Should marketers of big-ticket items give up on Democrats until election day is past? We might infer as much from a Washington Post/ABC News poll. Being richer than Democrats, Republicans are often more apt to think the economy is fine. But this poll finds such a vast gap in attitudes that one suspects another factor is at work: Amid today’s intense political partisanship, Democrats feel duty-bound to see the economy as an utter disaster. Asked about conditions now, 0 percent of Democrats (vs. 7 percent of Republicans) said they’re “excellent”; 18 percent (vs. 64 percent of Republicans) said they’re “good.” As the chart indicates, few Democrats are swayed by recent data pointing to an upturn. Democrats were more than twice as likely as Republicans to be “very concerned” that someone in their family will lose a job in the next year (32 percent vs. 12 percent). And they were more than three times as likely as Republicans to say they’ve suffered “serious hardship” from the rise in gasoline prices (44 percent vs. 14 percent). All told, it doesn’t sound as if the Democrats are in the mood for a shopping spree—at least, not until the votes have been counted.
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