It is often said that Americans vote with their wallets, and the economy remains one of the most critical issues in the quickly approaching presidential election. A recent Gallup poll assessed the economic confidence of the American voting public.
Dividing economic confidence along party lines, Democrats are the most optimistic in the polls in the week ending Sept. 23. Coinciding with the Democratic National Convention, Democrats saw a 10 percentage point increase in economic confidence, and helped maintain the Gallup Economic Confidence Index’s highest levels of the year.
Opposing political parties do not share the same optimism, with Independents’ economic confidence dropped four percentage points and Republicans’ overall confidence in the economy declined, once again meeting the lowest levels since November 2011.
The Gallup Economic Confidence Index comprises two measures – net perceptions of current economic conditions, or the percentage of voters rating the economy excellent or good minus those who call it poor, and the net economic optimism, or the percentage of voters who say the economy is improving minus those who say it is getting worse.
The recent poll indicated that net perceptions of current economic conditions have improved since the beginning of the month, but held steady from the previous week. Net economic optimism improved from the previous week and is significantly higher than the beginning of the month.
Gallup surmised, “Republicans’ lack of confidence likely reflects the fact that the economy is still struggling nearly four years after the economic downturn. Democrats’ greater optimism probably stems from the improvement in some aspects of the economy since President Barack Obama took office and Democrats’ continued focus on them during and after the convention. With the political campaign only intensifying, and the election’s outcome hinging on the health of the economy, it is possible the partisan gap in economic confidence will expand further over the next several weeks.”