Politics with Amy Walter: The Trump Administration Hopes "It's the Economy, Stupid" Holds True in 2020

May 03, 2019

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"It’s the economy, stupid."

James Carville is the Democratic strategist who famously coined that phrase while working on Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992. He meant people vote with their pocketbooks. In other words, when the economy is strong, the incumbent wins. That should be good news for the Trump administration because by many measures the economy is doing great. It grew at an unexpectedly high pace of 3 percent in the first-quarter of this year. The stock market is surging. Wages are up. Unemployment is down. Yet despite all this, the President's approval rating is still stuck in the low to mid-40s, putting the old cliche "it's the economy, stupid," to the test. 

Kevin Hassett, the Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, says that he expects the economic growth we have been seeing to continue this year at an even faster rate. We get a fact-check on that from Heather Long, Washington Post's economics correspondent, who tells us about what she sees as the biggest problem facing the U.S. economy today: rising inequality. Plus, she brings us up to speed on Donald Trump's picks for the Federal Reserve. 

Denise Murray, a farmer in Wisconsin, talks about selling her dairy cows because their upkeep had gotten too expensive. Mike Gallagher, a Republican congressman representing the 8th district of Wisconsin, explains how the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum have impacted farmers like Murray in his state, and whether he thinks his constituents will still support the president in 2020. 

Scott Clement, the polling director at the Washington Post, tells us about a new Washington-ABC poll that shows that most people feel that our economic system benefits those in power. He says this could be a problem for the president. 

Lastly, Lynn Vavreck, the co-author of "Identity Crisis: The 2016 Presidential Campaign and the Battle for the Meaning of America," says that actually, there may be some issues that are even important to voters than the economy.

Read Amy Walter's take here.