Trump is making 2018 much harder for Republicans

Another obstacle for the GOP is that, unless and until wage growth accelerates for a sustained period, not everyone may view economic conditions the way Trump did when he called the country’s current state a “new American moment.”

Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg consistently argued throughout Hillary Clinton’s 2016 race that the Democrats’ determination to promote the economy’s improvements under Obama would clang against the ears of working- and middle-class voters still struggling to meet their bills. Now, Greenberg thinks Republicans are on the verge of making the same mistake, particularly with blue-collar white women who remain economically strained. “I want that battle,” he told me. “I think that will backfire.”

Equally important, the two other major election dynamics apparent during the speech could influence voters as much, or more, than the economy does.