President Donald Trump will be in Florida on Wednesday with buzz building that he will offer more federal help to the Panhandle which is still recovering from Hurricane Michael–and according to his campaign officials the president will start to tout his economic success.
With the first quarter GDP number higher than expected at 3.2 percent and last week’s employment numbers showing that business added 263,000 jobs in April, Trump’s Florida team believes this will help them keep the state in his column next year.
But Florida Democrats have been silent on the latest economic news with the party’s official Twitter page saying nothing about the first quarter GDP numbers. Instead, Florida Democrats focused on immigration bills in the state Legislature and insisting thousands of Floridians would lose their healthcare if Obamacare was repealed.
On Friday, when the national unemployment numbers were released, Florida Democrats were quiet on the issue, instead weighing on the “racist” policies from Florida Republicans as the Legislature looks to implement Amendment 4.
The same pattern can be seen at the national level. A recent article from Politico noted that Democrats are hunting for an economic argument to counter Trump.
A CNN poll released last week found that 71 percent of Americans rate the nation’s economic conditions “favorably” and 56 percent of Americans say Trump’s doing a good job on the economy.
A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll indicates the strong economy may help Trump win swing votes in states like Florida.
Both polls found voters are increasingly approving of Trump on the economy as his approval on that front went up 11 percent among independents, up 10 percent with women, up 16 percent with voters 35 and younger, up 13 percent with non-whites and up 10 percent with Democrats.
Florida Daily economic writer Steve Beaman said the economic indicators should give Trump a boost in Florida next week.
“Jobs are doing well for women and African-Americans. Stock market is doing well and so are workers with 401k plans,” Beaman said, noting the stock market is up 45 percent since Trump got elected.
In the meantime, Florida is on Trump’s mind. He is scheduled to appear in Panama City on Wednesday night for a “Make America Great Again” rally.
On Monday, in an Oval Office meeting, Trump met with close allies Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., to “discuss the strong state-federal partnership between Florida and the Trump administration.”
“The president and governor discussed ongoing efforts to expand choice and competition in healthcare, including the Trump administration’s initial successes in lowering drug prices. The president asked Secretary Azar and Governor DeSantis to work together to explore additional options, including drug importation opportunities, to reduce drug prices in a safe way for Floridians. Both the president and Governor DeSantis agree that congressional Democrats must stop blocking critical disaster recovery funding. President Trump and Governor DeSantis look forward to further discussions around these shared priorities,” the White House noted on Tuesday.
DeSantis also weighed in on Trump’s trip to Panama City and pointed to the strong economy.
“I will be welcoming President Trump when he arrives in Florida to host a campaign rally in Panama City Beach,” DeSantis noted on Tuesday. “He knows how much Florida has been doing to prepare for his victory here next year.
“Not only is Florida a do-or-die state for the President in 2020, but he can also point to Florida as solid proof that our shared conservative principles do in fact lead to prosperity,” DeSantis added. “Our annual private-sector job growth continues to outpace the nation, we are ensuring our veterans are taken care of, Common Core is abolished and quality education is becoming an opportunity for all, law enforcement officers are getting the resources they need, free speech is protected, and illegal immigration is coming to an end. These are the policies that President Trump is running on in 2020. And Florida’s success is the living proof he needs to show the rest of the nation that we can make America greater than ever before.”
Contact Ed at Ed.Dean@FloridaDaily.com.