In the concluding days of the long, bitter campaign, a slight economic improvement sparked a new burst of hope. According to CNN/ORC polling, 54% thought things were “going well” in America, while only 46% said they were going poorly—the best rating in nearly 10 years. This correlates with big increases in approval for President Obama, placing him in comparable territory to Presidents Reagan and Clinton at the ends of their terms. The new optimism prevailed across the board – lifting spirits in every race and income level. Only one major group remained gloomy: just 21% of Republicans agreed that things were going well, less than half the rating of the nation at large.
Of course, conservatives may be right to disregard President Obama’s boasts about his achievements, but if Republicans remain deeply out of touch in judging the nation’s welfare, they risk isolating and undermining their party. GOP shouldn’t stand for “Grumpy Old Paranoids.”