Is it the message or the messenger?
“The Economy Is Great: Why Do Americans Blame Biden?” asked Alan S. Binder for the Wall Street Journal on October 18, 2023.
“There is a sharp disconnect between the U.S. economy’s underlying realities, which are good, and people’s attitudes about the economy, which remain sour,” noted Binder. “Why does President Biden’s economic performance get such bad marks when unemployment is near record lows, net jobs are still being created at a breakneck pace, and inflation has fallen notably?”
“Biden’s Economy Is Great Everywhere Except in the Polls,” agreed Matthew Yglesias for the Washington Post on October 22, 2023. “As the US economy continues to improve, President Joe Biden continues to not get credit for it. Only 35% of voters in seven swing states trust Biden on the economy, according to a Bloomberg/Morning Consult poll, with 51% saying it was better under Donald Trump.”
Theories for this perceived disconnect abound. Some pundits, journalists, and politicos accuse poll respondents of outright lying.
“Joe Biden’s economy is, honestly, pretty amazing: How come he doesn’t get credit?” raged Kirk Swearingen for Salon last week. “Many voters claim Biden’s economy is bad and Trump’s was better. What fantasy version of America do they live in?”
“As you stand in line at that restaurant or circle the mall parking lot looking for a space, do you wonder about the disparity between what people apparently tell pollsters about the economy and what you can see with your own two eyes?” complained Swearingen.
Other pundits don’t think poll respondents are lying, exactly; just wrong. Or perhaps, ignorant of economic matters.
“US economy going strong under Biden — Americans don’t believe it,” wrote Dominic Rushe for The Guardian in September. “Despite a strong economy, an exclusive Guardian poll shows mistrust in media and government means disbelief in both parties.”
“Americans do not trust the government’s economic news — or the media’s reporting of it — according to a Harris poll conducted exclusively for the Guardian that presents the White House with a major hurdle as it pushes Biden’s economic record ahead of next…