Economic Jitters


Is America’s economy getting better or worse?  Or is it simply stuck in neutral?

According to Bloomberg’s latest Consumer Comfort Index (CCI) – published weekly by Langer Research Associates – only 26 percent of Americans believe the U.S. economy is improving.  Meanwhile 37 percent believe it is getting worse, and another 37 percent say it is holding steady.  Over at Gallup, 38 percent said the economy was “getting better” while a whopping 57 percent indicated it was getting worse.

Those are hardly ringing endorsements of an economy that many believe may have already slipped back into recession.

Are these concerns impacting the 2016 election?  Yes – all over the map.

Exit polling from Illinois and North Carolina last month showed seven out of ten GOP voters were “very worried” about America’s economic future.  In Missouri and Ohio, Democrats said they were “somewhat or very worried” about the economy at an 81 percent and 73 percent clip, respectively.

In Wisconsin, three-quarters of Democratic voters and nine-out-of-ten Republican voters said they were somewhat or very worried about the economy, according to exit polling there.   Meanwhile in New York, a whopping 87 percent of Democratic voters indicated being somewhat or very worried about the economy, compared to 92 percent of Republican voters.  In both parties’ New York exit polling, “jobs and the economy” rated as the top issue – outpacing health care on the Democratic side and government spending on the GOP side.

It’s been said that 2016 will be a year of unprecedented voter angst – and it’s obvious that both parties have been badly-splintered as a result of this fomenting rage.  But with so much discussion out there about issues that divide voters, it’s clear that concern over the state of the economy runs deep in both partisan primaries.

As James Carville famously said, it’s “The Economy, Stupid.”