Tennessee voters have favorable opinion of state economy, not U.S. economy

Published 10:20 am Thursday, May 30, 2024

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By Adam Friedman

Tennessee Lookout

Around 65% of Tennessee voters say the state economy is good, while only 29% believe the same about the U.S. economy, according to a Vanderbilt University poll released last week.

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The differing views between the state and nation’s economy make for the largest gap since the survey first asked the question in 2012, but they follow a trend based on the political party in power.

John Geer, co-director of the Vanderbilt Poll, said when Republican President Donald Trump took office in 2017, views on the national economy shifted among Tennessee voters from split to overwhelmingly positive. The opposite effect occurred when Democratic President Joe Biden came to power in 2021.

“It’s mostly a partisan effect, but inflation has also certainly affected some perceptions,” Geer said. “Inflation is especially driving negative perceptions of the U.S. economy among Republicans.”

The poll found that 91% of state GOP voters say the U.S. economy is bad, while 30% think that of the state economy. For Democrats, the split was less pronounced, with 35% viewing the state economy as bad and 36% having the same opinion of the U.S. economy.

Vanderbilt University’s Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions conducts the survey twice a year, asking a range of state and Nashville-specific questions. It’s one of the few nonpartisan local polls in the state, with Republican and Democratic political operatives among its board members.

The most recent survey asked 1,003 Tennessee registered voters a range of questions from April 26 to May 9.

Tennessee Lookout, www.TennesseeLookout.com, is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization. Follow Tennessee Lookout on Facebook and Twitter.