In 1992 James Carville told Bill Clinton, “It’s the Economy, Stupid!” It still is.

Feb..24, 2020
Bob Adelmann

James Carville posted the following sign on the wall of Bill Clinton's campaign headquarters when he was vying to oust George H. W. Bush from the Oval Office in 1992: "Change vs. more of the same"; "Don't forget health care"; and the one that still resonates today, "It's the economy, stupid."

Two polls released late last week prove the point.

On Thursday, Gallup released the results of its latest polls showing that the president's approval rating jumped five percentage points since early January. This was driven not only by higher approval by Republicans, but, more importantly, by independents who gave him their highest approval rate since Gallup has been asking them.

These results go along with Gallup's noting that the level of national satisfaction is the highest the pollster has seen since February 2005, 15 years ago. More than three out of five of those polled not only rate current economic conditions as either good or excellent, but that they expect the economy to continue to get even better.

The pollster also noted an increase in the percentage of Americans identifying themselves as Republicans, while the percentage of those calling themselves independents declined.

This is, according to Gallup, translating into greatly improved chances that the president will be reelected in November:

Americans are more positive about the state of the nation than they have been in over a decade, and Trump and the GOP appear to be benefiting….

The significance of the trend is clear. An approval rating near 50% greatly increases Trump's chances of being re-elected, a prospect that seemed unlikely with his approval stuck near 40% for most of his term.

Right behind Gallup were the polling results conducted by The Hill and polling firm HarrisX that were released late Thursday night. That poll showed "that a wide majority of Americans are open to voting for President Donald Trump for a second term this November … a significant increase from last year."


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The poll showed that the percentage of registered voters saying they were open to voting for Trump in November jumped eight full percentage points to 62 percent compared to 54 percent a year ago. Conversely, those who said they would never vote for him dropped from 46 percent a year ago to 38 percent now.

It's the economy, said The Hill: "The state of the economy proved to be the main reason voters would reelect Trump, at 19 percent, up seven percentage points from [March 2019]." B. J. Martino, a Republican pollster at The Tarrance Group, agreed: "A strong economy combined with a dubious field of Democrat [presidential contenders] is providing a clear opportunity for the Trump campaign. The president can now make his case to a segment of voters who only a year ago said they would never vote for him."

The biggest decrease among those who a year ago said they would never vote for Trump were among independent voters, declining from 51 percent in 2019 to 37 percent now.

Dritan Nesho, head of HarrisX which did the polling for The Hill, said that the "polls therefore suggest [they] give the advantage to Trump … versus very liberal Democratic policies like the Green New Deal or 'Medicare for All.'"

Carville was right in 1992. He's still right. Trump's reelection chances continue to grow right along with the economy.

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Sources:

Background on James Carville, Bill Clinton's campaign advisor in 1992

The Hill: Poll: 62% of voters open to reelecting Trump, up from last year

Western Journal: Poll: More Americans Approve of Trump Than Disapprove for First Time Ever

Gallup: Trump Job Approval Steady at 49%

The Blaze: James Carville rips DNC as Bernie Sanders wins Nevada: 'One of the truly stupid parties in the world'

Western Journal: Poll: More Americans Approve of Trump Than Disapprove for First Time Ever

The Tarrance Group

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