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Douglas Andrews / Oct. 29, 2020

It's Still the Economy, Stupid

Donald Trump's V-shaped recovery continues, and the numbers are better than expected.

In 1992, former Bill Clinton strategist James Carville famously said, “It’s the economy, stupid.” It’s true: People vote their pocketbooks. And this election year, as weird as it’s been, still bows to those fundamentals. If folks have food on their table and money in their wallet, they’re going to look favorably upon the person or party in power.

That person would be Donald Trump, that party would be the Republicans, and both of them were buoyed this week by some favorable eleventh-hour economic news.

First of all, U.S. GDP exploded in the third quarter, growing at a 33.1% annualized rate. That both exceeded expectations and doubled the previous record of 16.7% in 1950. Obviously, that spike is largely because we’re coming off the worst quarter in U.S. history amidst the COVID shutdowns — shutdowns that were always at least partly meant as a way for Democrat governors to hurt a Republican president. While losing 30% and then gaining 30% still leaves the country behind where we were when 2020 began, an economy that was roaring before the pandemic has showed enduring strength in spite of it all, and that’s incredibly encouraging … so long as we stay the course.

Meanwhile, there’s more good news. “American factories are humming again” writes James Freeman of The Wall Street Journal. “Now if politicians can just avoid returning to the blunt lockdown instrument that imposed such heavy costs last spring and provided such uncertain benefits, the U.S. revival can continue. The good news for today is that last month was much better than economists expected for people who make and build things.”

Clearly, Americans are getting back on their feet, and they’re doing so at a far faster pace than they did when Barack Obama and Joe Biden were at the helm. As researcher Douglas Carr points out, “The two great recessions, similar in many respects, also have differences, so their courses may not be entirely comparable, but they don’t need to be precisely compared. The sluggish first five months of the Obama-Biden recovery led to the slowest recovery in U.S. history. While there remains a long distance to full recovery from the pandemic (and the implications of a second wave remain, for now, unknowable) the Trump administration’s first five months of recovery are the nation’s fastest ever.”

This is all great economic news about the Trump economy and our V-shaped recovery, but it’s not really intended for you. No, this article is intended for your friend.

You know, your friend. The Persuadable One. That one-time Never-Trumper who’s finally coming to grips with the grim-and-grimmer possibilities of a hard-left Biden economy and what it’ll do to that small business of his. That neighbor whose son plays football with yours and who happens to be black but who seems skeptical of all the Leftmedia lies about Trump being a racist. That suburban mom with the three young kids who saw the months-long rioting on TV and is seeing it again now in Philly, but definitely doesn’t want it coming to her neighborhood.

These are the ones who might benefit from this information before casting their vote.

Donald Trump got around three million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton in 2016, but he won the presidency because of some 70,000 votes cast across Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Heck, Hillary won California alone by some four million votes. But the popular vote, to borrow a phrase, is for “suckers” and “losers.” The Electoral College is what the president and his team are focused on. And every vote matters.

So if these friends of yours can’t stand the prospect of voting for Trump, tell them to vote for jobs. For their 401(k). For manufacturing here at home. For a tough-on-China policy. For law and order. For the police. For secure borders. For a faster vaccine. For better therapeutics. For freedom from another lockdown. For a more fair and honest media. For our military. For peace through strength. For freedom of speech. For freedom of religion. For the right to keep and bear arms. For the Bill of Rights. For the Constitution. For the unborn. For their children. For their grandchildren.

Tell them to vote for whatever works. On November 3, remember: It’s Donald Trump or the mob.

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