Americans are losing confidence in the Trump economy
Six in ten Americans said they believe the United States will enter a recession within the next year, with a majority blaming the potential downturn directly on Trump’s policies. Vanity Fair reports in its article Americans are losing confidence in the Trump economy that Donald Trump has pinned his reelection hopes on two factors: the loyalty of his true believers, who will stick with him no matter what, and the economy, which is supposed to be strong enough to convince the rest of the Republican base to hold their noses and vote him back in. But amid troubling signs of a recession, the president’s best pitch to voters could be crumbling before his eyes.
Voters certainly seem to see it that way. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll Tuesday suggested a majority of Americans are losing faith in Trump’s handling of the economy, which has been strong through the first half of his presidency following a recovery during Barack Obama’s administration. Six in ten Americans surveyed said they believe the United States will enter a recession within the next year, with a majority blaming the potential downturn directly on Trump’s policies, including his trade war with China. The economic fears are weighing on his overall approval numbers, dropping him from a high point of his presidency—a still paltry 44% in June—back down to 38%. Nearly 60% disapprove of his job performance, according to the poll, suggesting he has an uphill climb with the moderates he’ll almost certainly need to hold onto the presidency in next year’s election.
Trump has spent his presidency claiming the strong economy as his own, ignoring or dismissing the fact that, like so many other things in his life, much of it was inherited. But with his policies putting stress on the economy, he could find himself inextricably linked to it for the worse. Most Americans still rank the economy as “excellent” or “good” at the moment, according to the poll. But a majority surveyed are concerned that we are perhaps in the calm before the storm, with a recession looming and Trump’s tariffs set to hit their wallets. By a slight edge, more Americans now disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy than approve of it, 47% to 46%.
Trump’s overall approval rating has always been underwater, but his numbers around the economy have been relatively respectable—earlier this summer, his economic approval rating was 51%. That even that number has now dropped may reflect a dip in consumer confidence following a stunning nosedive in the markets and the appearance of an inverted yield curve last month. It will certainly spike fears among the Trump reelection campaign, which has been banking on a robust economy to appeal to Republicans and moderates who may be willing to overlook the president’s racism, corruption, and plain incompetence if he can help their pocketbooks. If that argument fails, he could find himself with little but his cult of personality to recommend him—and vulnerable to Democrats, some of whom have already been arguing on the campaign trail that the Trump economy has not been working for everybody. Trump, of course, has brushed off concerns. During one of his routine tantrums against the media on Monday, he accused the press of being “extremely upset at how well our Country is doing” and said “there is NO Recession, much to the regret of the LameStream Media!”