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Behind the Numbers
Posted at 12:28 PM ET, 02/07/2012

Eye of the beholder: Partisans see own ‘facts’

Democrats and Republicans can’t seem to agree on anything these days, and that now extends to basic views of the nation’s economy. Not the president’s handling of things — partisanship is unavoidable there — but in rating the economy itself.

More than half of all Republicans — 56 percent — see the economy as being in “poor” shape, more than double the 25 percent of Democrats saying so in a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Throughout President Obama’s tenure, Republicans have been consistently more apt than Democrats to say the economy is in the dumps. The exact opposite was true in the eight years George W. Bush was in the White House, with the gap surging as high as 40 percentage points at the depth of the financial crisis in 2008.

It wasn’t always this way; or, at least it wasn’t in the go-go 1990s.

The chart below shows how Democrats and Republicans have assessed the national economy from January 1993 through today. There is essentially no partisan gap in Bill Clinton’s eight years in office, but one quickly emerges when Bush takes office in 2001, and persists to the present day.


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By  |  12:28 PM ET, 02/07/2012

 
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