U.S. President Donald Trump made an announcement after he and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Washington, U.S. on October 2, 2020, in this still image taken a video posted on Trump’s Twitter page.
Donald Trump via Twitter | @realDonaldTrump
President Donald Trump’s path to re-election largely depends on the trajectory of the coronavirus and its impact on the national economy, and he recently received disturbing news on both.
Relatively lackluster employment growth in September, coupled with coronavirus infection who hit the president and several others in its orbit created a disturbing landscape less than a month away from confronting former Vice President Joe Biden.
With polls showing Asset losing ground, he can hardly afford any other negative signs.
“You can demonstrate more and more clearly that the economy is starting to stabilize, and the job market is showing it,” said Greg Valliere, chief US policy strategist at AFG Investments. “He has both a slowing economy and now a renewed focus on Covid, and the two are not playing to his strength just yet.”
As both issues have played out over the past few days, the gap between Trump and Biden is widening.
Biden now holds an 8.3 percentage point lead over Trump, according to the latest RealClearPolitics consensus. This division has widened somewhat in recent days, as an NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll released on Sunday showed Biden a 14-point advantage.
There will be no more significant data points by the time the president is elected to showcase his job creation skills.
While he can brag about the 11.4 million jobs that have been recovered since the economic shutdown in March and April, the September nonfafrm payroll counts was less than half of the nearly 1.5 million added in August. The unemployment rate fell to 7.9%. 14.7% in April, but it’s still the highest for any sitting president since at least 1948.
At the same time, weekly jobless claims have been stranded above 800,000, and its Republican Party negotiators cannot find common ground with Congressional Democrats for another stimulus bill to bring back more jobs.
Trying to change the subject
Trump was looking to galvanize his base with what will likely be a controversial but pleasant battle in the Supreme Court over the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett, but the future of that seems less certain now.
“He was desperately hoping to change the subject of Covid to something else, and that something else was the Supreme Court,” Valliere said. “Now it comes down to the one story that Trump doesn’t want to spend a lot of time on, and that’s Covid.”
To be sure, not all the news is bad, whether it’s on the economic front or the disease front.
Most other economic data is pretty strong, and third-quarter GDP growth could reach an annualized rate of 33%, according to the latest projection from Bank of America Global Research. Housing data has been strong, and recent ISM services and manufacturing indicators show growth is picking up.
However, what is mostly happening in the second quarter, outside of real estate, is a catch-up from the steep drop in the second quarter. With winter approaching and fourth quarter growth likely to show a marked slowdown, Trump’s economic case may weaken.
“There’s a pretty long list that shows the recovery is underway. My concern is that there has been some slowdown,” said Steve Friedman, senior macroeconomist at MacKay Shields. “Ultimately, only as long as the economy can improve is the virus still a risk.”
The economy is now largely in the hands of the parties debating the next stimulus. Friedman said this round will need to focus on the core elements of the CARES Act, such as corporate forgivable loans and direct cash payments to displaced workers, as well as helping state and local governments run out of money. ‘silver.
If a deal is made, Trump can use it to give hope that the nascent recovery can continue.
“The longer this pandemic lasts, the more hesitant fiscal policy, the more likely there is permanent damage to the economy,” Friedman said. “My big concern is that you really have scars on the economy so the medium term growth rate is going to be lower.”
Comparisons with 2016
On the coronavirus front, the level of cases remains high but hospitalizations have only increased slightly and the trend of deaths continues to decline. Trump’s contraction of the disease could reduce either way in terms of public perception, although a guided tour outside Walter Reed Medical Center to greet supporters can only fuel the idea that the president has been too cavalier about the pandemic.
If Trump’s short political history has proven anything, it’s that he’s resilient. He followed Hillary Clinton in numerous polls just before the November 2016 election, and a surreptitiously taped conversation shortly before the vote in which he spoke of the sexual harassment of women seemed likely to do so.
RealClearPolitics, in fact, is tracking the 2020 poll to find out how it compares to the last race at the same time.
In the main battlefield states, Trump actually holds a slight advantage over Biden over the way he ran against Clinton. However, Biden is 3 points ahead of Clinton, and his net favorability is also 3 points higher with a 16 point net advantage in what voters think of the Democrat’s advantage over Trump.
These numbers indicate that this race may not follow the scenario of 2016 in which Trump narrowly lost in the popular vote but won a substantial victory in the Electoral College.
“President Trump was able to overcome some nasty October surprises four years ago, but 2020 is not 2016, and his Covid-19 contraction comes at a perilous time for his re-election and the race for majority control in the Senate, “Beacon Research wrote in its daily memo Monday. “The biggest problem for Trump is that with the dwindling days to election day, the focus on Covid and himself becomes a huge opportunity cost when he sought to change the dynamics of the race. “