Even though the U.S. has lost about 40 million jobs in recent months and that the economy plummeted to Great Depression levels, Donald Trump still has a significant advantage over Joe Biden when it comes to economic issues.
This is a peculiar phenomenon. The president inherited a very solid economy from his predecessor Barack Obama, and the pre-Covid19 numbers show that Trump's greatest talent was keeping things on the same upward course, yet voters continue to see Trump as better for the US economy.
According to data from a recent internal poll by the presidential team and released by the Politico website, Trump beats Biden by 15 points in terms of who is the best candidate to rebuild the country's economy.
Another poll conducted in May by the firm Navigator, says that while 44% of Americans disapprove of the way Trump has handled the Covid19 crisis, 48% have a positive opinion of his economic management.
Source: Navigator Research.
The same can be observed among Latino voters, where the president has lower numbers. According to a poll published this week by Priorities USA, Latino Victory Fund, and Latino Decisions, the president is in hot water among Latino voters in virtually every area except the economy.
The survey was conducted in Arizona and Florida, two states that are still up in the air and will be key in the November election. Fifty percent of respondents in Florida approve of Trump's work in this area, while 38 percent of Latinos in Arizona did.
By comparison, only 32 percent of respondents in Arizona and 42 percent in Florida approve of Trump's performance as president. His popularity rating is 26% and 38% respectively in each state. His economic rating remains well above his performance in other areas.
Source: Priorities USA/Latino Decisions.
In the face of the crisis, the president has promised that the coming quarter will see negative growth, but the next quarter will see a rapid economic recovery, and by 2021 "we will have one of the best years in history" in economic terms.
Biden's team has failed to capitalize on the achievements of the Obama administration in dealing with the Great Recession of 2009 and the continued steady rise in employment numbers from one administration to the next. Trump's image as a successful businessman before he came to the White House is working to his advantage in this regard.
On top of that, Trump's strategy is to open the economy as soon as possible, despite what the Covid-19 numbers suggest. There is a possibility that by November his forecasts will have materialized and the president will be able to consolidate his economic message again. If the Democrats fail to solidify a clear and strong economic message, it probably won't matter how badly Trump is doing on other indicators -- such as public confidence or acceptance -- he could win re-election on the promise of economic recovery next year.
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