The state of the American economy and public attitudes toward the economy played a major role in the recent reelection of US president Barack Obama. Economic concerns dominated voters' minds on election day, although they differed on specifics. Obama supporters said it was the housing market (63%) that was their top economic worry, while voters for the Republican challenger Mitt Romney voiced concerns about taxes (66%). Family finances, in particular, helped determine the outcome. Voters who said their personal financial situation was doing better on election day than it was four years ago voted overwhelmingly for Obama (84%). Those who felt that their condition was worse voted strongly for Romney (80%). Looking forward, two-thirds (68%) of Americans say the looming tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff will have a "major effect" on the US economy and 62% say that effect will be mostly negative. Yet, partisanship may hamper Washington's success in avoiding the cliff. While 54% of Democrats want Obama to work with Republican Congressional leaders, 50% of Republicans say their leaders should stand up to the president.
You can view Mr Stokes's insightful charts by clicking here.
©OECD Observer No 293, Q4 2012