Generally, I am a supporter of Robert W. Merry. And I support his analysis and conclusions seven times in ten. Not this time, however.
The Democrat candidates now being presented to Americans will fuel a long-running, deep recession and stock market bust should any of the group defeat Mr. Trump. Small business owners, their skilled workers, retirees and those thrifty Americans looking to retire over the next decade will be savaged.
Poll numbers? How did these folk call the last election? The polls were dead wrong. How can the views of pollsters be relied upon for 2020 guidance?
“Gentleman” Bill Clinton won re-election.
Ok then, just a few of my quick thoughts on Mr. Merry’s analysis. But President Bernie Sanders? Really?
Robert W. Merry tells American voters (abridged):
Donald Trump will win reelection, or not, based primarily on his performance in office. The voters will ask, in their collective judgment, such questions as: has he scored at least one major accomplishment in domestic policy? Has he maintained strong economic growth? Has he avoided major foreign policy failures? Has he presided over a major foreign policy victory? Is he scarred by scandal? Are Americans better off than they were before his inauguration? Is the country better positioned in the world?
Looking at the Trump presidency through the prism of such questions, it is possible to produce a kind of preliminary report card. Recognizing that the voters won’t render their own grades for more than a year, we can still compile a general overview of the president’s likely standing when the votes are counted. This overview suggests that he resides upon a knife’s edge of political fate. Events between now and November of next year could easily push him into defeat, though he could also squeak through to victory. But defeat is more likely.
Throughout his presidency, his approval rating, based on the aggregate numbers pulled together by the political web site FiveThirtyEight, has hovered between 39 percent and 43 percent. This doesn’t mean he can’t get up to the 50 percent or so needed for reelection.
Further, state-by-state poll numbers indicate that the president has lost considerable ground in key states needed for reelection.
Trump has demonstrated a vague sense of this opportunity, but he never seemed to grasp its complexities and nuances or show any ability to forge a coherent strategy to make it a reality. The result: an overall grade of C. It would be a gentleman’s C if Trump were a gentleman. The question is whether the voters will grade on a curve.
Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century.
Read more from Merry here.