The president is fairly assured that he has a trump card on questions on his 2020 reelection viability: the financial system.
Ask him a query about, nicely, almost something, and he’ll declare that he’s in a powerful place as a result of People love how the financial system is doing. Talking with reporters on Monday, Trump cited the financial system as a protection towards a failed vote on impeachment held within the Home final week and towards considerations about how black People would possibly reply to his racist assaults on a bunch of Home Democrats. Polls wanting grim? Nicely, if the media have been sincere, the financial system would have Trump’s approval north of 70 %.
There’s only one catch. There are a variety of indicators that the financial system isn’t going to be the silver bullet Trump assumes. It wasn’t in 2018, for instance. In different polling, there was a disconnect between how folks really feel about Trump and the way they really feel concerning the financial system.
A ballot launched on Monday served as one other instance of that hole. In keeping with the ballot, performed by Marist Faculty on behalf of NPR and PBS NewsHour, greater than half of People say they’ll positively vote towards Trump in 2020. That has been constant in Marist polling; greater than half of respondents have stated the identical factor in every of the 5 polls it has performed this yr. (In contrast, President Barack Obama by no means had half the nation opposing his reelection earlier than the 2012 contest.)
On the similar time, greater than half the nation says that they approve of how Trump’s doing on the financial system. Practically two-thirds say they’re personally doing nicely. But opposition to Trump’s reelection continues to be 14 factors increased than those that say they’ll positively vote for him subsequent yr.
Observe the three bins. Total, amongst independents and amongst college-educated white males, greater than half of each approve of Trump’s dealing with of the financial system and say they gained’t vote for him.
That’s not what a silver bullet appears like.
The Marist ballot additionally contains one other fascinating battery of questions, evaluating how folks view numerous coverage proposals which have moved to the middle of the 2020 dialog. We’ve truncated the descriptions beneath, however the high traces are fascinating: Points corresponding to increasing entry to Medicare, giving immigrants who’re within the nation illegally a pathway to citizenship, and even the Inexperienced New Deal’s proposals to spend money on infrastructure and inexperienced jobs get majority assist.
(Observe the excellence between Medicare-for-all who need it or Medicare-for-all, framed within the questioning as eliminating non-public insurance coverage.)
These views are pushed by robust assist from Democrats, understandably. It’s additionally the case that not all the proposals which were launched as a part of the 2020 dialog ballot terribly nicely (corresponding to decriminalizing unauthorized border crossings), however even issues like protecting the price of faculty are well-received.
The largest gaps between the events are on points which were closely laced with partisanship. The Inexperienced New Deal and Trump’s determination to go away the Paris local weather accord are rather more in style with Democrats than Republicans, as befits a difficulty that has develop into one of the crucial polarized within the nation.
Then, after all, there’s Obamacare. Curiously, 78 % of Republicans assist repealing Obamacare — however almost half additionally assist increasing Medicare to anybody who desires it. A central a part of Obamacare was increasing Medicaid availability in states.
However let’s return to these 2020 numbers for Trump. The Marist ballot separated out two teams that might be essential to trace because the election approaches, those that backed Trump in 2016 and white males with out faculty levels. Curiously, these white working-class males are sometimes a lot nearer to independents of their views of those points than they’re to Trump voters.
Two exceptions to that rule take care of weapons. White working-class males are nearer to Trump voters on background-check expansions and on banning semiautomatic rifles. However they’re much nearer to independents on regulating drug costs, legalizing marijuana and a nationwide shift to Medicare-for-all. On common, white males with out faculty levels are about eight factors away from independents on these points and almost 18 factors away from Republicans.
One cause? White working-class males aren’t all Republicans. Many — a 3rd within the Marist ballot — say they positively gained’t vote for him. Not a majority, however in 2016 election exit polls, lower than 1 / 4 of white males with out levels backed Hillary Clinton.
There are two takeaways right here. The primary is that many marquee Democratic insurance policies — although not all — aren’t solely not seen as disqualifying however are embraced by independents and white working-class males.
The opposite is that Trump’s repeated insistence that the financial system would be the deciding issue on his behalf could mirror extra wishful pondering than an actual understanding of how People truly really feel.