'It's Not the Economy Anymore, Stupid'

Written by Swiss America

financial 2860753 640'It's Not the Economy Anymore, Stupid' -Wall Street Journal
"President Trump has presided over solid economic growth and much lower unemployment than economists would have expected a few years ago, a record he proudly touted in a speech in New York Tuesday. Mr. Trump is counting on that record carrying him to re-election next year. Conversely, Democrats see hints of weakness, especially in manufacturing-intensive swing states, that could derail those plans.

Yet both could be working from an outdated playbook. Polarized politics mean that voters' views of the economy are increasingly shaped by their party preference, rather than the other way around. And for some key voting blocs, noneconomic issues such as immigration, race relations and Mr. Trump himself have superseded economic concerns in determining their vote. Thus, absent a serious recession or spectacular boom, the economy may have little bearing on how Americans vote next year....There are signs economic trends' sway over presidential contests has weakened. Political scientists John Sides, Michael Tesler and Lynn Vavreck, authors of 'Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Election Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America,' have found that from John F. Kennedy through George W. Bush, consumer confidence and presidential approval were positively correlated. But that correlation disappeared under Barack Obama and has been absent during Mr. Trump's three years in office. One reason is that 'partisan divides have put people into parallel universes when it comes to understanding and interpreting the economy,' said Jonathan Rothwell, principal economist at Gallup."

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