President Trump begins his reelection year in a more competitive position than he was last fall against potential Democratic challengers, aided by rising approval for his handling of the economy, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

The state of the economy and perceptions of Trump’s handling of it pose a challenge for Democratic presidential candidates, who have criticized the president’s policies and focused their economic messaging on inequities between the richest Americans and everyone else and on alleviating the financial struggles of many families who are dealing with rising health-care, child-care or educational costs.

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Despite Americans’ concerns that the economic system favors the wealthy, the latest Post-ABC poll finds that fewer than half are worried about maintaining their own standard of living, a shift from 2016, when most expressed concern about losing their financial footing.

With just over nine months until Election Day, Americans see Trump as a slight favorite for reelection, with 49 percent expecting him to win and 43 percent predicting that his Democratic challenger will prevail. But those expectations are highly partisan, with 87 percent of Republicans saying they believe Trump will win reelection while a somewhat smaller 78 percent majority of Democrats say they believe their party’s nominee will win.

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