'Trump's tariffs on China are a threat to his re-election': Nate Silver

FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver looks at how President Donald Trump's trade war could impact his 2020 re-election chances.
2:16 | 08/25/19

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Transcript for 'Trump's tariffs on China are a threat to his re-election': Nate Silver
So, could the fallout from trump's China trade war stall the economy? We asked Nate silver, do you buy that? Trade policy doesn't make for the most dramatic headlines. I'd argue that trump's tariffs on China is a threat to his re-election. Because the economy has been the best thing he has going for him. Average approval rating on the economy is 52%. Compared to just 42% job approval overall. Consider the potential economic impact on his trade policy. Bloomberg economics, could reduce gdp by .6%. Since the last recession, gdp has grown by only about 2.2% per year. It removes a lot of the slack we have from negative growth, meaning recession. In fact, economists are quite concerned about a possibility of a recession. 40% of economists surveyed, expect a recession in the U.S. By the end of 2020. Recessions are really risky for incumbent presidents. 1980, Jimmy Carter the last incumbent president to face a recession. He lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan. Also 1992 where George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton. The economy wasn't technically in recession then but voters thought it was. Economists hadn't declared the recession of 1990 to be over yet. Of course, economic news, views on the economic is heavily tied to which party voters prefer. Recession would have tangible impacts voters can see firsthand, family members getting laid off, stores closing. Politics can only go so far by calling a recession fake news. One more thing, the tariffs on China aren't even good politics on their own terms. Free trade is more popular than it has ever been. In 2015, 51% of voters thought free trade was a good idea. That's up to 64%. I do buy trump's trade war is bad politics for him. One silver lining for the president, economists are pretty bad in predicting recessions. Historically they have shown, an ability to forecast recessions six to nine months in advance. Any assumptions of what the economy is going to look like at November 2020 are hazy at best. Nate silver, thanks for that. The roundtable is up next. Ave a pretty good relationship.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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