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Trump can’t count on the economy to save him — even if it stays strong next year: political scientist

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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.”

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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.

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Internet explodes over news that Putin is planning to sabotage the election for Trump — yet again

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On Thursday, The New York Times revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is prepared to interfere in the 2020 presidential election to help President Donald Trump win a second term — and that Trump's first reaction was outrage that House Democrats had been briefed on the matter.

The news was met with horror and outrage on social media:

Republicans keep blocking election security bills in the Senate, and now we know why:

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2020 Election

Putin is backing Trump in 2020 — but is also seeking to undermine his legitimacy: Ambassador McFaul

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The former ambassador to Russia warned of the "extremely scary" report that Russian President Vladimir Putin is supporting Trump's 2020 reelection -- and is already meddling in the Democratic Primary.

Ambassador Michael McFaul was interviewed Thursday by MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber on "The Beat."

"I don't understand why the president doesn't understand that this is no good for him," McFaul said. "It discredits his own election or reelection. So he should be out in front of this condemning what the Russians are doing instead of trying on cover it up."

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Pentagon data breach compromises servicemembers’ personal information: report

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According to NBC News, the Department of Defense has sent out letters warning servicemembers that a likely breach in the system that manages military information technology and communications may have compromised their personal information.

"The letters, dated Feb. 11, told recipients that last May and June, 'some of your personal information, including your Social Security number, may have been compromised in a data breach on a system hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency,'" said NBC.

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