Obama official Steven Rattner: Economy gives Trump a meaningful 'tailwind' in 2020

Steven Rattner, former lead adviser to the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry in 2009 for the Obama administration, told FOX Business that the state of the U.S. economy and incumbency will be among the deciding factors in the 2020 presidential election.

“I think, like you said in your intro, what people like Professor [Ray] Fair have found in their models is that there’s really two factors that overwhelm the others. One is incumbency, which worked for Donald Trump last time because it was eight years of a Democratic president and it will work for him again as a one-term Republican,” he said to Stuart Varney on Thursday.

“And then there’s the economy. And the economy at the moment, as I said, is a tailwind for the president — doesn’t mean he’s going to win, it’s just a tailwind,” he explained.

However, he noted that prosperity in respect to a successful economy and how Americans perceive Trump’s tone and style, are competing factors.

“If you go back and you look at what happened in the last election, he underperformed Professor Fair’s model by five percentage points, roughly, he lost the popular vote, happened to win the electoral college, and that difference I would account to his personality, his style, and so that will hurt him,” said Rattner.

“This time around, as we sit here today, he should get about 56 percent of the popular vote — in other words, two percentage points more than he should have gotten last time —because the economy is strong and he hasn’t incumbency. Whether his personality will overwhelm that, we’ll find out.”


Rattner also noted that if the economy does deteriorate then the tailwind diminishes.

When the FOX Business host asked how Democrats could push back, Rattner replied: “his integrity” and by pointing out that the “economy isn’t working for everybody.”