Number of the Day Shows Partisan Outlook

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Number of the Day

That’s how much more pessimistic Republicans got about the economy in early November, the latest University of Michigan survey of consumer attitudes showed. 

According to preliminary survey results released Friday, the University of Michigan’s Index of Consumer Expectations fell 10% from its October reading because of Republican pessimism: the Republican index fell 24% from the previous month, while the one for Democrats rose a slight 1%. The uneven response to the presidential election actually served to narrow the partisan divide, as self-identified Republicans have been significantly more optimistic about the future of the economy than self-identified Democrats during Republican President Donald Trump’s administration.

The index measures consumer views on the prospects for their own finances as well as the broader economy. The latest survey was conducted both before and after the Nov. 3 presidential election (Oct. 28-Nov. 10) but Richard Curtin, chief economist for the survey, attributed the overall decline to the election results and a resurgence in COVID-19 infections.

“Interviews conducted following the election recorded a substantial negative shift in the Expectations Index among Republicans, but recorded no gain among Democrats,” Curtin wrote in a statement accompanying the results. “It is likely that Democrats' fears about the covid resurgence offset gains in economic expectations: 59% of Democrats reported that their normal life had changed to a great extent due to the coronavirus compared with just 34% among Republicans.”