December 15th, 2015

The 5 key macro indicators of Trump’s political fortunes (revisited)

Labor Day is the traditional kickoff of presidential election campaigns. Before that, only die-hard political pundits and devotees pay attention to the election. It is with that in mind we revisit the economic criteria for Trump's political fortunes that I outlined just after his inauguration (see Forget politics! Here are the 5 key macro indicators of Trump’s political fortunes). I followed up a year later with an interim report card (see Trump's one year report card).

While Trump likes to measure his performance by the stock market, the stock market isn't the economy, and the economy isn't the stock market. Historically, the market has shown itself be neutral towards Republicans and Democrats in the White House.

Instead, I offer the Newt Gingrich criteria, which he laid out in a NYT interview just after Trump's inauguration:
“Ultimately this is about governing,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has advised Mr. Trump. “There are two things he’s got to do between now and 2020: He has to keep America safe and create a lot of jobs. That’s what he promised in his speech. If he does those two things, everything else is noise.”

“The average American isn’t paying attention to this stuff,” he added. “They are going to look around in late 2019 and early 2020 and ask themselves if they are doing better. If the answer’s yes, they are going to say, ‘Cool, give me some more.’”
The Newt Gingrich criteria is a variation of Ronald Reagan's "are you better off than you were four years ago" campaign slogan. The economy is one of Trump's perceived strengths. In survey after survey, voters consistently trust Trump than Biden on the ability to deal with the economy.

The full post can be found here.

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