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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Trump Effect v. Economy Effect

Here's how to predict whether Republicans will actually lose the House in November: Do you think the election will turn on President Trump's low approval ratings, or the booming economy?
  • As you see in this interactive graphic, the GOP would lose 68 seats based on the saggy presidential approval but gain 55 if you go by the booming economy.
Between the lines: The party in power tends to do well in the House during midterm elections when voters are happy with the economy, but it does poorly when the president's approval rating is low, Axios' Harry Stevens and Caitlin Owens write:
  •  There's no recent precedent in which the economy is doing well but the president's approval rating is underwater.
  • Darrell West of Brookings: “Generally, it’s been 'the economy, stupid' that’s been the major issue. But this year it could be, 'It’s Trump, stupid.' Because Trump just dominates everything. He dominates news coverage, he dominates social media activities. He’s a very inviting target for Democrats.”
So it depends what matters to voters. As we found in 2016, they matter more than pundits.