Late last year, graduate students watched as legislators in the House debated giving them a hefty new tax bill: A version of the GOP tax plan proposed to treat tuition waivers as taxable income. Although that plan was later dropped, Congress is once again considering legislation that could affect graduate students’ bottom lines. And the federal government is considering ending some of its student loan forgiveness programs, which could raise the economic barrier to entering certain public service professions and leave social workers, teachers and other people in public-service fields that require graduate degrees paying thousands of dollars more for their education.
Last spring, FiveThirtyEight commissioned a SurveyMonkey poll that aimed to glean the views of voters who cast their ballots for President Trump but did so unenthusiastically. We called them “reluctant” Trump voters; they were crucial in Trump’s victory, and we’ve been keeping tabs on this voter demographic over the year, including a new survey conducted Feb. 12-19.1
In 1977, Jimmy Carter made an improbable journey from Georgia peanut grower to Democratic president in part by playing on his humble roots and receiving support from America’s farmers. Yet this bedrock voting constituency abandoned a fellow farmer to back Ronald Reagan four years later, after Carter punished Moscow for invading Afghanistan by cutting off grain sales to the Soviet Union. U.S. farmers were already struggling with collapsing crop prices, and the embargo may have been the final straw. Farmers threw their support behind Reagan, who had promised to lift the hated restrictions.
Every president’s election-year nightmare — a recession — is suddenly looming over the 2020 race. In a survey released earlier this week by the National Association of Business Economics, 38 percent of economists predicted that the country will slip into an economic downturn next year, and another recent poll of economists put the chances of a recession in the next 12 months at 1 in 3. Those predictions are getting a lot of attention, and it’s not hard to see why — an economic slowdown in the middle of the presidential election cycle could reshape the race, potentially changing the calculus of Democratic primary voters and undermining President Trump, who has made the strong economy a central selling point of his presidency.
Welcome to FiveThirtyEight’s weekly politics chat. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
Why couldn’t we all just get along?
“Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman will push the company to demonstrate that it can effectively tackle terrorism or war challenges,” analysts led by Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa research at the Eurasia Group, said in a research report. “The attacks could complicate Aramco’s IPO plans given rising security risks and potential impact on its valuation.”
The tweet came before 6 a.m., as President Trump’s tweets often do. It was early March, and the Trump administration had just announced steep tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. That did not make China or America’s European allies happy. Last week, after the U.S. imposed tariffs on $60 billion worth of Chinese goods, it was reported that China would respond with their own tariffs on $3 billion of U.S. goods.
DETROIT (Reuters) – The United Auto Workers (UAW) said late on Saturday it would not extend its contract with General Motors Co (N:GM) and would decide on a course of action at a meeting of union leaders in Detroit Sunday morning that could result in talks resuming or possibly workers going out on strike.