Despite an improving economy, Americans are pessimistic on financial issues, a Politico poll released Monday found. Voters in crucial battleground states in the 2014 midterm elections disapprove of President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy, but they are also unsure which political party is better for their wallet.
Nearly a third of respondents -- 30 percent -- said their personal financial affairs are worse than they were a year ago. Only 26 percent said they had improved. The poll of 917 likely voters was taken between Aug. 29 to Sept. 7 by the research firm Gfk and designed by SocialSphere Inc. The survey has a margin of error of 3.7 percent.
Democrats hope the improving economy will work in their favor when voters head to the polls in November. But despite six consecutive months of more than 200,000 jobs gained and another 142,000 jobs gained in August, voters polled by Politico don’t see the party as faring any better on the economy than Republicans. Both parties polled at 36 percent when respondents were asked which one they trust more to handle the economy. Another 28 percent were unsure.
The poll also found 57 percent of respondents disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy, including 37 percent who strongly disapprove of the president on economic issues. Only 27 percent strongly approved and 15 percent somewhat approved.
Nicole Chapman, a 38-year-old child care provider from New Jersey, is undecided how she will vote, but the economy is the most important issue to her.
“It’s getting worse across the board. Only the people that have the silver spoons are the ones it’s going well for,” she told Politico. She didn’t blame Obama for the economy, however, saying the president is doing “the best that he can possibly do, with Congress not working with him."
Dale Nelson, a 52-year-old Republican from North Carolina who works at a bank, did blame Obama and the Democrats for the economy, which he said is “really slow compared to what it could be.” He said the economy and border security were the issues most important to him. North Carolina has a closely contested Senate race between incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan and Republican state House Speaker Thom Tillis.