Despite a greatly increased emphasis on state economic development, citizens' perceptions of state economic conditions have been infrequently studied, leaving a serious question as to how well citizens distinguish between national and state economic performance. We investigate the sources of state economic perceptions using data from 1990 Voter Research and Surveys exit polls of 23 states along with measures of state economic conditions. We find strong support for the proposition that perceptions of state and national economies are distinct phenomena. We also find that state economic perceptions are well grounded in economic reality—that is, in the conditions of the state economy. Finally, we show that state economic perceptions are based on a variety of indicators, including measures that have not heretofore been included in models of economic voting.
Political Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2004
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