Four percent growth, unemployment at a 40-year low, trillion-dollar tax cuts and a big boost in federal spending that helped U.S. stocks reach record highs on the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P.
Two years after being elected, President Trump has steered the U.S. economy from predicted peril to financial success.
It’s unquestionably good news for Republicans fighting to hold on to the House and Senate in November.
In August, a Gallup poll revealed half of all Americans approve of the president’s handling of the economy – Trump’s highest score on a nine issue-survey.
While Trump frequently called the economy a disaster on the campaign trail, once he got elected he began boasting about how he’s turned everything around. He credits himself for positive jobs reports, low unemployment rate, the stock market and the growth in GDP. He also touts the GOP-passed tax reform bill.
In any other election year, the successful economy should be more than enough to give Trump voters and the GOP a fighting chance going into the midterms, traditionally a time where the party who holds the White House suffers heavy defeats.
Republican candidates would be tripping over themselves to hammer home the economic achievements of the administration every chance they get.
But this isn’t a typical election cycle and for midterm voters – this time it’s not the economy stupid.
Republicans say they are having a tough time sending out a unified message on the economy because they’re too busy defending Trump’s near-daily rants.
GOP pollster Glen Bolger told The New York Times that while “people think the economy is doing well” it’s not what they are voting on.
“They’re voting on the chaos of the guy in the White House,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed the statements at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce dinner last week where he faulted the president’s “distractions” for why Republicans can’t get it together on the economy.
Trump frequently takes to Twitter to expresses his frustration on a number of different things. He’s called out Attorney General Jeff Sessions, doubted the number of deaths in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria and continues to demand full funding for a border wall that has yet to be built.
Republican pollster Frank Luntz warns that if the GOP wants to win in November, they are going to have to skip the drama and stay laser-focused on the economy.
“Republicans need to spend more time talking about increasing take-home pay and less time on the daily scandals that arise,” he told Fox News.
He adds that Trump “deserves a lot more credit than he has been given” when it comes to the economy but says the president is “also somewhat responsible because he hasn’t been so focused and attentive to the changes that have really happened (in the economy).”
Sarah Chamberlain, president of the Republican Main Street Partnership, told Fox News that her party should be doubling down on policies that have “delivered lower taxes, a growing economy and near record-low unemployment.”
In recent days, even former President Barack Obama conceded that the economy isn’t in freefall or enduring the “Armageddon” that Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., falsely predicted.
Republicans need to refocus and “jump on that,” pollsters told Fox News.
In fact, an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that nearly nine in 10 Republicans approve of Trump’s economic policy. Twenty-three percent of Democrats approve of the president on the issue – up significantly than the seven percent of Democrats who approve of the overall job he’s doing.