As a whole, the United States’ economy is currently doing quite well. After recovering from the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009, unemployment fell to the lowest figure since 1990, at 3.9 percent. Quarterly GDP growth has remained steady since 2016, and inflation has also stayed low. However, the public debt of the United States continues to hover around 22.7 trillion U.S. dollars, a steep increase from 5.6 trillion U.S. dollars in 2000, and employee wages have not seen any significant gains in the past few years. Economic health is seen as a strong indicator as to how an incumbent president has been doing, and in years past a strong economy has proven to give an incumbent a strong boost in the polls.
Along with the economy, there are several key issues that have taken center stage in this election cycle, including immigration, abortion, climate change, and healthcare. While many of these issues are classic election topics, voters have become more partisan in the past few years, with Democrats drifting more to the left and Republicans more to the right, making these issues much more controversial than before. President Trump’s attempts to build a wall along the Southern border in an effort to curb immigration, implementation of strict abortion bills in states such as Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, as well as the proposal for a Green New Deal have become some of the most partisan issues to strike the United States in the last year.
The 2020 presidential election may well prove to be an uphill battle for President Trump, whose approval rating has remained under 45 percent for the duration of his presidency. Among Democratic voters, candidates Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg all have approval ratings far above that of the President, but only the primary process, which begins on February 3, 2020 with the Iowa caucus, will determine which Democratic candidate will run against President Trump in November 2020.