Donald Trump is having a great week.
Just one day after his approval rating hit an all time high, the president emerged victorious from another 'six ways from Sunday' fail with a Wednesday acquittal in his CIA-sparked impeachment trial. Add to that a botched Iowa caucus that made the Democrats look like a joke, and Trump
According to Financial Times' US national editor Edward Luce - who is not a fan of the current POTUS, this week may have been Trump's 'springboard to re-election.'
Three years after taking office, Mr Trump is the least unpopular he has ever been. Moreover, he can do almost what he wants before November without fear of restraint. Impeachment was hardly a blip. Inviting foreign interference cost him nothing. The vote-counting fiasco in Iowa shows how easy it would be to contaminate public trust in the election process. -FT
Luce notes that the most recent Gallup poll found that 63% of voters approve of how Trump is handling the economy, "the largest such rating since George W Bush in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks." The FT editor then trots out 'Trump inherited Obama's recovery' and notes that 'incumbent presidents are almost always rewarded with more dollars in people's pockets,' but says that all of that is immaterial. The win goes to Trump.
Hilariously, Luce chalks Senate Republicans' defense of Trump with cowardice, writing that Utah Senator Mitt Romney (R) "plucked up the courage to declare that the emperor had no clothes." What the FT exec is missing, however, is that Senate Republicans viewed President Trump's request that Ukraine investigate the Bidens as largely justified - regardless of the paused US aid.
Lastly, the botched Iowa caucuses were a disaster - not just because of technical glitches, but because of low voter turnout. According to Luce, "almost a third fewer of Iowans, or 16 per cent, went to the caucuses as in 2008 when Mr Obama’s campaign took off."
This points to a "serious enthusiasm gap" between Democratic voters and Trump supporters. And unless voters 'feel the slowdown in US growth' and the Democrats unite behind a 'good nominee,' it looks like Trump will walk away with another four years in the White House.