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RC Poll: Consumer Sentiment Heavily Dependent on Political Affiliation in Virginia

How healthy is Virginia’s economy? The answer to that question might just depend on how you vote.

Since Donald Trump was elected president, consumer sentiment among Republicans here in Virginia has skyrocketed. That’s according to polling from Roanoke College. Democrats, on the other hand, have a much dimmer view of the economic landscape. That’s been blunted a bit by the recent election, when Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and unseated three Republicans here in Virginia.

Alice Kassens at Roanoke College says people’s views of the economy are largely shaped by their party affiliation.

“If their team, for lack of a better phrase, is in office they just feel better about things whether or not things are better or not. They just feel better about now and the future.”

Looking into the future, she says, the party gap is likely to narrow and then widen again.

“As we head into the next presidential election, when you start seeing the ads on television and people start getting anxious about the coming election, then you might see that divide grow.”

The good news is that consumer sentiment in Virginia remains above average, no matter which side of the aisle you're on.

Credit Roanoke College

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.
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