Trump could cruise to re-election on strong economy -- but voters still hate his personality
LAS VEGAS NEVADA, DECEMBER 14, 2015: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at campaign event at Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino the day before the CNN Republican Presidential Debate (Photo: Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock)

President Donald Trump has some built-in advantages for winning re-election next year, according to a former Obama adviser.


Steve Rattner, a former counselor to the Treasury Department who assisted in the auto industry bailouts, explained in a New York Times column the results of three projection models that showed Trump winning a second term.

Yale professor Ray Fair projected Trump -- who has not yet cracked 50 percent approval rating as president -- winning up to 56 percent of the 2020 vote due to the economy, but his model does not account for voter opinions on the president's personality.

Fair's model, which predicted Barack Obama's vote shares almost exactly, showed Trump should have received 54 percent of the vote in 2016, but he actually won 48.8 percent against Hillary Clinton.

Two other analysts -- Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics and Donald Luskin of Trend Macrolytics -- produced similar results with their models.

But recent polls, including one by Fox News, show Trump losing to Joe Biden and other Democratic candidates, and a Monmouth University poll last week showed just 37 percent of voters believe the president should be re-elected.

Rattner says the economy alone can't outweigh the president's negative attributes.

"I’m quite confident that the gap was a function of the generally unfavorable rankings on Mr. Trump’s personal qualities," Rattner said.