Gallup’s annual “Mood of the Nation” poll is out and some of the numbers are astonishing. This may be one of the best political bellwethers we have, given that people respond to the state of their own personal financial situation, unfiltered by media bias or ideology.
What Gallup found was good old -ashioned American optimism. Not only optimism now, but the future looks pretty darn good too.
The numbers are better than The Gipper’s, better than The Comeback Kid’s, better than The Lightbringer’s. They are, simply put, the best in history.
For the first time in its history, the Gallup “Mood of the Nation” economic survey found that 59% of people believe that they are “better off,” a trend that has soared under Trump.
It is higher than when President Ronald Reagan made his economy a campaign rallying cry and better than the so-called dot-com bubble under President Bill Clinton.
And Gallup found that those who feel that they are “worse off” are down to 20%, the lowest ever.
Interest rates are still near record lows, inflation is tamed, businesses are beating the bushes looking for workers, and wages — especially for low-income workers — are rising.
Democrats, who have spent the last few years trashing the economy and praying to Gaia for a recession, are screaming in an empty hall. No one is listening.
The survey follows several others that have showed public satisfaction with the economy. Just yesterday, Gallup reported a 63% satisfaction with the president’s handling of the economy, and calling it, “The highest economic approval rating not only for Trump, but for any president since George W. Bush enjoyed stratospheric job approval ratings in the first few months after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.”
What’s more, people are at “peak optimism” when asked about their future economic situation.
“In addition to U.S. adults’ highly positive report on their current financial situation, Americans are also expressing peak optimism about their future personal financial situation. About three in four U.S. adults (74%) predict they will be better off financially a year from now, the highest in Gallup’s trend since 1977,” said the survey.
It is the lot of presidents that they get too much blame for a bad economy and too much credit for a good economy. But it’s also true that a president’s policies can spur growth — or stifle it.
Barack Obama’s regulatory avalanche that put businesses in shackles and made it ruinously expensive to hire new workers might not have been solely responsible for the worse recovery from a recession in post World War II history. But it certainly didn’t help.
Enter Trump and his mania for deregulation and his hiring of people who shared that vision. You don’t need to be a Nobel Prize-winning economist to see the results — even if Paul Krugman is still asleep, hungover from the Clinton boom. The breadth and depth of regulatory retrenchment are astonishing.
There’s a partisan divide in the numbers, but far less sharp than on other issues. Some Democrats might be unwilling to give Trump credit for anything and some Republicans may not be capable of criticizing the president.
No matter. When people enter the polling booth next November, the choice they face will be pretty clear. Do we change horses in the middle of the stream when things are going so well? In past elections, re-elected presidents have been able to answer that question in the negative.