Trump in a landslide? This historically accurate model predicts exactly that

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President Donald Trump has a love/hate relationship with polls, surveys and predictions. He loves the ones that paint him in a positive light, and, of course, he hates all those “fake” ones that don’t.

He’s going to absolutely adore this one.

According to Moody’s Analytics, Trump is headed toward another four years in the White House. And, if the numbers are right, it won’t even be close.

In fact, his Electoral College victory could very well be wider than the 304-227 margin he enjoyed over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Since 1980, Moody’s has managed to nail the outcome every time but once — like many, it didn’t see Trump coming.

“In our post-mortem of the 2016 presidential election model,” the report said, “we determined that unexpected turnout patterns were one of the factors that contributed to the model’s first incorrect election prediction.” Here’s Moody’s track record, including a 2016 adjustment for the turnout variable:

Will it return to its winning ways? The team takes into account how consumers feel about their finances, the performance of the stock market SPX, +0.18% and their job prospects. Essentially, today, they’re feeling pretty good.

“Under the current Moody’s Analytics baseline economic outlook, which does not forecast any recession, the 2020 election looks like Trump’s to lose,” the authors wrote. “Democrats can still win if they are able to turn out the vote at record levels, but, under normal turnout conditions, the president is projected to win.”

From the MarketWatch archives (August 2016): To professional economists, Trump isn’t even the second best candidate in the 2016 presidential election

Moody’s uses three models to come up with its forecast. In each case, Trump gets at least 289 Electoral College votes.

The “pocketbook” measure, which focus on how people feel about their money situation, is where Trump shines brightest, grabbing a whopping 351 electoral votes. “If voters were to vote primarily on the basis of their pocketbooks, the president would steamroll the competition,” the report said.

The stock-market model gives him the slightest edge of 289-249, as investors continue to navigate a volatile investing landscape. Then there’s the unemployment model, which leans heavily in his favor at 332-206.

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Trump’s First 3 Years Created 1.5 Million Fewer Jobs Than Obama’s Last 3

New Labor Department statistics show that despite Trump’s repeated boasts, job creation was a lot higher during Barack Obama’s final years.

As President Donald Trump takes the stage at his reelection rally here Monday and boasts of his economic record, there is one statistic he is likely to omit: He created 1.5 million fewer jobs in his first three years in office than predecessor Barack Obama did in his final three.

Newly revised figures from Trump’s own Department of Labor show that 6.6 million new jobs were created in the first 36 months of Trump’s tenure, compared with 8.1 million in the final 36 months of Obama’s ― a decline of 19% under Trump, according to a HuffPost analysis.

Economists say that the slowing of job creation is not surprising. There are fewer empty jobs and fewer unemployed people available to fill them as the economy gets closer to full employment.

“I’m not a big fan of jobs numbers as a metric of success,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, once the top economic adviser to the late Arizona Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. He added, though, that Trump’s “hyperbole” notwithstanding, “the performance of the labor market has been nothing short of stunning.”

David Rothschild, an economist with Microsoft Research, said Trump is presiding over a decent job market ― the same as his Democratic predecessor did. “The economy is basically humming along for the last three years, just as it was for the last year several years of the Obama administration,” Rothschild said.

Nevertheless, the statistics belie Trump’s frequent claims that he turned around Obama’s poor management of the economy.

The White House would not respond to the new statistics, but spokesman Judd Deere told HuffPost: “President Obama presided over one of the slowest recoveries in history while President Trump has smashed expectations with 5 million more jobs grown than forecasted by the (Congressional Budget Office), a record setting stock market, strong wage growth for blue collar workers, and historically low unemployment rates. Because of the strength of the Trump economy more and more Americans are coming off the sidelines to find work many of whom were left out of the so-called Obama recovery.”

During his State of the Union speech last week to Congress, Trump said: “If we hadn’t reversed the failed economic policies of the previous administration, the world would not now be witnessing this great economic success.”

Trump has repeatedly disparaged Obama’s stewardship of the economy while claiming he has done a far superior job.
Trump has repeatedly disparaged Obama’s stewardship of the economy while claiming he has done a far superior job.

