The Center Square [By Ted O’Neil]-
A recent survey and a new study from WalletHub provide some interesting perspectives about what might happen today and beyond.
In light of a recent Gallup poll that found 44 percent of expected voters think the Democratic Party would best handle America’s problems compared to 40 percent who favored the Republican Party, WalletHub analysts compared the state of the economy under six different scenarios in which one party controls one branch of government or both the presidency and Congress.
Using 13 key indicators of economic performance, including things like GDP growth, unemployment and the poverty rate, WalletHub analyzed each metric for every presidential administration going back to 1950.
Their findings show that the economy has performed best with a Republican-controlled Congress and a Democratic president.
Under such scenarios, S&P 500 returns have averaged 16 percent on average, unemployment has decreased 1 percent on average, incomes have increased $1,500 on average and home values have increased 5 percent on average.
During Democratic administrations with a Democratic majority in Congress, GDP has averaged a 4 percent increase and job growth increased 3 percent on average.
With Republicans in the White House and Democratic majority in Congress, trade has grown by $22 billion, gas prices fell an average of 20 cents and income inequality decreased an average of 0.01 percent.
Robert E. Wright, a professor at Georgia State University, told WalletHub he believes S&P returns did best under Democratic presidents with a Republican-controlled Congress because businesses do not like change.
“When power is split between the parties, big policy changes are less likely, allowing business leaders to forge ahead with plans that investors believe will be profitable,” he said. “Which of course induces them to shift resources into corporate stocks.”
In its survey, WalletHub found the economy is the most important issue, with 79 percent of registered voters ranking it as their main concern. That was followed by health care at 68 percent and Supreme Court appointments at 64 percent. With last week’s confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Bryant, President Donald Trump has now appointed three justices to the Supreme Court in less than four years in office.
The coronavirus pandemic was named as the most important issue by 62 percent of voters. Two-thirds of registered voters said they believe the pandemic will disrupt the election and half said they believe it will make casting a ballot more difficult.
Among supporters of former Vice President Joe Biden, 56 percent said they are voting for him specifically because he is not Trump, while 19 percent of Trump supporters said they would vote for him because he is not Biden.
Among 2016 voters, 88 percent who voted for Trump said they will vote for him again this year, and 4 percent of voters who supported Hillary Clinton said they will vote for Trump this time around.