Tuesday night, Pres­ident Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union Address to the United States Con­gress. I Wiki­media Commons

Tuesday night, Pres­ident Donald Trump delivered his third State of the Union Address to the United States Con­gress. It could have been his final State of the Union, but after nearly an hour and a half of touting his record and drawing searing con­trasts with Democrats, he’s likely to have four more.

Trump is already in a decent position to be reelected later this year. His approval rating is at 49% according to a Gallup poll — the highest it’s been during his pres­i­dency. He was elected in 2016 with a 41% approval rating at the end of his cam­paign. And among Repub­licans, his approval rating is at 94%.

Aside from ratings and polls, it’s what Trump has done in three years — and what the Demo­c­ratic Party is proposing to do — that sets him up best to be reelected in November.

“From the instant I took office, I moved rapidly to revive the United States economy, slashing a record number of job-killing reg­u­la­tions, enacting his­toric and record-setting tax cuts, and fighting for fair and rec­i­p­rocal trade agree­ments,” Trump said. “Our agenda is relent­lessly pro-worker, pro-family, pro-growth, and most of all, pro-American.”

Trump has the numbers to back these claims up, and he was sure to high­light all of the key ones during his address. Unem­ployment among African Amer­icans, Latin Amer­icans, Asian Amer­icans, young Amer­icans, dis­abled Amer­icans, and vet­erans are all at all-time lows in Trump’s economy.

When Bill Clinton was running to unseat George H.W. Bush in 1992, his cam­paign ham­mered the now well-known line “the economy, stupid” to spearhead its mes­saging during the cam­paign cycle. The same has been true since then, and will con­tinue into the 2020 election season.

While Democrats have tried numerous lines of attack to undercut the success of the economy, the numbers speak for them­selves. Amer­icans, both Repub­licans and Inde­pen­dents, are increas­ingly viewing Trump and the Repub­lican Party favorably.

At the same time, Amer­icans are divided on the prospect of impeachment and removal of Pres­ident Trump from office for his involvement in foreign aid nego­ti­a­tions with Ukraine last summer. Although nearly 50% of Amer­icans say they favor Trump’s removal, his strong posi­tioning for reelection under­girds the fact that the economy is always the top issue on the majority of voters’ minds when they go to the ballot box.

Although not a pol­ished politician, Trump is shrewd. The economy is always the first thing he brings up at rallys and in his cam­paign speeches. It was his first topic in his address Tuesday night. When Barack Obama suc­cess­fully ran for reelection in 2012 against Sen. Mitt Romney R‑Utah, the question “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” rang through the rafters of the Demo­c­ratic National Con­vention that summer.

A strong economy tran­scends party lines, and as it stands now, it is likely to be a locus Trump can go back to over and over again as he cam­paigns for reelection throughout the year. While his job approval nears 50%, Gallup indi­cates that when asked about Trump’s han­dling of the economy as a whole, 63% of Amer­icans view him favorably.

In addition to Trump’s strong numbers both in the economy and public polling, the gov­erning alter­native the Democrats have offered stands in stark con­trast. 

Their par­tisan impeachment didn’t remove Trump from office.  Their Monday night debacle at the Iowa Caucus raises ques­tions about their ability to manage their own primary elec­tions. And their eco­nomic pro­posals don’t stir up the same amount of support from the public as Trump’s results have.

If Trump stays on message as he did Tuesday night, Democrats will have an even more dif­ficult time defeating him than they did in 2016. The ball is in the Repub­licans’ court right now. It’s up to them to play the game the correct way in the next nine months.

S. Nathaniel Grime is a senior studying rhetoric and public address. He is the sports editor for The Col­legian.