Trump can't count on the economy to save him -- even if it stays strong next year: political scientist
President Donald Trump departs the White House for Palm Beach, FL (Shutterstock)

Unemployment is still under 4 percent, which in normal times would make President Donald Trump heavily favored to win the 2020 presidential election.

However, as political scientist John Sides argues in the Washington Post, these are not normal times, and Trump's reelection is in far more trouble than many would expect given the state of the economy.

"Voters aren’t giving Trump much credit for the growing economy, making his path to reelection less smooth than it otherwise should be, given the impressive statistics," Sides writes. "Trump’s approval rating hasn’t budged, even though people’s views of the economy have grown more positive since he took office in 2017."

Given the current economic conditions, writes Sides, Trump's approval rating should be in the high-50s, and not the low 43 percent where it currently stands.

Sides go on to cite polling numbers showing that Trump still seems unlikely to benefit from voters who may not like him personally, but who could still vote for him because they approve of his handling of the economy.

"In other words, when people think the economy is doing the same or better than a year ago but disapprove of Trump, it’s their feelings about Trump that win out," he writes. "To get his approval ratings up, Trump needs to convince at least some of these people to give him a little credit for the economy."

Read the whole analysis here.