With Washington in a state of flux following the death of RBG, which has reset all ongoing political negotiations as well as the calculus on everything from the elections to a new stimulus bill now that the vacant SCOTUS seat is the key item in US politics, uncertainty over the political agenda has never been higher. At the same time, despite the recent market downdraft, stocks are not nearly low enough to prompt a policy response from Washington which however is cold comfort for Main Street where anger continues to grow over the continued gridlock in Congress and according to a new poll, almost 90% now say Washington needs to pass a new stimulus package to mitigate the covid fallout.
According to the FT, which conducted the poll, the growing concern about the economy comes even as Americans increasingly believe the country has turned the corner after the spike of infections this summer in the latest good news for Trump, following the earlier report that Mitt Romney would vote for Trump's SCOTUS candidate, thereby ensuring that a conservative justice replaces RBG much to the horror of liberals.
The survey for the FT and the Peterson Foundation found that more than 60% of Americans believe the outbreak is either staying the same or getting better in their local communities, the most optimistic outlook since the summer outbreak began.
But that optimism has been tempered by renewed fears about the country’s financial situation, with 42 per cent now saying they were more worried about the economy than public health — a 9-point jump from a month ago.
Meanwhile, only a third of American voters think the US economy will fully recover within the next year, the same as during the depths of the summer outbreak and significantly lower than the 44% who believed in April that a rebound would take less than a year.
A notable finding is that whereas both Republicans and Democrats hope to pass of their inability to vote through another stimulus on the other party, the survey showed voter anger targeting both sides of the aisle equally, with a plurality of 39% saying Democrats and Republicans were “equally responsible” for the failure to pass additional economic aid. The remaining voters were almost equally split, with 26 per cent blaming Republicans and 23% saying Democrats were responsible for the stalemate.
A separate poll question found that a surprisingly high 40% of respondents did not believe postal voting was secure and reliable and 61% said they intended to vote in person, either on election day or in early voting opportunities. That compares to the 41% of voters who cast their ballots before election day in 2016, according to the Election Assistance Commission.
A question that asked voters whether they feel better or worse off since Trump became president in 2016, showed respondents were tilted in Trump's favor: 35% said they were better off since Mr Trump became president, compared to 31% who said they were worse off. Another 35% reported no change. Women were far less likely to report being better off under a Trump presidency, with just 26% of women saying they were better off, compared to 45% of men — the widest gender gap since the FT first started asking the question almost a year ago.