Trump lays the groundwork to avoid voters’ recession blame

Trump lays the groundwork to avoid voters’ recession blame

Between poor economic news coming out of China and Germany, the inversion of the yield curve, and trade negotiations with friend and foe alike that have no guarantee of ending positively, signs are mounting that next year’s economy might not be as upbeat as today’s. With the presidential election a little over a year away, the potential of a recession looms large over President Trump’s reelection prospects. The president’s job approval rating on the economy tends to outpace his overall job approval by around ten percentage points. Consumers still feel fairly good about things, even as their avocados and health insurance premiums get more expensive. If this holds, it bodes reasonably well for Trump’s reelection chances. Presidents are often assigned, fairly or unfairly, a lot of blame or credit for economic conditions. Many presidential forecasting models use economic indicators like GDP growth as a factor in determining whether an incumbent will be returned to office or whether voters will say it is “ time for change. ” But one thing the president has always excelled at, from a communications perspective, is setting up scapegoats and fall guys in case things go south. He is adept at trying to take all the credit but none of the blame. As some signals suggest a potentially shakier economy in 2020, I expect to hear the president tout the economic boom of the present while laying the groundwork for who to blame when it ends, by increasing his complaints about three of his […]

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