How are things in America? The answer depends on who you voted for

Study finds that people evaluate the state of the economy and world more positively when the party they support is in power


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    Philip Jones, an Associate Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware, found that your opinion of how things are going in America depends on whether or not you voted for the party in power.

Newswise — Is the American economy booming or headed for a recession? Has President Donald Trump made America stronger in the eyes of the world, or has the country's global standing taken a hit since his election in 2016?

The answers to those questions rely on whether or not you voted for Trump and your party affiliation, according to a new study.

University of Delaware Professor Philip Jones found that partisan differences have increased significantly over the past few decades and have changed the most among the politically aware.

"Greater political awareness and more polarized politicians result in larger partisan perceptual differences, as the most engaged citizens are the most likely to receive and internalize cues about the state of the world from their party’s elites," Jones writes in the study, published in the journal Political Behavior.

Partisan viewpoints haven't changed since the 1950s: Those who identify with the incumbent party tend to see the economy as improving and the world becoming more peaceful than those who identify with the opposition. 

But political awareness has only amplified that divide. Partisan disagreement about the state of the world has roughly doubled since the early 1970s.

Reviewing findings between 1956-2016, Jones writes: "Politically attentive voters are more likely to see the world in ways that support their party than their less aware counterparts, because they are more likely to internalize messaging from their party’s elites, are more motivated to defend their predispositions and possess greater cognitive skills to counter-argue against disagreeable information."

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