October 6, 2017

When a sitting president has the lowest approval ratings ever recorded, it would seem not unusual to speculate with respect to the chances of finishing out his first term in office. Many professional bookmakers have gone beyond “even money” and think that the odds are that Mr. Trump will not complete his term.

So, what could make that happen? There are basically five things: he could die of natural causes, he could be assassinated, he could be impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate, he could be removed from office under the terms of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, or he could resign.

Mr. Trump is 71 years old, overweight and to an outside observer, does not seem to be in excellent physical shape. The job he has has been called the most stressful in the world. Just look at how every president in recent memory has aged in office, even much younger men such as Mr. Obama. Given all of that, it would not be shocking if he were to die of natural causes during his term. Four presidents have died of natural causes while in office: Harrison, Taylor, Harding and Franklin Roosevelt.

As well, four presidents have been assassinated: Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy. President Reagan was shot but survived. One need only look at recent news of violence both in the U.S. and world-wide. Even with the protection of the Secret Service, it could happen again.

Given recent defections of a number of high profile Republicans, impeachment would seem a very real possibility. Two presidents have been impeached in the past (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton). Nixon would have been, but resigned before that could happen. Upon their trials by the Senate, both Johnson and Clinton were acquitted. So, no president has actually been removed from office as a result of the impeachment process. However, in the case of Mr. Trump, I think it would be unlikely that House Republicans would support Articles of Impeachment unless they were sure that the Senate would convict.

Finally, there is the 25th Amendment. This is a very complicated procedure that arose after the Kennedy assassination. The point essentially was to provide a mechanism whereby a president could be succeeded while still alive, but incapacitated. Here is a link that I think offers a pretty good overview and explanation.


He could also resign. If he should not complete his term, this would likely be the reason why. While Mr. Trump’s ego is massive, so was Mr. Nixon’s. When one clearly sees the writing on the wall, the best course would be to voluntarily leave the office rather than face impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment.

I think the odds are what they are simply because any one of these five outcomes is certainly possible, and some perhaps even probable.


Howard Goodman

President, HG Partners Limited

Director, Private Client Group &

Senior Financial Advisor,

HollisWealth® a trade name of Investia Financial Services Inc.


This article was prepared solely by Howard Goodman who is a registered representative of HollisWealth® a trade name of Investia Financial Services Inc. (a member of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada and the MFDA Investor Protection Corporation). The views and opinions, including any recommendations, expressed in this article are those of Howard Goodman alone and they are not those of HollisWealth®

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