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David Rubenstein: Democrats winning the House in November is no longer 'conventional wisdom' under healthy economy

Key Points
  • The Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein said it's less likely the Democrats win a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives during the 2018 midterms.
  • Rubenstein said that the healthy economy under President Trump and Republican leadership could mollify voters come November.
David M. Rubenstein, Co-Founder & Co-Executive Chairman, The Carlyle Group.
David A. Grogan | CNBC

The Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein said it's less likely the Democrats win a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives during the 2018 midterms thanks to the continued strength of the economy.

Rubenstein, 68, said that low unemployment and healthier economic conditions may make voters less inclined to split with President Donald Trump and Republican leadership.

"I think about two months ago … the conventional wisdom was that the Democrats would probably pick up the House. I’d say that’s not necessarily conventional wisdom today, it’s going to be very, very close," he said Wednesday in New York at the Delivering Alpha conference.

The private equity executive said the success of the economy under President Trump and Republican leadership in Congress should help mute what would otherwise be more vocal opposition from voters or worries from Wall Street.

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Carlyle CEO: No evidence of an economic slowdown

"Whatever you think of the president, one way or the other, there’s no doubt the economy’s in good shape. And when the economy’s in good shape, people tend to be happier," he added. "Unemployment is at a record low and therefore we’ve got a lot of people working, a lot of people making money. Not as much as they might want in some parts of the economic strata, but there aren't the economic concerns that you often have."

Rubenstein founded Carlyle with William Conway in 1987 helped build the firm into a global force with $201 billion in assets under management as of March 31. Conway and Rubenstein stepped away from day-to-day operations at the private-equity firm in January, when the two became co-executive chairmen.

"The markets right now are looking at many other factors. They see the president’s policies are generally ones that business is generally happy with, though I think the tariff issues are of some concern," he said. "They haven’t had a real impact on the economy yet, we don’t know whether they will."

The Baltimore native is one of the largest philanthropists in Washington, giving millions away to institutions such as Kennedy Center and the National Archives.