“The result comes on the heels of the announcement that the US economy grew at a much better rate than expected in the first quarter, and Trump’s performance on the economy becomes one of his prime selling points for next year’s general election.
“Trump’s previous high mark in CNN polling on handling the economy came in March 2017 when 55% approved. Since then, he’s edged above 50% four times, but this is the first time it’s been meaningfully over the 50% line.”
The delta between 43% and 56% is obviously huge; in terms of the 2020 presidential election it’s the difference between losing in a landslide and winning in one. Neither outcome is likely for Trump, largely because our current polarization makes a blowout — on either end of the win-loss spectrum — very, very hard to imagine.
But what’s clear from those two numbers is that Trump and his team have their work cut out for them between now and November 2020. They need to figure out how to convert a chunk of people who disapprove of Trump but think the economy is doing well and credit him for that fact. It’s of course doable, but the fact that Trump’s approval rating hasn’t moved upward — as views on the strength of the economy (and his role in it) have — has to be somewhat concerning for the Trump team.
The Point: Trump is an atypical president by virtually every measure. Might he break the longtime correlation between strong economies and presidents winning reelection come 2020?