Virtually no Democrats (2% in a new Pew survey) currently rate the nation’s economy as good or excellent, but Republicans are scarcely more upbeat. The share of Republicans rating economic conditions as excellent/good has fallen from 70% in November 2006, to 46% in September 2007, to 14% today. As a result, the partisan gap on this issue has steadily diminished. At the time of the 2006 mid-term elections, the condition of the economy was a partisan issue with 70% of Republicans calling conditions excellent or good compared with only a quarter (25%) of Democrats. Overall, the proportionof the public rating the economy as poor has risen by 15 points, from 50% in July to 65% currently. A large majority of Americans continue to say that the economy is either in a recession (56%) or a depression (21%). Partisan differences in views about whether the economy is in a recession also have narrowed: currently, 60% of Democrats and 54% each of independents and Republicans say the economy is in recession. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.