Echoing Recent Special Election, Views on Economy Will Impact November Midterms

A new Long Island University Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling and Analysis poll on the economy shows that despite stock market gains and historically low unemployment, Americans continue to have a generally pessimistic view of the economy.

The LIU Hornstein poll found that 44 percent of Americans rate the economy positively (very strong or strong), while 51 percent rate it negatively (only fair or poor).  Similarly, 36 percent believe the economy is getting better, 34 percent believe it is getting worse, and the remainder believe it is staying the same or they have no opinion.

One relative bright spot in the poll, however, is that Americans are seeing improvements in the labor market. 56 percent agree that this is a good time to begin a job search, while 55 percent feel secure in their present employment.

Highlighting one of the reasons the Republicans saw little traction in the recent Special Election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District on the tax issue, just 29 percent of Americans believe the recently passed tax bill will improve the economy, while 40 percent believe it will weaken the economy, and the remainder believe it will have no impact.

The economy remains a personal issue for many Americans, with just 37 percent saying their feel economically secure, while 47 percent do not.

“As we saw in the Pennsylvania Special Election, if Americans do not think the economy is improving, do not feel economically secure and do not believe the tax bill will improve the economy, the Republicans will have great difficulty winning elections on this issue,” said Dr. Edward Summers, a Fellow at the Hornstein Center. “If the Republican playbook is to run on the economy this Fall, they will either need to dramatically change Americans’ perceptions or draw up some new plays.”

The division on the economy extends to tariffs. While 40 percent of Americans support tariffs because they believe they will protect American jobs and competitiveness, an almost equal 39 percent opposes tariffs because they think these charges will disrupt the markets and negatively impact prices.

The findings are based on a published public opinion poll conducted from March 12-13, 2018, of 1021 Americans, with a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

Dr. Summers, who obtained his Ph.D. in Public Policy, is a Fellow at the Hornstein Center. His career includes experience in public policy, higher education, and opinion research.

 

Long Island University

Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling, and Analysis

National Survey on State of the Economy

March 12-13, 2018

Q1. How would you currently rate the U.S. economy?
Answer Choices Responses
Very strong; 7.86% 81
Strong; 36.31% 374
Only fair; 36.12% 372
Poor; 14.37% 148
No Opinion; 5.34% 55
Answered 1030
Q2. In what direction is the U.S. economy trending?
Answer Choices Responses
The U.S. economy is getting better; 35.73% 368
The U.S. economy is getting worse; 33.50% 345
The U.S. economy is the same; 23.11% 238
No Opinion; 7.67% 79
Answered 1030
Q3. Is it a good time to begin a job search?
Answer Choices Responses
It is a good time to begin a job search; 55.83% 575
It is not a good time to begin a job search; 20.29% 209
No Opinion; 23.88% 246
Answered 1030
Q4. Is it a good time to invest?
Answer Choices Responses
It is a good time to invest; 50.19% 517
It is not a good time to invest; 26.60% 274
No Opinion; 23.20% 239
Answered 1030
 

 

Q5. Do you think the recently implemented tax reforms will improve the economy?

Answer Choices Responses
I think the proposed tax reform bill will improve the economy; 28.83% 297
I think the proposed tax reform bill will weaken the economy; 40.10% 413
I think the proposed tax reform bill will have no effect on the economy; 13.20% 136
No Opinion; 17.86% 184
Answered 1030
Q6. Should the federal government provide subsidies to American companies and producers?
Answer Choices Responses
Yes, subsidies will help keep them competitive in the market and keep prices low; 15.34% 158
Yes, subsidies will help keep jobs in the U.S.; 18.83% 194
No, subsidies disrupt the market and negatively impact prices; 26.50% 273
No, it is unfair to other companies and producers; 15.83% 163
No Opinion; 23.50% 242
Answered 1030
Q7. Do you support tariffs on imported goods?
Answer Choices Responses
Yes, they protect American companies and producers keep them competitive; 22.62% 233
Yes, they protect American jobs; 17.67% 182
No, they disrupt the market and negatively impact prices; 38.93% 401
No Opinion; 20.78% 214
Answered 1030
Q8. Do you feel economically secure in the current climate?
Answer Choices Responses
Yes, I feel economically secure; 37.38% 385
No, I do not feel economically secure; 46.50% 479
Unsure; 16.12% 166
Answered 1030
Q9. Do you feel secure in your current employment given the state of the economy?
Answer Choices Responses
Yes, I feel secure in my employment; 55.15% 568
No, I do not feel secure in my employment; 25.73% 265
Unsure; 19.13% 197
Answered 1030
 

Q10. Are you married?

Answer Choices Responses
Yes; 48.93% 504
No; 46.41% 478
No Answer; 4.66% 48
Answered 1030
Q11. Do you have children?
Answer Choices Responses
Yes; 54.27% 559
No; 42.72% 440
No Answer; 3.01% 31
Answered 1030
Q12. Are you registered to vote?
Answer Choices Responses
Yes; 87.09% 897
No, but I plan to register before the next election; 3.88% 40
No, and I do not plan to register; 5.83% 60
Unsure; 3.20% 33
Answered 1030
Q13. With which party do you primarily identify?
Answer Choices Responses
I primarily identify with the Republican party; 23.79% 245
I primarily identify with the Democratic party; 35.44% 365
I primarily identify with another party; 4.95% 51
I do not primarily identify with one political party; 28.54% 294
Unsure; 7.28% 75
Answered 1030
Q14. Age
Answer Choices Responses
18-29 18.83% 194
30-44 27.09% 279
45-60 25.24% 260
> 60 28.83% 297
Answered 1030

 

 

Q15. Gender

Answer Choices Responses
Male 46.89% 483
Female 53.11% 547
Answered 1030
Q16. Household Income
Answer Choices Responses
$0-$9,999 7.86% 81
$10,000-$24,999 10.19% 105
$25,000-$49,999 18.54% 191
$50,000-$74,999 13.98% 144
$75,000-$99,999 11.26% 116
$100,000-$124,999 7.67% 79
$125,000-$149,999 4.95% 51
$150,000-$174,999 3.88% 40
$175,000-$199,999 2.43% 25
$200,000+ 4.08% 42
Prefer not to answer 15.15% 156
Answered 1030
Q17. Region
Answer Choices Responses
New England 6.48% 66
Middle Atlantic 14.64% 149
East North Central 15.52% 158
West North Central 6.58% 67
South Atlantic 16.99% 173
East South Central 5.50% 56
West South Central 10.12% 103
Mountain 7.96% 81
Pacific 16.21% 165
Answered 1018
Q18. Device Type
Answer Choices Responses
iOS Phone / Tablet 25.92% 267
Android Phone / Tablet 26.50% 273
Windows Desktop / Laptop 38.06% 392
MacOS Desktop / Laptop 7.48% 77
Other 2.04% 21
Answered 1030

 

Polling Methodology

This Long Island University Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling & Analysis poll was conducted through Survey Monkey March 12-13, 2018 in English to 1030 Americans over the age of 18. Polling data was sorted by age, gender & geographic location in efforts to ensure a nationwide representative sample. This poll has an overall margin of error of +/- 3 points.

The Steven S. Hornstein Center for Policy, Polling, and Analysis at LIU Post conducts independent, fair, and balanced polling, empirical research, and analysis on a wide range of public issues including lifestyle preferences. The Center’s goals include informing the community, public and policy makers about critical issues.