Nearly two-thirds of people in the United States say their financial situation has not improved since President Donald Trump was elected, a new survey has found, a new warning sign for Trump’s re-election bid in 2020.
Some 31 percent of Americans say they are now worse off financially than they were at the start of Trump’s presidency, according to a poll of likely voters conducted by the Financial Times and the Peter G Peterson Foundation.
Another 33 percent say there has been no change in their financial position since Trump’s inauguration in January 2017. Only 35 percent say they are better off.
Persistently slow growth in wages seems to be a main reason for economic frustration, with 36 percent of those who said they were worse off blaming their income levels. Another 19 percent pointed to personal or family debts as the reason they felt worse off.
Adjusted for inflation and other factors, wage gains have been minimal, stagnant or falling for US workers since the great recession in 2008 and 2009.
A dip in public confidence in the economy could be an electoral disaster for Trump. As the Republican president runs for re-election in 2020, he has repeatedly touted the robust health of America’s economy.
The economy is crucial to any president seeking a second term, but few have wrapped themselves in the issue as tightly as Trump.
The president has increasingly expressed anxiety to advisers that a downturn would harm his re-election chances. He has lashed out repeatedly at Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for not lowering interest rates further and faster.
Trump has also complained that the news media and his political opponents are cheerleading for a recession to take him down.
The new poll suggests the economic expansion and stock market rally during Trump’s presidency has benefited only a small segment of the US electorate.
The survey also shows the nation is sharply divided over Trump’s economic policies, with 45 percent saying they have helped the US economy and 45 percent saying they have hurt.