Home 2020 Elections “Sabato’s Crystal Ball”: Economic Downturn, Negative Net Approval for Trump “would very...

“Sabato’s Crystal Ball”: Economic Downturn, Negative Net Approval for Trump “would very likely doom Trump’s chances of winning a second term”

There's uncertainty over Coronavirus' political impact, but "a major recession would likely result in an Electoral College landslide for Trump’s Democratic challenger"

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Sabato’s Crystal Ball” is out this morning with a new forecast for the 2020 presidential election, and it’s bad news for Trump…except in one, unlikely set of circumstances, and with the major caveat that “we are in truly uncharted territory, and it’s unclear how the public will respond electorally to an economic downturn forced by a pandemic.” With that, here’s the summary table, followed by a few key takeaways:

  • Right now, a major economic downturn in the U.S. is viewed as likely over the next two quarters or so. The problem for Trump is that, “in many election forecasting models…economic growth in the second quarter is a key predictor of the election results.”
  • “…an economic downturn in the second quarter, combined with a net approval rating in negative territory, would very likely doom Trump’s chances of winning a second term.”
  • “The only scenario here in which Trump would be favored to win a second term would be modest economic growth combined with a small improvement in his net approval rating, which has been stuck in the vicinity of -10 for many months according to the FiveThirtyEight average.”
  • “The model suggests that a major recession would likely result in an Electoral College landslide for Trump’s Democratic challenger, especially if it is accompanied by a further decline in the president’s approval rating.”