经济学人官方译文 | 总统支持率:选民态度几乎与实际经济状况无关

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Presidential approval
总统支持率
Tinted glasses
有色眼镜
The true state of the economy is nearly irrelevant to voters
选民态度几乎与实际经济状况无关

JAMES CARVILLE, who worked for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, hung a sign in his Arkansas headquarters in 1992. Designed to keep the candidate on-message, it read: “Change vs. more of the same. The economy, stupid. Don’t forget health care.” The second injunction has become famous. It is common knowledge that a strong economy helps an incumbent, whereas a weak one is a liability. But this is less true than it used to be.
詹姆斯·卡尔维尔(James Carville)1992年协助克林顿竞选总统时,在阿肯色州的竞选总部挂上了一块牌子,提醒这位候选人不要偏离竞选政纲。牌子上写着:“变革vs.一成不变。经济啊,笨蛋。别忘了医疗。”其中第二句已经成了名言。人人都知道经济强劲对在任者有利,经济疲软就是一种麻烦。不过,现在它没有这么确凿了。

Between 1952 and 2009, when Barack Obama became president, the popularity of America’s leaders was quite strongly influenced by the economy. Excluding the first six months of every president’s term (a honeymoon period when ratings tend to be high) a quarter of the variation in monthly presidential approval ratings could be explained by variation in the index of consumer sentiment. Ronald Reagan had an approval rating of 42% when Americans were suffering under high inflation in the summer of 1982. By the time the economy rebounded four years later, his rating had increased by 25 percentage points.
从1952年到奥巴马当选总统的2009年,美国领导人的支持率一直深受经济表现的影响。把历任总统任期的前六个月(这段蜜月期内支持率往往较高)排除在外,总统每月支持率波动的四分之一可通过消费者信心指数的变化来解释。1982年夏季美国遭遇高通胀时,里根的支持率为42%。四年后经济反弹,他的支持率上升了25个百分点。

Under Barack Obama the relationship broke down. After the highs of the first few months, his approval rating moved between 40% and the low 50s. Americans felt much the same about him in good times and in bad. President Donald Trump also seems stuck in the polls, despite a booming economy. If the normal relationship between consumer confidence and popularity held, about 60% of Americans would approve of him. The latest Gallup poll suggests that only 42% do.
在奥巴马的任期内,这种关联断裂了。在上任头几个月保持高点后,他的支持率一直徘徊在40%和略超过50%之间。无论经济好坏,美国人对奥巴马的满意度大致不变。尽管当前美国经济繁荣,但特朗普的民调支持率似乎也停滞不前。如果消费者信心和总统满意度保持以往的关联,那么应该有60%左右的美国人支持他。而最新的盖洛普民意调查显示只有42%。

One explanation is that partisanship now colours Americans’ reading of the economy, as it colours their views on many other things. Polling on behalf of?The Economist?by YouGov shows that Republicans are four times as optimistic as Democrats about the state of the stockmarket, which Mr Trump often cheers on. Liberals complain about high housing costs and low wage growth—never mind that wages are growing more strongly now than towards the end of Mr Obama’s term.
一种解释是,现在美国人对经济状况的解读如同他们对许多其他问题的看法一样,受到党派偏见的影响。本刊委托民调机构YouGov开展的民意调查显示,对于特朗普常常为之打气的股市,美国共和党人的乐观程度是民主党人的四倍。民主党人抱怨现在住房成本高,工资增长慢——尽管目前工资增长实际上比奥巴马任期的末段更加强劲。

Mr Trump’s election in 2016 was followed by a rapid switch in attitudes. From the six months before the election to the six months after, YouGov measured a 45 percentage-point increase in the share of Republican-aligned Americans who believed the economy was getting better. Democrats became sharply more pessimistic. So it’s not any longer the economy, stupid. It’s the partisanship.
特朗普2016年当选后,人们的态度急速转变。根据YouGov的调查结果,从他当选之前的六个月到之后的六个月,共和党支持者中认为经济正在好转的人占比上升了45个百分点。民主党人则变得大为悲观。所以,问题不再是经济,笨蛋。是党派偏见。

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