The economy is just one of several areas where Trump repeatedly claims credit for conditions or policies implemented under his predecessors. He has bragged about reductions in air and water pollution that were the result of presidents going back decades. He has claimed credit for a reduction in lung cancer deaths based on a decades-long study that ended the year he took office. Perhaps most famously, he has repeatedly ― and falsely ― boasted about passing the “VA Choice Act,” which allows veterans to get medical care at private facilities if wait times are too long at Veteran Affairs clinics, even though it was signed into law by Obama.

But the economy is the one issue that could determine whether Trump succeeds or fails in his attempt to win a second term ― and his boasts about it are consistently misleading and, at times, simply false.

Trump repeatedly brags that unemployment among African Americans is at historic lows. While that was correct in August and September, the unemployment figure has risen since then, according to federal statistics. More broadly, the trend lines for both African Americans and Latinos show a steady decrease from the end of the 2008-09 recession, through the Obama presidency and to the present day, with no significant change in the slope of those graphs when Trump took office in January 2017.

“He’s largely riding trends he inherited,” said Jared Bernstein, once the chief economist to former Vice President Joe Biden.

Bernstein and other economists pointed out that the nation’s gross domestic product, after showing higher growth rates immediately after the passage of Republican-backed tax cuts in late 2017, have now dropped closer to 2% ― a figure that Trump and others called weak during the Obama years.

And that, Holtz-Eakin and Rothschild agreed, could be attributed to the trade war Trump picked with China starting in mid-2018, and from which the president has only recently started to back down.

“There are markets we’re probably not going to get back, and we’re going to have nothing to show for it,” Rothschild said. “The economy is moving along pretty well despite the best efforts of Donald Trump.”

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John Bolton Reportedly Recalls Trump Tying Ukraine Aid To Biden Investigation

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The former national security adviser described the account in drafts of his book outline obtained by The New York Times.

Former national security adviser John Bolton reportedly wrote in an outline for a book that President Donald Trump tied the withheld Ukraine aid to the country’s announcement that it would investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. 

Drafts of the book outline obtained by The New York Times describe Trump telling Bolton in August that he wanted to continue freezing nearly $400 million in congressionally approved military assistance to Ukraine until officials there agreed to help investigate his political rival. 

Trump denied Bolton’s reported account in a tweet Sunday night, and insisted he “never” told Bolton the Ukraine aid was tied to “investigations into Democrats.” The president also said Bolton “never complained about this,” apparently referring to freezing the military aid.

A key part of Trump’s defense in the impeachment process has been that his decision to withhold the aid was completely separate from his request for Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Tying the two together would indicate that Trump attempted a quid pro quo with a foreign government in order to sway the 2020 presidential election ― which Democrats have said was the case since the impeachment inquiry began. 

According to the Times, Bolton alleged that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo privately admitted there was no basis to Rudy Giuliani’s claims that ousted U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was corrupt, and he believed Trump’s personal attorney was acting on behalf of other clients.

Bolton also wrote that acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney was around for at least one phone call during which Trump and Giuliani discussed Yovanovitch, according to the Times.

Bolton also reportedly said he raised his concerns about Giuliani’s shadow diplomacy with Attorney General William Barr after Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Bolton alleged that he was the one who informed Barr that the president mentioned him on the call, according to the Times. A spokesperson for Barr told the publication he denied that allegation.

Bolton’s account of Trump’s alleged remarks were included in the former national security adviser’s unpublished manuscript, which he has been circulating to close associates. The book, according to the Times, represents what Bolton might say in a testimony if the Senate calls him as a witness in Trump’s impeachment trial.

In response to the Times report, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) reiterated his demands for the upper chamber to call witnesses to testify in the impeachment trial. Bolton has said that he would testify before senators if subpoenaed, but Senate Republicans have repeatedly stonewalled efforts to call any witnesses or bring any additional evidence.

“John Bolton has the evidence,” Schumer tweeted Sunday night. “It’s up to four Senate Republicans to ensure that John Bolton, Mick Mulvaney, and the others with direct knowledge of President Trump’s actions testify in the Senate trial.”

The Democratic House impeachment managers also released a statement regarding the Times report.

“There is no defensible reason to wait until his book is published, when the information he has to offer is critical to the most important decision Senators must now make ― whether to convict the President of impeachable offenses,” the statement read.

The trial for Trump, who the House impeached in December, began earlier this month. House impeachment managers spent three days last week presenting their opening arguments to senators, while Trump’s defense team spent a short time on Saturday presenting their side. It’s unclear if the Senate will follow through with calling witnesses before voting on whether to remove the president from office.

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