Since Joe Biden became president, several surveys have found a sharp rise in Republican pessimism about the economy.

This might seem surprising considering the national economy — which experienced one of its worst downturns thanks to the coronavirus pandemic — is now objectively improving. The United States added 916,000 jobs in March, smashing Dow Jones expectations and the unemployment rate is now at its lowest level (6 percent) in over a year. And economic forecasters now predict annual GDP growth in 2021 will soar to levels the country hasn’t witnessed in nearly 40 years.

Yet, despite these optimistic economic indicators, most Republicans say the economy is getting worse. On the one hand, this is to be expected, as political scientists have found that how we think about the economy is increasingly rooted in how we identify politically rather than in actual economic conditions.

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