President Trump is scheduled to leave office at noon, Jan. 20. He has had an extraordinary impact on the United States and Indiana and will leave behind a deeply divided nation.
The 2020 election was basically a referendum on … him. As his presidency draws to a close, let’s take a dispassionate look at the metrics of his impacts:
Elections: Trump won the contested 2016 Indiana presidential primary 53% (591,514 votes) to 36.6% for Sen. Ted Cruz and 7.7% for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Trump carried 87 counties to five for Cruz. He won the 2016 General Election 56.5% to 37.5%, with 1,557,286 votes and helped Sen. Todd Young defeat Evan Bayh 52.1% to 42.4%, and Gov. Eric Holcomb over John Gregg 51.4% to 45.4%. In 2020, Trump defeated Joe Biden 57.1% to 41% with 1,729,516 votes, carrying 87 counties. He won the Electoral College 306-232 over Hillary Clinton in 2016 and lost it 306-232 to Biden on Dec. 14. Indiana Republicans now control 88% of all county offices, 70 mayors (an all-time high), nine of 11 congressional seats, all Statehouse constitutional offices, and hold super majorities in the Indiana House (71 seats) and Senate (40).
Trump approval: Trump never cracked 50% approval in Gallup. He reached 49% in January 2020. It stood at 46% in the final preelection poll. In the October Ball State Hoosier Poll, Trump’s approval was 41% and disapproval at 45%.
GDP under Trump: Candidate Trump predicted Gross Domestic Product rising into the 4 to 6% range. Here’s a look at annual U.S. GDP growth during Trump’s presidency. The 2020 estimate comes from the Federal Reserve: 2017: +2.3%; 2018: +3%; 2019: +2.2%; and 2020: -3.7%.
Market Facilitation Program: To lessen the brunt of his tariff trade war with China, President Trump has spent $51 billion on subsidies to U.S. farmers, including $1.3 billion to Hoosier farmers. In 2020, the trade deficit was on track to exceed $600 billion, the largest gap since 2008.
COVID: At this writing, Indiana has suffered 7,036 deaths since March, had 476,538 positive cases, administered 5.3 million tests to 2.56 million Hoosiers. In schools, as of Dec. 21, 18,460 students, 3,798 teachers and 4,610 staff members statewide had tested positive for COVID. In the U.S., the death toll on Dec. 23 stood at 323,239.
Hoosiers in the Trump administration: More than 30 Hoosiers joined the Trump administration, headed by Vice President Mike Pence. Cabinet members include Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, CMS Commissioner Seema Verma, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who controlled nearly half of the federal budget, while former senator Dan Coats was director of National Intelligence until August 2019.
Obamacare: Since Trump took office, 2.3 million Americans have lost their health insurance coverage. Indiana had 140,931 people enrolled in private individual market plans through the Indiana exchange. That’s down about 35% from the exchange’s peak in 2015, when more than 218,000 people enrolled. More than 572,000 Indiana low-income residents receive their health insurance through HIP 2.0, about 100,000 more than at this time last year, according to the IndyStar.
America First: According to George Packer of The Atlantic, President Trump withdrew the United States from 13 international organizations, agreements and treaties, including the Paris Climate Accords and the Trans Pacific Partnership.
Immigration: Trump has built 438 miles of the Mexican border wall, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Mexico has not paid for any portion of this project. According to the U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. apprehensions of illegal immigrants totaled 859,501 in 2019, 404,142 in 2018 and 310,531 in 2017. In the final two years of the Obama administration, there were 415,816 apprehensions in 2016 and 337,117 in 2015. Since 2017, at least 5,500 children have been separated from their parents at the Mexican border, with 545 children still not reunited with their parents as of October.
Environment: According to The Atlantic, President Trump reversed 80 environmental rules and regulations.
Coal: President Trump promised to revive the U.S. coal industry. According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, in 2014 coal supplied 38.6% of U.S. energy needs, declining to 23.4% in 2019, and was projected to drop another 19% in 2020. In 2014, coal-fired power plants provided about 85% of Indiana’s electricity generation, according to the Indiana Business Review. That declined to 59% in 2019.
Judiciary: President Trump appointed more than 220 judges to the federal bench — all of them rated conservative by the Federalist Society, including three to the Supreme Court, Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana.
Trump and taxes: President Trump enacted the first comprehensive tax reform legislation in three decades, cutting the corporate tax rates from 35% to 21%, while the standard deduction and per child tax credits were doubled.
National debt and deficits: The national debt increased by $7 trillion since 2017, or 37%. The U.S. federal budget deficit is projected to reach a record of $3.3 trillion in 2020. According to The Balance.com, this increase is largely a result of government spending in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. federal outlays for 2020 total $6.6 trillion, which is $2.2 trillion more than in 2019. Revenue for 2020 is projected to be $3.3 trillion, too, which leaves the deficit at $3.3 trillion.
Lies, false statements and mistruths: The Washington Post’s Fact Checker had documented 25,653 false or misleading claims by President Trump in 1,366 days as of Oct. 26.