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It's NOT the economy, stupid!

If you've ever paid even the smallest bit of attention, you know the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid."...

Posted: Sep 18, 2018 8:18 AM
Updated: Sep 18, 2018 8:18 AM

If you've ever paid even the smallest bit of attention, you know the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid."

That line entered our political lexicon during the 1992 presidential campaign, when James Carville, a strategist for the presidential bid of then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, scrawled it on a whiteboard in Clinton's campaign headquarters.

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Political Figures - US

The message was simple -- and right: Voters care first, second and third about the economy, as understood by how they were feeling about their own financial well-being. Everything else was just noise.

And for the next three decades or so, that mantra has ruled electoral politics. How the economy is doing -- or is perceived to be doing -- will tell you everything you need to know about a candidate or a party's chances of winning.

Which brings us to the current moment -- and the current President: Donald Trump.

All economic indicators suggest things are roaring in the country. The unemployment rate in August was 3.9%. The Gross Domestic Product increased 4.2% in the second quarter of 2018. And yet Trump's job approval has dipped of late; in a new CNN-SSRS poll released earlier this month, just 36% approved of how Trump was handling the gig. (Trump's overall job approval was just over 40% in the Real Clear Politics average of polls.)

Why the disconnect? A new piece of data from Gallup provides the answer -- or at least an answer. Just 12% of people say that any aspect of the economy is the most important issue facing the country. That's the lowest score ever recorded for the economy on that question, which Gallup has been asking since 1991 in its current form.

What's replaced the economy as the most important issue? According to Gallup, it's "dissatisfaction with government/poor leadership." In the latest Gallup survey, 29% cited unhappiness with the government and its leaders as the country's most pressing problem.

That data comes amid increasingly public concerns from smart Republican strategists that the party isn't getting the credit on the economy it needs to head off a potentially disastrous result at the ballot box in 50 days.

"People think the economy is doing well, but that's not what they're voting on -- they're voting on the chaos of the guy in the White House," GOP pollster Glen Bolger told The New York Times over the weekend.

It doesn't take a political genius to see the writing on the wall here for Republicans. The 2018 election is shaping up as a straight referendum on a deeply unpopular President. Trump's inability -- and unwillingness -- to recede into the background or tone things down for the good of the party ensures that he will continue to overshadow everything else in voters' minds. And that includes the demonstrable successes of the economy.

The Point: The Gallup numbers are just another data point suggesting that Republicans are in for a very rough election, seven weeks and a day from today. Even more worrisome? Trump seems either oblivious to or ignorant of that very fact.

Read Monday's full edition of The Point newsletter, and sign up to get future editions delivered to your inbox.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 452268

Reported Deaths: 6100
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin938131490
Ramsey40370746
Dakota33353349
Anoka31193366
Washington20363231
Stearns17995189
St. Louis13857245
Scott1209197
Wright11723106
Olmsted1068375
Sherburne825766
Carver700138
Clay655582
Rice618070
Kandiyohi556572
Blue Earth545933
Crow Wing487778
Otter Tail460967
Chisago456436
Benton422287
Winona393048
Douglas377266
Nobles373946
Mower370829
Goodhue352661
Polk330559
McLeod326747
Beltrami314048
Morrison313545
Lyon304138
Becker288039
Itasca286443
Isanti284242
Carlton282543
Steele278110
Pine269214
Freeborn251523
Todd232630
Nicollet227537
Brown216934
Mille Lacs214945
Le Sueur212816
Cass209424
Meeker200933
Waseca191916
Wabasha17343
Martin171426
Roseau166217
Hubbard150138
Redwood140827
Houston139714
Renville137940
Dodge13714
Chippewa132032
Cottonwood128418
Fillmore12576
Wadena120517
Rock111212
Aitkin109233
Sibley10917
Faribault108316
Watonwan10688
Pennington100716
Kanabec98818
Pipestone95923
Yellow Medicine94216
Murray9056
Jackson87110
Swift84318
Pope7435
Stevens7078
Marshall70315
Clearwater68714
Lake66015
Lac qui Parle65716
Wilkin6309
Koochiching60210
Lincoln4892
Big Stone4663
Unassigned43768
Grant4358
Norman4248
Mahnomen4147
Kittson37320
Red Lake3194
Traverse2583
Lake of the Woods1951
Cook1150

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 309989

Reported Deaths: 4424
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk46587464
Linn17979279
Scott15787171
Black Hawk14037243
Woodbury13093181
Johnson1224652
Dubuque11535159
Pottawattamie9111115
Dallas905972
Story877838
Webster471577
Cerro Gordo471472
Sioux459157
Clinton456167
Warren456139
Marshall429862
Buena Vista396130
Muscatine394978
Des Moines390043
Plymouth352470
Wapello348498
Jasper330159
Lee322632
Marion308152
Jones274250
Henry266131
Carroll258034
Bremer249348
Crawford233524
Boone222017
Washington222033
Benton212250
Mahaska197237
Jackson194331
Tama189959
Dickinson188329
Kossuth178544
Delaware175236
Clay171421
Wright166424
Fayette165024
Hamilton162030
Buchanan161624
Winneshiek159720
Harrison157962
Hardin156730
Cedar155419
Clayton153649
Butler150824
Page146315
Floyd140836
Cherokee139927
Mills138417
Lyon137333
Poweshiek134524
Hancock131424
Allamakee130230
Iowa127422
Calhoun12339
Madison123210
Grundy122128
Jefferson122025
Winnebago121529
Mitchell116637
Louisa115730
Cass114743
Chickasaw113512
Appanoose112040
Sac112015
Emmet111232
Union110723
Humboldt106419
Shelby104727
Guthrie104024
Franklin103218
Unassigned10050
Palo Alto91711
Montgomery88024
Keokuk86126
Howard85019
Monroe81919
Clarke8087
Pocahontas78111
Ida75830
Davis70021
Greene6977
Adair69520
Monona67118
Lucas66410
Osceola64611
Worth6154
Taylor5989
Fremont5246
Van Buren50115
Decatur4954
Ringgold44811
Audubon4208
Wayne41821
Adams2983
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