Updated Jun 25, 2019

Economic trouble in Trump country ahead of 2020

"Flipped" counties in the 2016 election. Map via Economic Innovation Group

Swing counties that backed President Obama, then flipped to President Trump in 2016, are struggling economically — a potential problem for his re-election bid, which depends heavily on the president celebrating national economic gains.

What's happening: The Economic Innovation Group, in a report provided first to Axios, found that these "flipped" counties "experienced slower growth in employment, a slower rise in the number of [businesses], and a more pervasive decline in prime-age workers than consistently Democratic or Republican counties."

By the numbers: There are 207 counties where Obama won in both '08 and '12, before they flipped to Trump in '16.

  • The state with the most flipped counties is Iowa, at 31, followed by Wisconsin with 23 and Minnesota with 19.
  • 53% of flipped counties lost population from 2016 to 2018, and 94% lost prime working-age population over the past decade, according to the report.

What they're saying: "Struggling areas played an outsized role in deciding the 2016 election," said John Lettieri, president and CEO of the Economic Innovation Group, a nonprofit "ideas laboratory" based in D.C.

  • "[S]wing counties ... continue to experience weaker economic conditions that are out of step with the robust national economy."
The 2016 election results. Map via Economic Innovation Group

Go deeper: Trump's 2020 map from hell

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.

How Trump’s economy stacks up

Source: "Presidents and US Economy", Trump figures through 2019 courtesy of Alan Blinder; Note: Data shows real GDP and Q1 growth in each term is attributed to the previous president; Chart: Axios Visuals

Average economic growth under President Trump has outpaced the growth under Barack Obama, but not all of his recent predecessors.

Why it matters: GDP is the most comprehensive economic scorecard — and something presidents, especially Trump, use as an example of success. And it's especially relevant since Trump is running for re-election on his economic record.

Coronavirus cases rise as 14 American evacuees infected

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 1,770 people and infected almost 70,000 others. Most cases and all but five of the deaths have occurred in mainland China. Taiwan confirmed its first death on Sunday, per multiple reports, in a 61-year-old man with underlying health conditions. Health officials were investigating how he became ill.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health