It is an enduring political question amid a pandemic recession, double-digit unemployment and a recovery that appears to be slowing: Why does President Trump continue to get higher marks on economic issues in polls than his predecessors Barack Obama, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush enjoyed when they stood for re-election?
Mr. Trump’s relative strength on the economy, and whether Joseph R. Biden Jr. can cut into it over the next 10 weeks, are among the crucial dynamics in battleground states in the Midwest and the Sun Belt that are expected to decide the election. Many of these states have struggled this summer with rising coronavirus infection and death rates as well as job losses and vanishing wages and savings — hard times that, history suggests, will pose a threat to an incumbent president seeking re-election.
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