A new Gallup poll ought to give President Donald Trump a boost of confidence as he prepares for a tough re-election fight. It turns out that, as Erick Erickson summarizes at The Resurgent: “More Americans feel good about the economy right now than during the entirety of the Obama or Bush years. Based on Gallup’s polling, this is the highest they can find in their own data and the only data set they can find that is higher is some Rutgers data from the end of the Clinton era.”
Americans’ confidence in the U.S. job market is the highest in Gallup’s trend originating in 2001, with 71% in May saying now is a good time to find a quality job. This represents a significant improvement from March and April, when 65% each month rated the job market favorably. Today’s level is similar to February’s 69% reading. …
Americans’ broader perceptions of the U.S. economy in May are similar to what Gallup has found over much of the past year, including in March and April.
- 51% of Americans rate current economic conditions as excellent or good, essentially unchanged from last month’s 50%.
- Just over half of U.S. adults, 54%, say economic conditions are getting better. This is up from 49% in April, but nearly identical to February and March.
Gallup concludes its poll in sanguine, positively rosy fashion: “The longer-term picture shows that Americans’ positive perceptions of both the economy and the job market are substantially improved today over the prior decade, particularly from 2008 through 2011, as the country was entering and then recovering from the recession and global financial crisis.”
The economy is, without question, roaring. As The Daily Wire reported earlier this month, the unemployment rate recently hit the lowest mark in half a century. The Wall Street Journal noted at the time: “American employers picked up the pace of hiring in April and the unemployment rate fell to a half-century low, adding to signs of healthy U.S. economic growth as the expansion approaches its 10th birthday. Private-sector workers saw solid wage gains, with average hourly earnings up 3.2% in April from a year earlier, matching the prior month’s increase.”
This macroeconomic success is all unambiguously promising political news for Trump. Historically, incumbent presidents seeking re-election have fared well when fortified by the tailwinds of a thriving economy. James Carville’s famous political adage, “It’s the economy, stupid!” has often carried real weight when it comes to voters’ decision-making. Democratic strategist Mark Mellman took to The Hill last month to warn his fellow Democrats that the 2020 presidential election must be fought on political terrain that extends beyond the economy:
Last week, one of my very smart, and very distinguished, colleagues told The Washington Post in no uncertain terms that the 2020 “election is going to be about the economy.”
Unless something changes dramatically, Democrats better hope my friend is wrong, because that’s an election we will likely lose. …
If politics were merely a reflection of economics, and Trump was a normal president (he’s not), his approval rating would be 10 to 20 points higher than it is.
Something’s holding his approval rating far below its “natural” level.
Instead of attacking uphill, let’s figure out what’s already holding Trump down and focus 2020 on that.