The bad news keeps piling up for Republicans as a new Gallup poll found that American optimism about their own finances has reached an 11 year high.
According to Gallup:
A majority of Americans, 52%, say their financial situation is “getting better,” the highest percentage to say this since 2004. It is also the first time since the recession that this sentiment has reached the majority level.
Gallup has been asking Americans whether their financial situation is getting better or getting worse since 2001. Americans were most positive about the outlook for their personal finances in 2002, when 60% said their financial situation was getting better, while they were least optimistic about their condition in 2011 (29%), as the government showdown over raising the debt ceiling led to instability in the stock market.
Not only is there a sizable gap between young and older Americans’ views, but there is also a significant divide between Republicans’ and Democrats’ perceptions of whether their financial situation is getting better. Thirty-eight percent of Republicans say their situation is getting better while 63% of Democrats say the same. Republicans barely budged from 37% last year, while Democrats jumped 11 points from 2014. Independents’ views fall roughly in between the two main parties, with 52% saying that their situation is getting better. This matches the overall percentage of Americans who say this.
Optimism about the economy is horrible news for Republicans who have been arguing over the course of the entire Obama presidency that his policies were failing and making the economy worse. The 2016 Republican candidates have all embraced the mantra that President Obama has failed, and that the path to true economic recovery is tax cuts for the wealthy, deregulation, cuts to programs that benefit the middle-class and the poor.
The Gallup poll reveals that the only people who are buying the dire Republican rhetoric about the economy are fellow Republicans. Republican candidates who badmouth the economy run the risk of looking like they are out of touch with reality. The growing optimism is a perfect match for what us likely to be Hillary Clinton’s campaign message that she can turn the Obama economic recovery into an economic boom.
The Obama recovery is rolling, and the American people are noticing.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association