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Attitude Check

Politics affects how you feel about the economy

Marketplace Contributor Sep 13, 2012
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Attitude Check

Politics affects how you feel about the economy

Marketplace Contributor Sep 13, 2012
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Consumer confidence was up last week, suggesting that Americans are seeing positive signs in the economy. Especially if they’re Democrats. Polls from Gallup and the Pew Research Center have found that how you interpret economic news varies with your political orientation.

“Republicans are depressed in general,” says Gallup director Frank Newport.  “Democrats say, hey things are going alright because we have a Democrat in the White House.”

The economy isn’t the only seeming non-partisan sphere that can become politicized. History shows that violence aimed at Americans abroad, like the protests at U.S. embassies in Libya, Egypt and Yemen this week, can influence public opinion about domestic politics.

“In certain instances, there are what we call rally events.” Newport said. “Regardless of who the President is, people tend at least temporarily to rally around the President.”

But that effect may not necessarily last.

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