President Donald Trump owes his big 2016 victory to his wins in the Midwestern states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
However, Bloomberg reports that new data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia show that those four key states are expected to experience economic contractions next year, even as the American economy as a whole will keep growing.
So while the economy may not harm the president on a national level, it may harm his prospects of keeping the states he needs to win the electoral college again.
“The information that people are going to get about the state of the economy is going to be different in different states,” Christopher Wlezien, a political scientist at the University of Texas at Austin, tells Bloomberg. “They don’t rely on just what’s happening to them. They care about what’s happening around them.”
The data don’t show these states will enter a technical recession, which would require two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth, although just one quarter of contraction could be enough to harm the president’s claim that Americans are living through the “best economy ever.”
Bloomberg also shows that the president’s trade war with China is a “likely” major reason for these states’ slowdowns, as they are major agricultural states that have had difficulty in seeing their exports to China slashed.