In a survey conducted for Tekk.tv and published on Wednesday, 32% of registered voters said they were better off than four years ago, 31% said they were about as well off and 26% said they were worse off. Another 10% said they did not know what their current situation was compared to 2016.
The economy was the most important issue for voters in more than 200 counties surveyed, which Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012, but which Donald Trump won in 2016.
In these districts, 40% named the economy as the most important topic, while 28% named healthcare as number 1. Only 4% said law and order was their most important topic, according to the survey conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies between October 25 and 27.
Recently released government statistics show that these voters have reason to be concerned.
The Department of Labor said in its final pre-election day report on Thursday that 751,000 workers applied for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, 40,000 fewer than the week before. The unemployment rate was 7.9% in September, and the next report is scheduled for November 6.
“The unemployment rate is still far too high,” Beth Ann Bovino, chief economist of S&P Global Ratings, told Tekk.tv. “At 7.9%, it is either higher or equal to the highest level of unemployment during eight of the last eleven recessions since 1948.
The U.S. Department of Commerce reported today that U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a broad measure of economic activity, grew 7.4% in the third quarter compared to the second quarter. This growth followed a 9% decline in GDP from the first quarter, January to March, to the second quarter, April to June.
In the third quarter, GDP grew at an annual rate of 33.1% between July and September, the highest growth ever recorded, according to today’s announcement. However, this growth follows a 31.4% decline in the second quarter, as the Ministry of Commerce stated in a revised report in September.
But Bovino said the economy had not yet fully recovered.
“It is still only recovering about two-thirds of the decline we saw from the COVID 19 recession,” Bovino said. “It will only become more difficult to return to normality. The recovery in the third quarter consisted mainly of picking some low-hanging fruit that was tied to the lockdown figure. People came out and spent money.”
Bovino added that the strength of the housing market with low interest rates and the flight from crowded cities in the third quarter had been beneficial.
After the GDP data was released, President Trump went on Twitter to celebrate the numbers.
“The biggest and best in the history of our country, and not even close,” the president twittered. “Next year will be FANTASTIC!!! But sleepy Joe Biden and his proposal for a record-breaking tax increase would ruin everything. I’m so glad that this great GDP figure came out before November 3.
Trump inherited an economy that, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a research and policy institute, had grown in the 91st century. The longest U.S. economic expansion ever recorded lasted from mid-2009 at the start of the Obama administration until 2019 during Trump’s presidency, but ended with the decline in economic activity due to the COVID 19 pandemic,
Scott Hoyt, head of Consumer Economic Research at Moody’s Analytics, wrote in a note to clients that Tekk.tv had received that the economy had been “damaged” in the first and second quarter of the recession.
“The COVID 19 recession was the shortest but most severe ever recorded,” Hoyt wrote. “The initial recovery in GDP was similarly historic, although most evidence suggests that the strong growth was also very brief and did not fully reverse the decline.
Growth will remain weak into next year, he told customers.
“The economy will stutter until it receives further support from fiscal stimulus,” he said, “and it may struggle again if that support fades before a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19 becomes generally available. At that time, there will be a stronger and more sustained recovery”.
In addition, the survey found that 59% of respondents who said they were better off than four years ago felt that Trump’s policies had contributed to their improved status, and 34% said the Republican President’s policies had not.
Of those who told the pollsters that they s