Three reasons why Donald Trump will (probably) be re-elected
Having survived impeachment, with the Democrats in disarray and the economy booming, a second term is now odds on
With his personal approval ratings at an all-time high, the impeachment process behind him and Democrats bitterly divided, Donald Trump is on course to be re-elected in November.
Having started the year at even money, bookies now have Trump’s re-election odds at an all-time low. Here are three reasons why the controversial billionaire president looks set to defy the critics and secure a second term in the White House.
A booming economy
As Bill Clinton’s famous campaign strategist James Carville famously said: “It’s the economy, stupid”.
In the last 100 years no sitting president has failed to win re-election when the US economy is doing well, and in his high-partisan State of Union address on Tuesday, the president “thrust the issue into the centre of his 2020 re-election pitch”, says Business Insider.
“The broad consensus among economists is that the US economy is doing well,” says the Washington Post. “Any president would be touting an economy like this.”
The US has recorded 11 straight years of uninterrupted growth, the longest expansion in its history. Unemployment is at a 50-year low, inflation is tame, and the stock market is close to record highs.
“The economy itself is (probably) in the late stages of the longest business-cycle expansion on record,” says Yahoo News, but “consumers feel upbeat and don’t have to worry about what is normally their No. 1 concern: jobs and the economy.”
This is manifested in a Gallup poll released this week showing Trump’s job approval rating at 49%, the highest it has been since he took office.
“He has proven once and for all his extraordinary hold on his own party”, say the news network, and ten months before the election, “unified his party around him in Washington and in the heartland at a time when questions are mounting about the Democrats' willingness to unite after what could become a bruising primary race”.
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“Although the bruising impeachment battle is certain to be a factor for voters considering whether to re-elect Trump in November, his campaign is claiming victory,” says Reuters.
“Acquittal means total vindication,” said Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director. “The Democrats’ decision to move forward with impeachment will go down as the worst political miscalculation in American history.”
Democrats in disarray
“They are unable to organise a vote of fewer than 200,000 people in Iowa which they had four years to prepare and are riven by factionalism, in contrast to Republican unity behind Mr Trump,” he writes.
The bungled caucus revealed the deep divisions of opinion about who is best placed to take on Trump in November. With veteran socialist Bernie Sanders and centrist former mayor Pete Butteige virtually tied in first place, the battle between progressive and moderate wings of the party shows no sign of resolution.
Former vice president Joe Biden, the candidate many believe best placed to win over crucial swing voters in the mid-west, finished a disappointing fourth.
“Yes, the Democratic voters can and should narrow the field over the next several weeks. But the fact that they’ll eventually pick a nominee isn’t enough. It matters how they get there. The 2016 election is a cautionary tale — too many Democrats felt so little allegiance to the nominee that they chose to vote for a third-party candidate, or not to vote at all,” says the New York Times.
It means that “just ten months before the election voters have no idea where the Democrats want to take the nation”, says Charter.
By contrast, Trump’s battle lines on immigration, social issues, security and even his campaign slogan to “Keep America Great”, are clear.