A new analysis by CNN polling expert Harry Enten argues that President Donald Trump is very vulnerable to being defeated in the 2020 presidential election — even if he still enjoys a strong economy one year from now.
In particular, Enten notes the remarkable weakness of Trump’s poll numbers despite the fact that the percentage of Americans who say the economy is doing well is the highest it’s been since 2001.
“An average of all polls shows his approval rating among voters is currently 43 percent,” Enten notes. “A year ago, it was 42 percent. Two years ago, it was was 45 percent. The disconnect is rather stunning and leaves analysts like myself left wondering whether the strong economy will eventually help lift Trump.”
Given that Trump has crowed about the state of the U.S. economy for the past two years and his approval ratings have remained consistently low, Enten wonders if there’s any amount of good economic news that can really change the game for him between now and 2020.
“Perhaps the biggest reason to be suspect of the idea that the economy will help Trump is that it hasn’t so far,” he argues. “We’ve had low unemployment and strong economic growth throughout the Trump administration and yet his approval rating has averaged just 42% since he took office.”
And that’s not taking into account what will happen if the economy actually weakens over the next year, which Enten describes as a real possibility.
“The Federal Reserve is cutting its forecast for economic expansion in the coming year,” he writes. “That means Trump may have to count on the same economy or perhaps even a weaker one going forward to bring up his approval ratings up. The same economy that has left Trump with a 43 percent approval rating.”