Trump just put himself in a political red zone

It might very well be that Donald Trump tweets himself into a one-term presidency.Following the President's re...

Posted: Apr 5, 2018 12:20 PM
Updated: Apr 5, 2018 12:20 PM

It might very well be that Donald Trump tweets himself into a one-term presidency.

Following the President's recent tweets about Amazon and news of a growing trade war with China, stocks slid on Tuesday and Wednesday morning. While the stock market rebounded on Wednesday afternoon, more rocky days are likely. Without any advisers in the Oval Office who are willing or capable to say "Stop!" to the President, the situation is likely to deteriorate if there are more tweets about major American companies or trade battles overseas.

The tweets about Amazon -- making anti-trust a political battering ram -- have converged with Trump's aggressive moves to increase tariffs. He started by announcing new tariffs on aluminum and steel. He then set his sights on Asia when the administration released a list of 1,300 Chinese exports that would face 25% tariffs. Now, as the war of words escalates, China has announced plans to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion worth of exports.

While the President tweeted that "we are not in a trade war with China" and Sarah Sanders assured reporters that this was simply some "short term pain," most economists are unlikely to find calm in the storms. Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody's Analytics, predicts that 190,000 jobs will be lost as a result of the trade war.

This week has moved President Trump into a political red zone. Until now, the President has also generated strong support within the corporate sector, which has been pleased with his mix of tax cuts and deregulation. Trump can kick and scream all he wants, but as long as the bottom line is good, many business and financial leaders could very well be willing to turn a blind eye toward the bullying and bombast.

But now the tweet-storms are encroaching into dangerous territory for the President. His tirades are starting to spook the markets and to trigger retaliatory tariffs that can have a damaging economic impact.

The potential trade wars with China can fall hardest on voters in states like Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa that are at the heart of his coalition. Farmers in Ohio, for instance, are major producers of pork and apples -- both now the target of China's planned retaliatory tariffs on the United States.

If the Trump base starts to suffer too much, the frustration that led these voters to support him could move them toward another candidate. Trump is threatening to get rid of NAFTA, which would be another huge blow to free trade.

Support from Republicans outside of Trump's core base -- those who would have preferred another Republican candidate -- remains strong, but could easily start to thin.

More than anything else, as was evident with the resignation of Gary Cohn (who refused to step down even after Charlottesville), this might convince the corporate world to start looking for a new president.

For a Republican whose support is so fragile, corporate opposition could be devastating. In response to the Amazon tweets, the executive vice president of the Chamber of Commerce fired back by saying: "It's inappropriate for government officials to use their position to attack an American company."

Although there are ongoing negotiations to resolve these issues, such as saving NAFTA, the President is getting in the way. The tweets and statements are causing damage that can be hard to undo. It is unclear whether President Trump has the capacity or the will to renege on his supporters on these issues, given the tensions that have already emerged over the omnibus spending bill.

Many of President Trump's strongest supporters currently suffer from the same overwrought confidence that Hillary Clinton's supporters exhibited in 2016. They see a Teflon politician for whom nothing can go wrong. Yet, as Clinton's supporters discovered on election night, no one is invincible on the campaign trail. In this case, the tweets that have consumed so much of our attention since January 2016 could very well be the key that opens the door to a new leader in 2020.

Terre Haute
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 69°
Robinson
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 68°
Indianapolis
Partly Cloudy
67° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 67°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 68°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 66°
Brazil
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 69°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 69°
Sunny and warmer!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1361569

Reported Deaths: 24671
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook54504110100
DuPage905031279
Will75456990
Lake67145988
Kane58349771
Winnebago33178474
Madison30500519
McHenry28573285
St. Clair27847513
Peoria23094310
Champaign20618145
Sangamon18724234
McLean18138179
Tazewell16938287
Rock Island14970314
Kankakee14176210
Kendall1303893
LaSalle12536243
Macon10750199
DeKalb9856119
Vermilion9628132
Adams8452123
Williamson7428129
Whiteside7160171
Boone669972
Ogle611181
Grundy588775
Clinton575790
Coles568695
Knox5553145
Jackson502464
Henry497066
Livingston481785
Stephenson475381
Woodford473976
Effingham472972
Macoupin469782
Marion4472115
Franklin444874
Monroe435793
Jefferson4291120
Lee416552
Randolph412984
Fulton391955
Morgan388981
Logan386958
Montgomery371974
Bureau371682
Christian365973
Fayette317455
Perry316960
Iroquois301866
McDonough284847
Jersey268949
Douglas258835
Saline256454
Lawrence240525
Shelby229537
Union226040
Crawford211626
Bond204824
Cass199125
Jo Daviess181024
Clark179933
Warren179746
Pike178852
Ford178246
Wayne177553
Hancock175931
Carroll175136
Richland175140
Edgar170239
White169626
Washington164525
Moultrie161028
De Witt150824
Mason150745
Piatt149714
Clay148143
Mercer146933
Johnson143915
Greene143633
Wabash134612
Massac133940
Cumberland129019
Menard123412
Jasper115018
Marshall106918
Hamilton83315
Schuyler7536
Brown7046
Pulaski6887
Stark63723
Edwards56912
Henderson52514
Calhoun5182
Putnam4823
Scott4781
Alexander46811
Gallatin4584
Hardin38612
Pope3204
Out of IL20
Unassigned02351

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 732692

Reported Deaths: 13450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1002531746
Lake53931975
Allen40779678
St. Joseph35838552
Hamilton35695408
Elkhart28695442
Tippecanoe22419219
Vanderburgh22332397
Porter18838309
Johnson18007379
Hendricks17269315
Clark13007191
Madison12708339
Vigo12470248
LaPorte11970212
Monroe11914170
Delaware10720186
Howard9946216
Kosciusko9438117
Hancock8310141
Bartholomew8078156
Warrick7789155
Floyd7672178
Grant7072174
Wayne7061199
Boone6712101
Morgan6593139
Dubois6162117
Marshall6073111
Cass5826105
Dearborn581878
Henry5758103
Noble562784
Jackson502773
Shelby493196
Lawrence4563120
Harrison436372
Gibson436092
DeKalb429285
Clinton427953
Montgomery425089
Whitley397139
Huntington392980
Steuben389457
Miami382267
Knox372690
Jasper368248
Putnam361660
Wabash354580
Adams341954
Ripley340170
Jefferson331281
White314854
Daviess298199
Wells291881
Decatur285492
Fayette281262
Greene279785
Posey271933
LaGrange267870
Scott266954
Clay260547
Washington241632
Randolph241181
Spencer232431
Jennings230449
Starke217154
Fountain213046
Sullivan212042
Owen201956
Jay196330
Fulton195540
Carroll189420
Orange184154
Perry183537
Rush173725
Vermillion169643
Franklin168435
Tipton163045
Parke146416
Blackford135132
Pike134934
Pulaski116945
Newton108134
Brown102441
Crawford100615
Benton98914
Martin89015
Warren82215
Switzerland7938
Union71010
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417