An enduring U.S. expansion puts President Donald Trump on course to win re-election in 2020, according to economic models with a track record of predicting who wins the White House.

The forecasts from Yale University professor Ray Fair, Oxford Economics Ltd. and Moody’s Analytics Inc. are based on Trump being boosted at the ballot box by steady economic growth, an historically tight labor market and limited inflation.

Such an outlook justifies Trump’s push to harness what he’s called the “greatest” economy to return him to power a year from Sunday. It challenges some opinion polls which show his disapproval rating hovering near 54% amid an impeachment inquiry and polarized politics.

“The election is Trump’s to lose,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Trump wins if the economy and his approval rating are about the same a year from now as today, and turnout is typical. But if the economy stumbles, his popularity flags or Democrat turnout is big, the Democrats win.”

The economy expanded at a 1.9% pace in the third quarter and unemployment is close to its lowest in a half-century, government data showed last week. While manufacturing has been hurt by the U.S.-China trade war, consumers continue to spend in a sign voters are still confident about the economy. A Bloomberg Economics model sees the chances of an election-year recession at just 27%.

The electoral models are fallible. They have erred in some past presidential cycles and most don’t take account of non-economic influences such as scandals or policy which may come to the fore as Trump seeks another term.

They also assume the White House incumbent is credited with the economy’s performance which may not be the case if voters zero in on the effects of the trade war Trump is waging or relatively slow growth in middle class incomes.

“We stress that non-economic factors are likely to play an outsize role in this election, including policy and political developments (such as the impeachment inquiry) as well as factors like race, gender and ‘likability’," Gregory Daco and James Watson, economists at Oxford Economics, wrote in an October report.

Here’s the rundown of what the models show for now:

Yale University Professor Ray Fair
Yale’s Ray Fair has been predicting the outcomes of presidential elections in the U.S. since the 1970s. His current call is for a Trump victory amid an economy that is showing “neither boom nor bust."

First « 1 2 3 » Next