggard
    V. Kim Hoggard

    Kim Hoggard was previously a non-resident fellow at the United States Studies Centre. She is a former US government official who served as White House Assistant Press Secretary for President Ronald Reagan, as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Treasury for Public Affairs during the second term of the Reagan administration, and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs for President George H.W. Bush. She has worked as a media commentator and speaker on US politics and foreign affairs for a variety of Australian news programs and organisations.

  • Associate Professor Brendon O'Connor
    Associate Professor Brendon O'Connor
    Postgraduate Coordinator and Associate Professor in American Politics, United States Studies Centre (jointly appointed with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Sydney)

    Brendon O'Connor is jointly appointed between the US Studies Centre and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney as an Associate Professor in American Politics. He is the editor of seven books on anti-Americanism and has also published articles and books on American welfare policy, presidential politics, US foreign policy and Australian-American relations.

  • Ashley Townshend
    Ashley Townshend
    Non-Resident Senior Fellow, United States Studies Centre

    Ashley Townshend is a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the United States Studies Centre and Senior Fellow for Indo-Pacific Security at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the founding co-chair of the annual US-Australia Indo-Pacific Deterrence Dialogue and was the Director of Foreign Policy and Defence at the United States Studies Centre from June 2017 to June 2022.


Part of the series

Election Watch

Since 2008 the United States Studies Centre has been helping make sense of the US presidential elections with a series of events featuring Centre experts and visitors.

View all events in this series