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Economy

Trumponomics yields mixed results for voters, poll shows

Respondents split evenly on president's economic policies and fret over national debt

NEW YORK -- After nearly three years of economic growth under U.S. President Donald Trump, the benefits have not been evenly felt by American voters, with nearly as many saying their finances have improved as reported a decline.

Nationwide, 20% say they are "somewhat better off," while 15% identify as "much better off," totaling 35% in the late-October poll by the Financial Times and the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a fiscally oriented think tank in New York.

A similar share of respondents, 31%, say they are faring worse, breaking down to 14% "much worse off" and 17% "somewhat worse off."

Battleground state numbers slightly favor the president, with 38% of respondents reporting doing better financially under the Trump administration and 30% worse off.

The poll results reveal the limits to a U.S. growth story told through expanding gross domestic product, a lower unemployment rate and a prolonged bull run in stocks as Trump seeks reelection in 2020.

The electorate is also split over the president's economic policies. Nationally, 45% say they have helped the economy and 45% say they have hurt it, compared with 49% and 44% in battleground states.

Disputes with major trading partners like China and Mexico are most frequently named as the top threat to the American economy, at 27% of respondents nationwide, followed by rising health care costs, at 26%. Far fewer respondents peg the top threat as a potential global economic slowdown, the loss of high-paying jobs to automation, Federal Reserve policy or another factor.

And 63% of respondents nationwide see the U.S. as on the wrong track with regard to managing the national debt: 35% "strongly" and 27% "somewhat." On the debt's most significant economic effect, the top answer was the possible threat to programs like Social Security and Medicare, at 32%.

The survey was conducted online between Oct. 21 and 25 over 10,600 people with 1,005 valid responses. The FT-Peterson US Economic Monitor will be conducted monthly until the November 2020 election.

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