During Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 run for president, Democratic campaign strategist James Carville coined the term, “It’s the economy, stupid” — and if that philosophy is true, President Donald Trump has 2020 in the bag.
Carville’s phrase meant that the state of the economy would determine how Americans would cast their ballots.
Ultimately, the results of the 1992 presidential election aligned with his thinking; then-President George H. W. Bush, whose presidency was plagued with a recession, lost to Clinton.
It follows that “It’s the economy, stupid” means a president with a strong economy should have a much easier time winning re-election.
That’s great news for Trump because a new CNN poll found that 71 percent of those surveyed believe the nation’s economy is in good shape.
It’s the highest rating the economy has received in the poll since February 2001, months before the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
It’s important to note how tremendous the pre-9/11 economy was, with a massive tech bubble fueled by eager investors hoping to make massive returns.
If Trump’s economy feels like the pre-9/11 economy, that’s a huge achievement that is sure to be a major factor in the 2020 campaign.
Americans give the US economy glowing reviews in a new CNN Poll — and Trump may reap the benefits.
Overall, 71% say the US economy is in good shape, the highest share to say so since February 2001, and the best rating during Trump’s presidency by 2 points https://t.co/AkeSefCxTb pic.twitter.com/8TYXrY1HFz
— CNN (@CNN) March 18, 2019
But Trump and his supporters shouldn’t get complacent.
Democrats undoubtedly will try to diminish the president’s achievement by attributing the successful economy to other factors.
Also, Trump’s approval rating is at 42 percent. While former President Ronald Reagan and Clinton had similarly poor ratings before they won re-election, it will take work.
The president also has bad ratings when it comes to how he is handling the immigration crisis, with 58 percent disapproval, and the budget, with 56 percent disapproval.
That’s likely because the 35-day government shutdown over border wall funding was a failure, with Congress barely appropriating any money for the wall.
Trump definitely has issues that he will need to address in 2020, but if the economy is as important as Carville theorized, he might have an easier time winning re-election than his approval ratings would suggest.
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