Announced in October 2023, the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and the Financial Times are partnering on a monthly poll to track how American voters perceive financial and economic issues in the lead-up to the 2024 US presidential election. The poll will run for 12 months leading up to the election.

The Financial Times-Michigan Ross poll continues to show supporters of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump "live in alternative realities," according to Jerry Davis, who serves as a faculty adviser to the poll.

Davis, a professor of management and organizations, analyzed the findings of February's poll and offers the following insights:

"Commentators in the media continue to puzzle over the 'vibecession'—the strange finding that people express pessimism about the economy even though by many measures—unemployment, inflation, wages, the stock market—the economy is doing extraordinarily well. Nate Silver sought to unpack this phenomenon in a recent New York Times op-ed, and countless others have weighed in.

"What is striking about this commentary is that 'public opinion' is treated as a singular organism. Thus, comparing averages over time for consumer sentiment and economic statistics gives the impression public opinion has suddenly come loose from reality. But 'public opinion' is like weather in Michigan: The average day is a lovely 65 degrees, but January and July days are very different.

"This month’s results continue to show Biden voters and Trump voters live in alternative realities. Asked which factors are most responsible for price increases in the past six months, the vast majority of Biden voters named 'large corporations taking advantage of inflation' as their top choice, while Trump voters named 'Democratic policies' first.

"About a third of Biden voters believe the U.S. spends too much on aid to Ukraine, whereas 62% of Trump voters do. Roughly two-thirds of Trump voters believe inflation has headed in the wrong direction in the past year, compared to 36% of Biden voters.

"Thus, rather than examining population averages, commentators would do well to examine the averages of America’s different tribes."

The FT-Michigan Ross Poll is conducted by Democratic polling firm Global Strategy Group and Republican polling firm North Star Opinion Research. It surveys an online sample of 1,000 registered voters from a variety of socioeconomic groups across the country and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points at 95% confidence level.