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Almost 2 in 3 Americans say economy is worse than a year ago today, survey says

A majority of Americans also say they believe the nation is on the wrong track, the survey finds.

WASHINGTON – Most Americans have a pessimistic view of the economy as the nation continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic ahead of the November election, a new survey finds.

The nearly two in three (64%) Americans who believe the economy is worse than a year ago is a slight decline from June, according to a survey from the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape Project. In June, that number was 73% of Americans.

After many states ordered nonessential businesses like restaurants and movie theaters to shut down in March to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the economy sank into its deepest recession since the Great Depression. The country saw record unemployment.

States have slowly begun reopening businesses over the past several months after rates of new cases of COVID-19 plateaued before ticking up again. The Labor Department said Thursday that more than 824,000 Americans filed for unemployment insurance for the first time last week — a significant drop from the record high 6.2 million who filed first-time claims in early spring. Although the economy is rebounding, some economists warn that it’s slowing due to flare-ups of new cases of COVID-19 in certain areas.

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Robert Griffin, research director for the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, said that over the past several weeks, Americans of all political affiliation have have become more optimistic about the economy. But the partisan divide has grown.

More than three in four (76%) Democrats say that the economy is worse than a year ago compared to the 50% of Republicans.

“It could be the case that people are accurately assessing that the economy is doing better … and they’re reacting to that it is still on par to along partisan lines,” Griffin said.…

Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY

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