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For much of 2017 and early 2018, GOP consultants of a certain age would tell us that this election had the same look, feel and smell of 2006; the last time Republicans had a terrible midterm election. The President was unpopular, the Democrats were motivated and GOP members were retiring rather than opting to run for re-election in what was shaping up to be an awful, no good, terrible year.
Today, however, there are plenty of signs that 2018 isn’t like 2006. For, one, Trump’s job approval rating in the Gallup survey is 45 percent, eight points higher than the dismal 37 percent where George W. Bush was sitting at this point in 2006.
Gallup - Satisfaction - Direction - Country - High
Gallup also found that satisfaction with the direction of the country at a 12-year high. A marked improvement from 2006. “After a January 2006 reading of 36%,” writes Gallup’s Jim Norman, “satisfaction failed to surpass 35% the rest of that year, and with the economic calamities that followed over the next few years, it descended into single digits in two 2008 polls and has subsequently stayed mostly below 30%.”
Much of the growth in satisfaction, not surprisingly, is coming from Republicans. But, independent voters are also more optimistic than they were earlier this year.
Perceptions - Economy - Lot - Politics - Economy
The same is true with perceptions about the economy. I talk a lot about the politics of the economy with Jay Campbell, a Democratic pollster with Hart Research, who also does a lot of survey work for CNBC. When I asked him about rising optimism about the state of the economy he told me that it’s more a reflection of partisanship than anything else. “Republicans have made up their mind that the economy is great — because of Trump,” he wrote. “Democrats have made up their mind that it’s not that great — because of...
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