If Donald Trump falls short in his quest for the White House, as many prognosticators predict, it may be because he spent his campaign describing an image of America that doesn't exist.
As Trump spends his time on the stump painting a picture of poverty, crime and rampant flows of undocumented immigrants hindering American prosperity, new data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that median family income in America increased in 2015 by 5.2%, the biggest increase since the Great Depression.
The 5.2% rise in median income was the largest ever recorded, according to University of Michigan economics professor Justin Wolfers, and was higher for the poorest Americans than the richest.
To be sure, the median household income is still lower than it was in 2007, before the economic crash in 2008 hit.
And an improving economy is a strong indicator of how the president's party will fare in an election.
Aside from Trump's image of the American economy, Trump has also used misleading statistics to paint a picture of crime in America.
And despite saying the flow of undocumented immigrants are taking jobs away from law-abiding citizens, data shows the number of undocumented people living in the U.S. is at its lowest levels in a decade, according to the Atlantic.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a top Trump surrogate, gave perhaps the clearest answer about why Trump's image of America is so different than what facts suggest.
"Liberals have a whole set of statistics which theoretically may be right, but it's not where human beings are," Gingrich said on CNN.
He then provided an apt description for Trump's campaign, which has become notorious for a tortured relationship with the truth: "As a political candidate, I'll go with how people feel and I'll let you go with the theoreticians," Gingrich said.