One of the key narratives in the 2020 cycle (so far) has been the strength of the American economy. Last month, the jobless rate held at a 49-year low of 3.6% and the economy continues to expand with the country’s GDP growing at a rate of 3.1 percent through the first quarter of the year. Although a strong economy does not necessarily guarantee a president’s reelection chances, it generally indicates good things for an incumbent and allows for a clear and strong messaging strategy.
Recent polling across the country indicates that Americans are generally happy with the state of the economy and are optimistic about what the future holds. A poll from The Economist/YouGov from June 9-11 interviewed 1,500 Americans and found that 59 percent the economy is getting better or at least staying the same. A Fox News poll published on June 16 reflected similar views; 57 percent of those polled felt optimistic about the U.S. Economy. Furthermore, a Quinnipiac University poll from last week showed that a total of 70 percent of American voters believe the nation’s economy is “excellent” or “good.”
The numbers continue to look good when the polling drills down to states that President Trump and Republicans need to win in 2020. In Michigan, a state the president carried by a fraction of a point in 2016, 59% of respondents in an Epic/MRA poll rated the economy as “excellent” or “pretty good.” The good news continues in Texas, where a University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll shows that 52 percent of those polled strongly or somewhat approve of the president’s handling of the economy. A 1st quarter Critical Insights poll of Maine voters showed that 22 percent believe the economy will be better in the next month with another 45 percent believing it will be about the same.
No doubt strategists will continue to keep an eye on these numbers as well as polling on other key issues like health care, impeachment, and the Green New Deal as they work to craft their messaging. With this in mind, AR/Intel has launched a new weekly feature for subscribers that will dive into polling numbers and highlight the most important trends on key issues.