In focus in 2019: The Mueller Investigation

In focus in 2019: The Mueller Investigation

Throughout this week, we'll turn to the experts — UI professors — to educate us on the issues they believe will make front-page headlines in 2019.

Today: BRIAN GAINES, on the 2020 election storyline he'll be paying closest attention to in the year ahead.

"Looking ahead to the 2020 presidential election — with apologies to those who yearn for a break from election news, analysis and forecasts — the most obvious story to watch is what we learn, if anything, from the long-awaited MUELLER REPORT, likely to be out in the first quarter.

"With a Democratic majority in the House, fallout from that report, which technically will be confidential, could take over the whole two-year term.

"But it might also fizzle, if there's little specific evidence linking PRESIDENT TRUMP himself to Russian meddling.

"The other half of the 2020 battle will probably not sort out much over the coming year, as six to 12 hopeful Democrats jockey for attention, try to line up allies and raise cash, and surf news waves, when possible.

"I don't expect a clear front-runner to have emerged by the opening of the primary season, one year from now.

"As a not-impossible long shot, if Mueller recedes, NANCY PELOSI and MITCH McCONNELL could surprise everyone by hammering out some deals, and Donald Trump could enjoy reverting to his past role of deal maker, signing on for a major infrastructure bill, and potentially even incremental tweaks on trade, taxes and, with decreasing likelihood, immigration and health care."