Diagnosis: Democratic Blindness

| July 30 2012

The United States economic outlook is bleak. No longer is financial uncertainty the exception, but the rule. It seems the whole country has caught an economic cough that flares up with any dust up from Europe or scandal from the financial sector. Economic coughing fits have not been so bad lately, but recently announced GDP numbers show a potentially troublesome situation.

The Commerce Department recently revised 2011 Q4 GDP growth from 2.8% to 3.0%. While this might look promising, the estimated 2012 Q2 GDP numbers are not quite as bright. Estimated GDP growth for 2012 Q2 was only 1.3%. The contrast of these two figures rightly shows just how fragile the American economy is. With general election day creeping closer, many wonder what this news will have on President Obama’s chances at reelection.

These poor economic figures do not seem to affect the President’s voter base. Only 21% of Democratic voters feel the economy is performing well, compared with 9% of Republican voters and 12% of unidentified voters. At the same time, 47% of Democrats feel like the economy is improving while 71% of Republicans feel the opposite.

While there is a stark contrast between Democrats’ and Republicans’ perceptions of the economy, the statistics tighten up a little when asked about personal finances. Democrats are not as optimistic about their personal finances and conversely, Republicans are not as pessimistic. 37% of Democrats feel their personal finances are getting worse, compared with only 58% of Republicans.

How can it be that, given the recent release of economic indicators dipping and their own personal finances getting worse, Democrats feel the economy is improving? Diagnosis: Democratic Blindness.

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