Friday, September 21, 2012
Why the “are you better off than you were four years ago?” question is extremely flawed
The poll result that explains the election
. We focus on the question “Are you better off than you were four years ago” because we assume voters aren’t sophisticated enough to vote based on the right question, which is “are you better off than you would have been if the other party’s candidate had won the presidency four years ago?” … The new Allstate/National Journal/Heartland Monitor poll tested this directly. First, they asked the standard “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” A plurality said they were not. Then they asked, “are you better off because Obama won in 2008″? A plurality said they were.
Simon Owens is an assistant managing editor at U.S. News & World Report. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Email him at email@example.com