Despite the pandemic and polls, Trump remains the champion of the economy

Despite the pandemic and polls, Trump remains the champion of the economy

Donald Trump, at the Republican convention. (EFE)

Donald Trump, at the Republican convention. (EFE)

President Donald Trump has always portrayed himself as a ‘doer’: the person who, rather than talking, executes, and who would carry the practical principles of private enterprise to Washington’s bureaucratic ‘swamp’. To those who pointed out his shortcomings or shortcomings, Trump always responded with the economy: 2017 tax cut and successive deregulations in all spheres brought unemployment to the lowest half a century ago, boosted GDP growth, and shielded consumer confidence, the essence of the North American economy. A prosperous landscape that the coronavirus pandemic has destroyed with one blow.In just five months, unemployment has soared since the Great Depression, retail sales plummeted this spring (80% for the textile sector), bankruptcies grew 43% year-on-year in June and second-quarter GDP had the largest contraction in its history, almost 33%. When the situation began to improve in early June, the pandemic spread through the south and west of the country, pouring sand into its economic gear.

In recent weeks, however, some indicators have been coming out of the hole and the president clings to them to carry out his management. “There have never been three months in which we have put more people to work, more than nine million people,” she said. Donald Trump, in reference to the rebound in the labor sector. And he was absolutely right. Only, even so, unemployment is still three times higher than in February.

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Efe”Where they (the Democrats) see darkness,” he stressed, “we see the greatness of the United States,” said Pence, countering after Joe Biden’s words.

Another positive vector, as the White House reminds us, is the New York Stock Exchange. Corporate actions they have once again displayed their independence. The hit at the beginning of the pandemic was followed by a rebound that has ended up setting all-time highs. Since March 23, the S&P 500 is up 58% and the Nasdaq up 75%. Apple, for example, has become the first company in history to exceed two billion dollars in trading.

“Will do it again”

The economy is also playing a leading role at the Republican National Convention, which is held Monday through Thursday and is the Trump campaign’s opportunity to amplify its message. “My father built a buoyant economy once, and believe me, he will do it again.”stated Tiffany Trump, the president’s youngest daughter. “I ask you to judge it based on the results and not on rhetoric.” Despite the debacle caused by the pandemic, which has interrupted nearly 11 years of continued growth, Trump’s reputation as an economic manager is largely intact. According a poll from the ‘New York Times’ and Survey Monkey, confidence in Trump’s economic management is growing and is higher than those enjoyed by Barack Obama or George W. Bush just before his re-election. Around 50% of citizens approve of their performance.

Furthermore, the economic damage is not equally distributed throughout the country. Rural regions, where Trump tends to enjoy much greater support, have been less disrupted by both the virus and its economic impact. At least, this is reflected in a survey among small entrepreneurs in these regions. Eight out of 10 Republicans who have been unemployed defend his administration. Conversely, the most affected social groups, for example, Latino and African-American minorities in large cities, are predominantly Democrats.

In these political circumstances, as fired and virulent as in a period of war, few voters change their minds

Another factor may be polarization: those who are with Trump are with him through thick and thin, as reflected by the strength, practically unchangeable, of his electoral base of 35-40%. In these political circumstances, as fierce and virulent as in a period of war, few voters change their minds. The percentage of Republicans who sympathize with Joe Biden, for example, is just 7%.

President Trump has been shaping his figure as a ‘great negotiator’ for decades. He did it in the New York tabloids, where he inaugurated skyscrapers and exposed his way of life in detail, and he did it during the 14 seasons of his television show ‘The Apprentice’, in which he was an unscrupulous businessman. An image that has been widely questioned by numerous investigations into his stumbles and bankruptcies, but which has proven to be politically useful.

The Republican is behind Joe Biden in major national polls, with an average difference of 7.6 points, and in many of the key states. A little over two months before the elections, the economy remains one of its main weapons, and its effectiveness may also depend on the extent to which the rebound in recent weeks continues. Six out of 10 economists surveyed by Axios They believe that the US economy will not recover, at least, until 2022.

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Argemino Barro. New YorkAll polls predict Trump’s defeat, and Trump, who has refused to say whether or not he will accept the results, has been sowing mistrust in the mail vote for months.

The Republican convention is displaying an unusual image of Trump. On Monday night, it had a dark and combative tone, with accusations on the left of wanting to destroy the national values ​​of the United States, but on Tuesday we could see the president officiate a ceremony of granting citizenship to different immigrants: the first time that an official act of these characteristics is included in a convention. The stage was also turned over to various Republicans of color, such as Daniel cameron, 34, Kentucky’s first black attorney general. Trump granted a presidential pardon to African-American Jon Ponder, a prisoner, former bank robber, turned activist.

Trump’s strategy, which has an unprecedented dominance of the party machinery and which use the white house state pageantry, may be aimed at regaining support from the peripheries of cities. The America of the white fence houses where the president’s habitual rudeness may have caused wear and tear.

Sometimes, summer conventions, supported by generous television coverage and a barrage of campaign advertisements, they carry the party’s message to places where it would not otherwise reach. Apathetic voters wake up and there is a political momentum; the necessary pull in the final stretch of the elections. This was true for the two Bushes, father and son, who lagged behind in the polls until their respective conventions were held in 1988 and 2004.

But 2020 is a different year, with a more calcified and obtuse electorate, and a series of unknowns (the pandemic, the economy or the racial protests) reactivated in Wisconsin by the shooting in the back of an unarmed African American, which can explode for or against Donald Trump. A president who won the 2016 election by the thinnest margins in a handful of states, and now, if we trust the surveys, has a difficult road ahead.


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