Republicans, Democrats and independents in New Hampshire all agree: the economy isn’t working for them.
The exit poll of voters in the Dem primary, 44% of whom were independents, spoke loud and clear.
86% said the economy was “not so good” or “poor.” 97% are “very” or “somewhat worried” about the economy in the near future. And only 14% said they are “getting ahead financially.
Economic anxiety was prevalent among voters in the Republican exit poll, 37% of whom were independents.
Half of respondents said the economy was “not so good” or “poor.” 80% are worried about the future, and only 22% say they are getting ahead.
In turn, the candidate perhaps most associated with corporate CEO-friendly conservatism, Mitt Romney (the candidate with the most experience laying off workers), once again fared poorly among Republican voters who earn less than $100,000.
While Huckabee’s economic populist rhetoric served him better in Iowa than in NH, where voters were more concerned about his theocratic tendencies, he still did relatively well among lower-income voters.
And primary winner McCain took a populist shot at Romney in the last debate: “All I can say is that I also had experience in leadership, not in management. I led the largest squadron in the United States Navy, not for profit, but for patriotism.” McCain was strongest with middle-class voters.
Debate is brewing on Capitol Hill about how to quickly implement an economic stimulus to cushion against a looming recession.
Will we have a progressive stimulus that puts dollars in the hands of who actually needs it, and invests in our future? Or will we make another excuse for reckless tax cuts so CEOs can just pad their checking accounts?
The widespread economic concerns, combined with the past failure of Bush’s earlier tax cuts, should send a signal to presidential candidates. Those interested in leading might consider weighing in sooner rather than later.