Economic Confidence

April 12, 2012, 3:00 PM GMT+0

(Week of 4/7/2012) In the Economist/YouGov poll, 25% say economy getting better, 32% worse (-7 overall), with 35% same and 7% not sure. Those assessments have hardly changed from where they were two years ago, in April 2010: 27% better, 31% worse (-4 overall) with 37% same and 5% not sure.

On the question of personal finances, today 15% feel better off than a year ago, 35% worse (-20 overall), with 46% the same. In April 2010, 12% felt better off than a year earlier, 43% worse (-31 overall), with 40% the same.

None of these assessments or trends since 2010 regarding the economy or personal finances suggest an easy reelection campaign for President Obama. The trend in assessments of personal finances are strongest among Independents (4-to-1 negative in 2010, 2-to-1 negative in 2012) and very strong among Democrats (15% better off -39% worse off in 2010, now 22% better off-26% worse off in 2012). Only Republicans report personal financial assessments in 2012 as gloomy as those in 2010 (-36 in 2010, now worse at -41 in 2012).

So long as Republican partisans are isolated in their continuing gloom about their personal financial situation, presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney will have a hard time capitalizing on otherwise weak scores for the economy and personal finances in this campaign. Romney’s unenviable but far-from-impossible task will be to find ways to describe negative aspects of Obama’s performance in handling the economy and helping families prosper that bring Independents and a few working class Democrats into the Republican fold, rather than leaving Republicans and Romney isolated in finding fault with Obama’s performance.

Economist/YouGov poll archives can be found here

Photo source: Press Association