The Washington Post examines the idea that the economy will help Donald Trump squeeze thru for a second term…
They find that idea could have holes that one could drive a TRUCK thru that would derail any second term….
The economy was better in November, almost 6 months ago….
Republicans LOST 41 House seats…..
Trump talks about the economy all the time, often in not-entirely-accurate terms, but most of his rhetoric centers instead on issues such as immigration. It has worked: In the 2016 election, the voters who cared most about the economy tended to vote for Hillary Clinton, while those most worried about immigration and terrorism backed Trump.
It has also not worked. As the midterm elections approached, Trump’s focus was on migrant caravans approaching the border and on dispatching the military to deal with migrants seeking entry to the United States. Democratic candidates were focused on health care and picked up a number of seats in the House.
Shortly before the election, we looked at two conflicting metrics that suggested very different results in the House contests.
According to Gallup data on past midterm elections, the strength of the economy suggested the Republicans would lose only a few seats in the House, fewer than 10 — at least, if past behavior was a guide.
At the same time, though, Trump’s unpopularity meant it was more likely that the Republicans would lose far more seats, perhaps as many as 40.
Both of those things couldn’t be true. The Republicans couldn’t both fare decently because of the healthy economy and terribly because of the unpopular president.
They lost 41 seats. The “unpopular president” theory was a better predictor of the results than the “good economy” one.
That’s the problem for Trump. First, good economic numbers (assuming they hold) may be less important than his ongoing unpopularity (which seems likely to hold) in the eyes of 2020 voters. Second, there’s not a whole lot of evidence that Trump will embrace an economy-first campaign message and then stick to it. Third — and perhaps less important in the context of those other two points — it remains unclear how much credit Trump will get for where the economy is now. (A Gallup poll taken over a year ago showed credit for the economy split evenly between Trump and Obama.)….