I just heard on Anderson Cooper that the issue on which the public most trusts Trump over Clinton is on who would manage the economy better. This is in spite of the fact that he would have made more money if he had just put his inheritance in index funds rather than doing what he has done, that he has declared numerous bankruptcies, been sued numerous times for violating contracts and fraudulent dealings, and has refused to release tax returns that apparently contain all kinds of border line or over the border misbehaviors, along with a lot of other stuff not making him look the good businessman people think he is.
OTOH, if one defines "professional economists" as those with PhDs in economics (I grant that this can be debated, but I am going with it for now), then it appears that we have never seen such a lopsided ratio of these people supporting one of the major candidates over the other, with the balance just the opposite of the public. If one looks at former Chairs of the CEA or Secretaries of the Treasury who worked for Republican presidents, not one has come out for Trump. Now, most of them have not come out for Clinton, which is a contrast with former GOP National Security Advisers and Secretaries of State, quite a few of whom have come out for her. But it remains that this is an unprecedented situation.
More to the point is to actually go looking for PhD economists who are supporting Trump. Now I suspect that there are more than have been publicly identified. But in terms of publicly released petitions or publicly released statements, the number is abysmally low, on the order of five or six to the best I can determine, and, frankly, they are by and large not a group to write home about. The one who has gotten the most attention and was by all reports the main author of the main economic policy statement put out by the Trump campaign, is Peter Navarro of UC-Irvine (I confess to not having heard of him prior to his recent appearance as a Trump economic adviser). Most economists have viewed that policy statement as barely coherent and full of falsehoods and contradictions. I do not usually play credentials games, but Navarro has had very few publications in refereed journals in recent years, and his work has not been heavily cited. Of the five or six others, only two do I know anything about. One is John Lott, the favorite economist of the NRA, who once had a sock puppet by himself praising himself called "Mary Rosh," has been frequently accused of using fraudulent or misleading data in his papers, and has been unable to hold an academic job, even in conservative departments, despite his extensive and heavily cited publication record (with many of those citations being in papers criticizing his work). Lott is currently at a think tank he founded whose funding sources are not known to me. The other is probably the most respectable in my eyes, Svetozar Pejovich, now emeritus at Texas A&M. The most well-known of his papers have been about property rights in the former Yugoslavia. These have been respectable, but he has not done much recently, and probably the only reason I know his work is that comparative economics is one of my fields of research. The bottom line is that this is both a very skimpy and unimpressive list.
Of course his supposed top economic advisers are not fully professional economists. While Lawrence Kudlow has intoned on economic issues for many years on TV and elsewhere, his academic education ends with an undergraduate degree in history, and his economic forecasting record has been so bad that one can expect to make money by assuming that what will happen economically will be just the opposite from what he forecasts. Another is Stephen Moore, who does have a masters degree in economics, but his forecasting record is not much better than Kudlow's (we are still waiting for that hyperinflation both forecast so vigorously). He currently carries the title "economist" at the Heritage Foundation, so maybe I should count him as a "professional economists" too.The rest of his supposed board is basically a lot of hedge fund traders, maybe mostly rich people, but not professional economists.
So, there we have it. I do think that sometimes when conventional views of professional economists disagree with public opinion, that the latter may be closer to the truth than the former. But I must say that this particular situation seems to be the largest such disjuncture that I know of, and on this one, I am with the vast majority of professional economists against apparently widespread public opinion. I can only hope that this strongly held public opinion does not result in us having to suffer through policies pushed by the pretty pathetic set of professional economists Trump has backing him.