Divergent Opinions on the Economy

This week’s survey of consumer confidence by ABC News and Money Magazine showed no changes from the previous week. What I found really interesting about this survey, though, was how very different the opinions on the state of the economy were depending on the political affiliation of the person surveyed. Specifically:

The index stands at -47 among Democrats, its lowest level since November 1993, but +43 among Republicans, matching its highest point since November 2000.

That strikes me as a huge difference in perceptions. Basically that says that Democrats think the economy is still in recession, while Republicans think the economy is booming like there’s no tomorrow.

Why such a big difference? Are people are just adhering more closely to the view of the economy as given by each party’s leadership? Or are Democrats and Republicans really experiencing different parts of the economy? Maybe Democrats are in the types of jobs and industries that are hurting, while Republicans are in sectors of the economy that are doing well.

It’s probably some combination of these factors. But either way, this is an aspect of partisanship that I haven’t seen in a while (though I suppose you could have found similarly divergent views on the economy in 1984). Yet another way in which Bush has proved to be a divider rather than uniter, I suppose.