ISU Political Scientists Give Poor Marks To President Trump | WGLT

ISU Political Scientists Give Poor Marks To President Trump

Nov 9, 2017

Based on accomplishments and temperament over the past 10 months, two faculty members from Illinois State University's Department of Politics and Government are giving President Trump a "D minus" and an "Incomplete."

Both based their grades on past presidential performance to this point. Trump was elected president a year ago this week. 

"The only reason he passes the class (with a D minus) is because he did get Neil Gorsuch nominated," said ISU political scientist Erik Rankin. Gorsuch was sworn in a Supreme Court justice in April. 

ISU political scientists Erik Rankin, left, and Tom McClure.
Credit Staff / WGLT

Both Rankin and ISU colleague Tom McClure told GLT's Mike McCurdy during Sound Ideas that Trump has failed when it comes to foreign policy and important legislation.

"It's been a dismal failure," said McClure. "There hasn't been any piece legislation that has turned out the way Trump wanted it turn out."

McClure pointed out Trump could take credit for a booming stock market, but admitted presidents have little direct effect on the stock market. Rankin pointed out that there hasn't been a Trump budget yet, so the continuation of Obama policies could also be credited toward a well performing stock market.

There also hasn't been a tax reform bill passed or signed, which would also affect the stock market. 

"I think something is going to be enacted. I don't know if it will look very much like what is being proposed right now, but I think there will be some sort of tax reform and it may be leading to the defeat of incumbents come November (2018) because there will definitely be losers the way it's being proposed right now," said McClure.

Despite the results of the off-year election on Tuesday, which favored Democrats and issues like healthcare, McClure doesn't think the Democrats have much of a chance. Rankin disagrees.

"It really does depend on how many Republicans decide not to run and how many of those will be in areas that are competitive," said Rankin. "You're seeing a lot of those competitive districts getting good solid candidates. Candidates are coming out of the woodwork for the Democratic Party." 

McClure said the key is motivation, and he said Trump's people are clearly motivated voters and will show up to the polls.

"If you have some quality Democratic candidates that can motivate people to come out, then Democrats can make a big change," said McClure. However, McClure thinks a big gain in 2018 by Democrats is a longshot. 

Both Rankin and McClure agree foreign policy has been nearly non-existent, and McClure called Trump's tweets regarding North Korea "a childish game."

They also agree that if Trump tries to fire Special Prosecutor Robert Muller, Republicans would move to impeach him.

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