Forget about those polls showing that a slim majority of Americans would accept Donald Trump being removed from office.
A recent CNN poll finds that an overwhelming majority of members of all political persuasions are quite happy with the state of the US economy and with Trump’s economic stewardship thus far.
According to the poll, a whopping 97% of Republicans, 75% of independents and even 62% of Democrats rate the state of the US economy as “very” or “somewhat” good. That translates into 76% overall, up from the 67% recorded just four months ago.
The biggest jumps were recorded among independents and Democrats – about 15% each. Back in August, just 62% of independents and only 47% of Democrats said the state of the economy was “very” or “somewhat” good.
Why the big change in such a short time? The main reason is that fears of a recession — eagerly stoked by Democratic leaders anxious to put a dent in Trump’s positive job approval rating — have receded completely.
Back in August, analysts were predicting a 50% chance of an economic downturn by the end of 2020, which might have severely endangered Trump’s re-election prospects.
But since then, interest rate cuts pushed by the White House and the apparent resolution of two trade-related threats have all but eliminated the risk of a recession.
Even with a looming recession threat, the economy has been getting stronger for months. Steady job and GDP growth, a reduction in unemployment to below 4% and increased labor force participation combined with rising real wages have Americans feeling increasingly optimistic about their future.
And whatever they might feel about Trump’s presidency overall, Americans have no doubt that Trump’s economic policies have helped fuel the first U.S. economic boom in nearly two decades. In fact, the last time Americans rated the economy this high was back in 2001, shortly after George W. Bush took office.
The CNN poll is just the latest sign of America’s growing optimism. Business and consumer confidence have also risen sharply. For example, small business confidence recently reached its highest level in four decades. That’s especially critical since small businesses account for two-thirds of all new US job growth.
Consumer confidence is especially apparent in perceptions of job growth, but consumers are also spending more heavily on goods, especially automobiles and electronics. Overall, consumer confidence has returned to the level it had reached immediately prior to the Great Recession of 2007.
Democrats, including all of the 2020 contenders for the presidency, appear to have no answer to Trump’s extraordinary success on the economic front. In fact, most of the candidates refuse to talk about the economy at all. The one exception is Michael Bloomberg who has suggested that more worker re-training is needed to boost job growth still further.
But like his rivals, Bloomberg has begun focusing on climate change and health care — issues where Trump seems more vulnerable.
History shows that incumbent presidents like Trump overseeing a growing US economy are shoo-ins for re-election. The two presidents that failed to regain the White House, Jimmy Carter in 1980, and George H.W. Bush in 1992, faced a deteriorating economy with rising unemployment levels. By the end of their terms, their job approval numbers on the economy had fallen to the high 20s or low 30s.
By contrast, Trump’s job approval numbers on the economy continue to rise. Currently, he’s at 54%, with more voters approving than disapproving.
In September, the Real Clear Politics average of polls had Trump with a +3.0 net positive approval rating. By October, it had reached +5.2. However, since November, Trump’s approval rating has jumped to +12.6 points, the highest of his presidency.