Despite low approval ratings, constant controversy and the perpetual peril of numerous ongoing investigations, multiple economic models with successful track records of picking presidential winners currently forecast President Trump easily winning another term, Politico’s Ben White and Steven Shepard write.
"The economy is just so damn strong right now and by all historic precedent the incumbent should run away with it," Donald Luskin, chief investment officer of research firm TrendMacrolytics, whose model correctly called a Trump win in 2016, tells them.
Luskin’s model factors in GDP growth, gas prices, inflation, disposable income, taxes and payrolls. It has Trump winning comfortably, with 294 electoral votes.
A sharp economic slowdown could change that, and the effects of the GOP’s 2017 tax cuts could be a factor. The White House sees the tax cuts helping to keep the economy humming at a growth rate above 3 percent through 2020, while independent forecasters project that the tax cut stimulus will fade, leaving the economy growing more slowly.
“Even if you have a mediocre but not great economy — and that’s more or less consensus for between now and the election — that has a Trump victory and by a not-trivial margin,” Yale economist Ray Fair tells Politico.
Trump’s legal troubles could also change the 2020 outlook — and it’s possible that the conventional models don’t correctly account for the wide gap between public views of the economy and public opinion of Trump. After all, Republicans did lose the House in last year’s election, even with a strong economy.
“For the economic models to be correct, voters would have to shrug off much of what they dislike about Trump and decide the strength of the economy makes a change unwise,” White and Shepard write.