Gary Johnson appears to be having a field day against Donald Trump in the presidential race with a recent poll showing that the Libertarian candidate beats the real estate mogul when it comes to support among U.S. economists, according to the Hill.
In a poll from the National Association of Business Economics (NABE), which asked economists which presidential candidate is most likely to do a better job with the American economy, 15 percent of the respondents appeared to place their belief in Johnson — one percent more than the number of people who preferred Republican candidate Donald Trump.
The result of this latest poll is another spring in Johnson’s step as he attempts to play catch up to the major party candidates in the presidential election. While his performance against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is still relatively modest, the way Gary Johnson has managed to exploit Donald Trump’s capitulation over the last few weeks will give him much hope for the future of his campaign.
The results are even more shocking in that the National Association of Business Economics does not represent a bastion of liberal or populist economists, but has a very pro-business viewpoint, considering which Donald Trump would have expected to fare better in the poll. Even so, the seasoned businessman appears to inspire little hope in economists when it comes to the future of the American economy.
The reasons for Gary Johnson’s lead in the poll could be attributed to a few factors. Unlike Trump, the Libertarian Party candidate represents a coherent economic and political philosophy which might sit well with both libertarian and conservative economists. Compared to that, Donald Trump hardly has an intelligible economic and political philosophy, with his history of contradicting allegiances further emphasizing this chasm in his personality. Traditionally he has been a supporter of liberal Democrats, and while on the campaign trail he has insinuated that he is keen to become more fiscally conservative, the fact of the matter is that the Republican candidate has been guilty of switching sides far too often, giving little reason for economists to place any degree of confidence in him.
For instance, Donald Trump has previously claimed that he donated to the Clintons because he wanted to hold some sway over the decision-making process, but has lately denounced Hillary Clinton over her economic policies. This is as clear a representation of Trump’s conflicting economic stances as they come, and it is certain to have been an important factor in the NABE poll.
Moreover, as Market Watch reports, the pool of 414 economists who voted in the poll mostly hold views that Donald Trump might find distasteful. Contradictory to Trump’s anti-immigration stance, nearly 61 percent of economists believe that the United States must ease up its immigration policies — more in line with Gary Johnson’s point of view, who, as recently as Wednesday morning, told CNN that the United States should “embrace immigration.”
“He still says he wants to build a wall across the border,” Gary Johnson said of Trump. “And, really, he’s not going to deport all 11 million. He’s going to keep some.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 24, 2016
Furthermore, nearly 65 percent respondents said trade should become “more open and free,” a far cry from Trump’s point of view where he has repeatedly argued for a tightening of restrictions on policies and tariffs in order to create what he calls a “level playing field” with U.S. trade partners, reports US News.
“Business economists are … so pro-trade and pro-immigration, and we’re not hearing that in the political ecosphere. What we’re hearing is, ‘No, let’s stop immigration. Let’s pull back on trade,” said LaVaughn Henry, economic policy survey chair at NABE.
“80 percent of survey respondents know we need to have higher-skilled immigration come and help our economy. That’s the basis of what makes America great — immigration and trade.”
This viewpoint is consistent with what a majority of economists believe about Trump — that he is incompetent to oversee a positive economic transformation in the United States over the course of the next few years. A June analysis by Moody’s Analytics predicted that “the economy will be significantly weaker if Mr. Trump’s economic proposals are adopted.”
— NABE (@business_econ) August 22, 2016
With Gary Johnson taking a shock lead in the poll among economists, it is becoming plausible to imagine the Libertarian candidate next to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on the debate stage. To his credit, Johnson appears to have identified the chink in Trump’s armor and has upped the ante against the Republican candidate in recent weeks. Continuing on his humorous rampage of Trump, Johnson told the New York Times that Americans must resist Trump because he is authoritarian and has all the qualities of a fascist.
“It walks like a duck, quacks like a duck,” Johnson said of Trump on Tuesday.
“Where’s the Constitution in all this? He’s saying horrible things.”
Johnson’s policies are clear, compelling and transparent, and that might be the overwhelming reason that economists, who mostly form their opinion on economic data, facts, and experiences, would prefer him over Donald Trump in the presidential race.
[Photo by George Frey/Getty Images]