Let's open with all of the good news, beginning with new data from Gallup showing that American voters are historically optimistic about the state of the US job market. With the unemployment rate plummeting to five-decade lows, strong public sentiment along these lines shouldn't be surprising -- but it nonetheless proves that even in an age of hyper-polarized partisanship, people recognize positive results when they see them. Seventy-one percent of Americans don't agree on much these days, but they agree on this:
*Biden stump speech: The economy is growing but people aren't feeling it!— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) May 21, 2019
*People in multiple surveys: Yes we are.
Confidence in U.S. job market hits highest level (71%) since Gallup first started asking this question. https://t.co/lqGFpYVnB5
The point about Biden is a good one. Biden is simultaneously trying to downplay the undeniable and robust economic gains by pretending that people aren't experiencing the benefits, while also claiming credit for the progress on behalf of the Obama administration. In a major applause line during his official announcement speech over the weekend, Biden quipped that Trump inherited the roaring economy, just like he inherited everything else in his life. This is laughable revisionism. Trump inherited the slowest American recovery since World War II from his predecessors, whose wasteful, anti-growth policies handcuffed the economy. As promised, Trump and the Republicans cut taxes for the overwhelming majority of taxpayers and reduced burdensome regulations, unleashing job creation and GDP growth. The outcomes speak for themselves:
??5.8 MILLION new jobs— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) May 22, 2019
??Enacted the largest tax cuts & reform in American history
??Rebuilt our military
??Unemployment at a near 50yr low
??Unemployment for African Americans & Hispanic Americans at lowest in history
??Wages rising at the fastest pace in nearly a decade
On the subject of wages, contra liberal messaging, conservative policies are not leaving lower-income Americans behind. For all the obsessive Democratic rhetoric about "the rich," look who's benefitting:
Low-wage workers are enjoying the fastest wage growth. Chart by Goldman Sachs. pic.twitter.com/7UhSjBRuWp— Michael R. Strain (@MichaelRStrain) May 20, 2019
Biden can try to steal credit for the growth and prosperity fostered by the party and policies he opposes, but Americans aren't buying it. Polling from last October showed that by a two-to-one margin, the electorate attributes the current economic success to Trump, not Obama. That was more than half a year ago. There's a reason why President Trump's job approval on the economy is quite strong, far outpacing his top line approval numbers. I'll leave you with the bad news. Typically, a leader presiding over a historically superb economy would be pretty popular and well-positioned to win a second term. And yet:
Early days yet, but the strong opposition to Trump's re-elect remains historically high. pic.twitter.com/J7mEhGQjZ6— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) May 22, 2019
All sorts of caveats apply, including the reality that dynamics often change when the election becomes a choice between two people, rather than a vague referendum on the incumbent. And the two first-term presidents in the "best" shape on this metric -- George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter -- both ended up losing, while the three in the "worst" shape all went on to secure four more years. That being said, having an outright majority telling pollsters that they'll definitely vote against you is not a healthy space to occupy.