Finley: Trump trumps the economy
A long-held truism of politics is that people vote their pocketbooks. If the economy is growing, voters don't change horses, absent a serious national security threat.
That should mean that Republicans have nothing to worry about in this fall's election.
Economic performance is rosier than it has been in a decade. Household incomes are finally rising, unemployment is at record lows across every demographic group, and even those on the lower rungs of the economic ladder are seeing their prospects improve.
The good news is largely due to Republican leadership at both the state and national levels and policies put in place to unleash the economy.
And yet, if the polls are right, the GOP is on its way to being washed away this fall by a big, blue wave.
If Republicans aren't rewarded for the success of the economy in the midterm elections, the reason is sitting in the Oval Office.
Whatever good Donald Trump has done to raise the prosperity of Americans — and I believe, until he launched the trade war, his economic agenda was sound -— he's undone with his mouth, his tweets and his too frequent forays into the bizarre.
Any other Republican president posting the same positive growth numbers would be enjoying a healthy favorability rating and carrying the party to victory. That's particularly true when coupled with progress overseas, as evidenced by the negotiations underway in North Korea, restored trust with our eastern European allies, the vanquishing of ISIS and withdrawal from the hideously one-sided Iranian deal.
But despite impressive consumer confidence and spending levels, 50 percent of Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction, while 42 percent say its course is just fine.
A rope of anxiety is running through the country because of Trump's chaotic administering of the government.
Even those who recognize the value of a pro-growth tax and regulatory climate say they will shun Republicans in favor of Democrats who pledge to undo all of what's been done to boost the economy, and then add even more taxes and regulations.
So disdainful are they of Trump that they are willing to indulge the Democratic Party's dalliance with socialism.
In Michigan, Democrats are campaigning on a platform in direct conflict with the successful agenda put in place over eight years by Gov. Rick Snyder to pull Michigan out of its Lost Decade.
The reality of Trump dulls their memory of what happens when the state is in the hands of a governor who demonizes business and eschews fiscal responsibility.
Republicans are trying to tout the economic gains under their watch, but the message has little resonance. Perhaps it's because the media has all but ignored positive news during the Trump era. Or maybe they're legitimately concerned we're living in a bubble that could burst with the stroke of the president's pen.
Whatever the reason, they are not rewarding Republicans for a surging economy, but instead seem eager to punish the GOP for giving them Donald Trump.
Trump is the only issue that matters in this election. The intensity of the emotions evoked by the president trumps everything else.
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