Ask an economist, and they’ll say the economy is good right now. And that usually spells a 2nd term for an incumbent president. But…
The approval ratings for Trump currently are under water, and by a lot. Yet, the economy is good. So, if this economy holds (which economists don’t seem to be too sure about) will he win re-election?
One answer might be lurking in how voters feel the economy is going for themselves. It’s one thing to hear economists talking about various statistics, but it’s quite another to look at your own financial situation and take stock. Are things better for you, or not?
Navigator Research just released another one of their superb research reports, which are geared to help progressives by using evidence to inform our talking points, and in this one, they focused on how voters are feelings about the Republican tax law. I think it helps to explain both why Trump’s approval isn’t good AND why having a good economy might not be what Trump needs to help him win re-election.
This survey was taken right around April 15, when most voters had filed their taxes, and asked if they supported or opposed the Republican tax law. It has never been more clear to what extent the majority of Americans think this law stinks.
The key to understanding why lies in the second question they asked voters: Do you feel Trump’s policies put wealthy people first, or working and middle class families first?
62% say his policies help wealthy people first — the very message Democrats have been saying over and over for the last year. Now with folks looking at their tax bills, that message is hardening.
There’s not much we can do about the economy–and let’s face it, none of us want to see a downturn–but the silver lining is that by hammering the message that Trump and Republicans are only helping the wealthy, and ignoring the rest of us, that will resonate. Because the evidence that voters have in their own hands, i.e. their tax returns, tell that message in a very clear way.
* “It’s the economy, stupid” was coined by James Carville, Bill Clinton’s campaign strategist in 1992, right before Clinton unseated President George H.W. Bush.