Just as most Americans say they hate Congress but routinely vote for their local congressmen, most Republicans seem to detect a national economic malaise while -- with some exceptions in places like coal country and the oil patch -- touting the economic progress in their local communities. They square that circle in a variety of ways -- crediting their Republican mayors and governors, accusing Obama of manipulating data, or citing legitimate weaknesses in the recovery from the Great Recession. But with unemployment down from 10 percent to below 5 percent since late 2009, one of Trump's many challenges will be persuading non-Republicans that America isn't working even though nearly 15 million more Americans are.
Tina Harris, a longtime realtor in Palm Harbor, Fla., told me the housing market is "booming." [...] "I'm not saying everything is horrible," Harris said. "But it was George W. Bush who put in the policies that got the economy going. Obama did nothing."