Do political views color perceptions of the economy? Washington Bureau Chief Craig Gilbert fills us in.
Having Donald Trump in the White House has had a revolutionary effect on the economic outlook of Wisconsin’s most partisan voters, recent polling suggests.
In a flash, it has turned Republicans into rosy optimists and Democrats into dour pessimists, reversing the mood of voters in both parties.
You probably didn’t need a poll to tell you that.
But the polling also tells us something more stark and fundamental about the partisan prism through which many voters see the world.
Trump’s election did more than change the expectations of Republicans and Democrats about the economy’s future performance.
It altered their assessments of the economy’s actual performance.
When GOP voters in Wisconsin were asked last October whether the economy had gotten better or worse “over the past year,” they said “worse’’ — by a margin of 28 points.
But when they were asked the very same question last month, they said “better” — by a margin of 54 points.
That’s a net swing of 82 percentage points between late October 2016 and mid-March 2017.
What changed so radically in those four and a half months?
The economy didn’t. But the political landscape did.
Republican Trump replaced Democrat Barack Obama as president. With their own party now in power, Republicans overwhelmingly upgraded their evaluations of America’s economic performance.
“That’s a testament to the power of partisanship to rewrite our perceptions, even when the…
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