Trump Poised To Win in Landslide in 2020, Economic Experts Say
If the presidential election were held today, President Trump would likely sweep to victory in a landslide — just like he did last time.
That prediction is based on “multiple economic models with strong track records of picking presidential winners and losses,” Politico said on Friday.
Crediting low unemployment, robust job creation, rising paychecks, lower taxes and stable inflation and gas prices, the models show Trump in the catbird seat heading into his re-election bid.
“The economy is just so damn strong right now and by all historic precedent the incumbent should run away with it,” said Donald Luskin, chief investment officer of TrendMacrolytics, a research firm whose model correctly predicted Trump’s 2016 win when most opinion polls did not. “I just don’t see how the blue wall could resist all that.”
Models maintained by economists and market strategists like Luskin tend to ignore election polls and personal characteristics of candidates. Instead, they begin with historical trends and then build in key economic data including growth rates, wages, unemployment, inflation and gas prices to predict voting behavior and election outcomes.
Yale economist Ray Fair, who pioneered this kind of modeling, also shows Trump winning by a fair margin in 2020 based on the economy and the advantage of incumbency.
“Even if you have a mediocre but not great economy — and that’s more or less consensus for between now and the election — that has a Trump victory and by a not-trivial margin,” winning 54 percent of the popular vote to 46 for the Democrat, he said. Fair’s model also predicted a Trump win in 2016 though it missed on Trump’s share of the popular vote.
Trump may not have defeated Hillary Clinton in the popular vote in 2016, but he did win in a landslide in the Electoral College, 304-227.
The economy has been steadily on the rise since Trump took office Jan. 210, 2017. The U.S. economy expanded by 3.1% last year, jumping 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Trump said the rise would’ve been higher if the Federal Reserve had stopped raising rates.
“If we didn’t have somebody raising interest rates and do quantitative tightening we would have been over 4 [percent] instead of at 3.1 [percent]” in terms of economic growth, Trump told Fox Business. “The world is slowing, but we’re not slowing.”
Trump on Friday applauded the 3.1% rise, the best growth since 2005.
3.1 GDP FOR THE YEAR, BEST NUMBER IN 14 YEARS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 22, 2019
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics and a regular Trump critic, told Politico that he’s “been road-testing a dozen different economic models for the 2020 race” and that, at this point, “Trump wins in all 12 — and quite comfortably in most of them.”
“If the election were held today, Trump would win according to the models and pretty handily,” Zandi said. “In three or four of them it would be pretty close. He’s got low gas prices, low unemployment and a lot of other political variables at his back. The only exception is his popularity, which matters a lot. If that falls off a cliff it would make a big difference.” The Moody’s models look at economic trends at the state level and incorporate some political variables including a president’s approval rating.
On the other hand, a lot of things can change between now and election day, and Politico notes: “The Moody’s approach performed well in recent presidential elections, but missed the 2016 result in part because it did not account for a potential drop in Democratic turnout in key swing states. Zandi is trying to correct for that now before rolling out a new model sometime this summer.”