Most Americans report being better off now than they were four years ago. The following graph shows the percentages of people who rate their lives as better today than four years ago subtracted by the percentages who rate their lives as worse today than four years ago. “Not sure” responses are not shown:
Pluralities of blacks and Democrats report being worse off now than during Obama’s last year in office, but the percentages of each who say their lives are better now (27% and 28%, respectively) are substantially higher than the percentages of each who voted for Trump in 2016 (8% in both cases).
Trump voters are even more sanguine about their professed personal situations than Republicans are. Trump voters net in at 78% compared to Republicans’ 57%. Critics say Trump hasn’t done anything of substance for his supporters. Whatever the reality is, deplorables don’t appear to see it that way.
The question doesn’t prompt or prime respondents about politics in general or Trump in particular. It simply asks “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” The results display obvious partisan influence, but this is a subjective measure of more than just narrow partisan political leanings.
That zoomers and millennials trend modestly optimistic is especially surprising. If you’re a boomer with six- or seven-figures worth of investments, it’s easy to see where the positive assessment comes from. Your market index fund has increased by nearly 50% since Trump was elected. Putatively indebted twenty-something with no money and no prospects, though?
On net, these results bode well for Trump in November.