The Washington Post

The one place where economic confidence is positive is, you guessed it, D.C.

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Residents in all 50 states have a dim view of the economy, but for people living in the nation’s capital everything’s coming up roses.

For the past two years, D.C. has been the only place in the nation where economic confidence was positive in Gallup’s annual state-level survey. And it’s routinely leagues ahead of even the most optimistic state.

In 2013, D.C. scored a 19 on Gallup’s economic confidence index. Massachusetts was the leader among states, at -1, while confidence was worst in West Virginia, which scored a -44. The 2013 scores are based on nearly 180,000 interviews nationwide over the course of the year. The index ranges from -100 to 100 and is based on how respondents rate the economy currently and whether they see things improving or getting worse.

The capital was far and away the most optimistic region in the survey, but its lead has significantly narrowed from the year before.

“[D.C.’s] confidence has taken a hit, however, since 2012, when its index was +29,” Gallup reported. “Likely factors in the 10-point drop include October’s federal government shutdown as well as the sequestration spending cuts that occurred earlier in the year.”

Almost half the states scored between -10 and -20. Massachusetts, Minnesota and California were most confident. Wyoming, Alaska and West Virginia were the least. Confidence improved in all but four states.

Economic confidence could have implications for this year’s elections, too. Eight of the 10 least confident states were also among the bottom 10 in presidential job approval. Five the the top 10 most confident states were among the top 10 in job approval.

“Candidates running on Republican tickets can attempt to paint this economic dissatisfaction as the fault of the Democratic president,” Gallup notes. “Democratic candidates, on the other hand, will have to be sensitive to the low levels of economic confidence across the country — particularly for Democrats running in the bottom 10 states.”

Economic confidence by state. (Gallup)
Economic confidence by state. (Gallup)
Niraj Chokshi is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The Democrats debate Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
What to expect at tonight's debate
Tonight's debate is likely to focus on the concerns of African American and Latino voters. Clinton has focused in recent days on issues like gun control, criminal-sentencing reform, and the issues with drinking water in Flint, Mich. But Sanders has been aggressively moving to appeal to the same voters, combining his core message about economic unfairness with his own calls to reform the criminal-justice system.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the polls as he faces rivals Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz as he heads into the S.C. GOP primary on Feb. 20.
Clinton in New Hampshire: 2008 vs. 2015
Hillary Clinton did about as well in N.H. this year as she did in 2008, percentage-wise. In the state's main counties, Clinton performed on average only about two percentage points worse than she did eight years ago (according to vote totals as of Wednesday morning) -- and in five of the 10 counties, she did as well or better.
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.