The economy is all Trump has left to run on — and even that poses serious problems for him

The economy is all Trump has left to run on — and even that poses serious problems for him
Royalty-free stock photo ID: 546595342 HERSHEY, PA - DECEMBER 15, 2016: President-Elect Donald Trump points straight toward the crowd as he concludes his speech at a "Thank You Tour" rally held at the Giant Center.

Donald Trump's only positive issue worthy of touting as a reason for re-election is an economy that just keeps plugging along. Other than that, people largely weren't impressed and mostly disliked the GOP tax cut for the rich (separately from the growing economy), they don't like Trump's handling of health care, and whether you're an immigration hardliner or a humanitarian, Trump's complete incompetence at managing the crisis at the border has been an utterly unconscionable and statistical failure.

All of these issues were teased out in an ABC/Washington Post poll released this week, but there's a twist: the economy actually might come back to bite Trump in the butt. The survey showed that large portions of both Democrats and independents believe the economy is now stacked in favor people already "in power." Fully 80 percent of Democratic voters believe that, while two-thirds of independents do—making that belief true for a solid 60 percent of registered voters overall. That populist sentiment seems ripe for exploitation by Democrats, who can argue that the GOP tax overhaul only made economic inequities worse.

As with almost every issue, most Republican voters remain in their hermetically sealed bubble on the issue, with 65 percent saying the country's economic system mainly benefits all people (only 32 percent say otherwise).

The economy is still Trump's biggest calling card, with 42 percent saying it makes them "more likely" to vote Trump versus 32 percent saying it makes their support for him "less likely." But it's no silver bullet, given voters’ overall dissatisfaction with the system and disdain for the tax law. Additionally, Trump is underwater on the other key issues he has tried to address: a 42 percent plurality of voters say his immigration policies make them less likely to vote Trump (only 34 percent say more likely); and a 38 percent plurality say Trump's abysmal handling of health care makes them less likely to vote for him, versus just 25 percent saying it's a reason to support him.

None of that polling is particularly promising for Trump—and it gives Democrats a lot to chew on as they work to craft their messaging for 2020.


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