It is the common understanding that American elections are determined based on how the electorate feels about the economy. Basically, if the electorate feels the country is economically going the right direction it will vote to keep the incumbents in office. As we come upon the midterms it is commonly accepted that as long as the economy remains strong, the Republicans have little to fear. The economy is strong and if we are to believe the wisdom of the “it’s the economy stupid” then Congress will remain in GOP hands.
Let’s look at this closer.
The tax cuts are showing results in the pocket books of American voters. This cannot be denied. More money in the pockets of the electorate shows them a strong economy. Unemployment across various spectrums is also down, further empowering the Republican incumbents. And as if that wasn’t enough, the repeal of the individual mandate takes affect this tax period. Many voters are planning for their taxes now. For those who feel that individual mandate is an unfair tax any thought of Democrats pushing government healthcare mandates is a deal breaker.
The strong economy likely ensures the Republicans remain in control of Congress.
We are about three months away from the midterms. Although Donald Trump’s trade wars has some voters concerned, for the most part the affected electorate has bought into the notion that to give America fair trade deals requires a little bit of pain today. Although companies, like Cummins, are concerned, the true effects of the retaliatory tariffs won’t begin to be felt until later in the year.
By that time, the midterms will be over.
There are also the rising oil prices putting pressures on consumers and rising interest rates that may impact future business investments. These issues take time to fully trickle down to the voter thus the likelihood of these getting voters to look at alternatives remains small.
Thus, the likelihood that these issues affect the midterm elections remains nonexistent.
But, there is always a but.
The country has seldom been divided as it is now. It is not a simple case of political tribalism as evidenced by the continued vitriol against Donald Trump. The Vietnam War was divisive, and it led to serious political discord. However, it took years to grow across America.
From day one, Donald Trump has been under a sustained attack by part of the country. It has been constant and angry, even under a strong economy.
Thus, the question everyone should be asking themselves today is what will happen when the economy tanks? What then? Will the anti-Trump anger boil over?