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Nate Jackson / Nov. 2, 2018

Roaring Economy Is GOP's Best Election Pitch

Will voters reward the GOP, or has Democrats' divisive rhetoric really made voters "tired of winning"?

If Republicans focus their closing argument this weekend on the roaring American economy, they’ll strengthen their chances of holding Congress in Tuesday’s midterm elections. Today’s jobs report is a particularly strong one — 250,000 jobs added and a headline unemployment rate of 3.7%, the lowest since 1969. The fuller U-6 measure of unemployment dropped to a historically low 7.4%. MarketWatch reports, “The increase in hiring last month was broad based — not a single major industry shed jobs.” And Investor’s Business Daily notes, “Among blacks, the unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% [two years ago] to 6%, and among Hispanics it’s now 4.5%. It was 5.7% two years ago.”

There are more than seven million job openings, which is more than there are people looking for jobs. “Thirty-eight percent of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period, equal to last month’s record high,” reports National Federation of Independent Business Chief Economist William Dunkelberg. That has put upward pressure on wages, which increased at a 3.1% annual rate — the best since 2009.

As President Donald Trump observed, “It’s the best unemployment numbers we have in 50 years. And that’s wonderful, but we actually need workers now. That’s a good thing to be saying because that hasn’t been said for many, many decades. And we want people to come in. You’ve all been reading about the immigration situation with the caravans and all, but the fact is, we want people coming into the country. We want them to come in legally.”

On a final note, consumer confidence once again hit an 18-year high this week. And what is the economy but a monetary measure of consumer confidence? When people perceive that things are good, that perception becomes reality.

How good is it? “Pretty much everything you could want in a monthly jobs report,” says … Joe Biden’s economic adviser, Jared Bernstein. Granted, he refuses to credit Trump, but still.

The bottom line: The extraordinary midterm record for Trump and congressional Republicans has the nation better off than we were two years go. Will voters reward the GOP with holding both houses, or has Democrats’ divisive rhetoric really made voters “tired of winning”?

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