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Tue Aug 30, 2016, 03:44 PM

Is the past or present better for people like you? Trump/Clinton supporters differ.

Overall, voters remain divided over whether life for people like them in the country today is better or worse compared with 50 years ago: 36% say that life today is better for people like them, 47% say it is worse and 13% say it is about the same.

But these perceptions are starkly different among supporters of the two major party candidates: About eight-in-ten (81%) Trump backers say that things have gotten worse for people like them compared with 50 years ago. Just 19% of Clinton supporters say the same. A 59% majority of Clinton supporters say life is better for people like them; only 11% of Trump voters think this.

As was the case earlier this year, there are significant demographic differences in these views. About half (51%) of black voters say life is better today for people like them and just 20% say it is worse (23% say it is about the same). By contrast, white voters are more likely to say life has gotten worse (52%) than say it has gotten better (33%); 12% say it is little different. Hispanics are divided on this question: 40% say life is better for people like them than it was a half-century ago, while about as many (39%) say it is worse (17% say it is about the same).

Overall, voters’ opinions on this question are little changed since March, but a wide partisan divide has grown wider: In March, 66% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters said that life was better for people like them 50 years ago; today, 72% express this view. At the same time, Democrats’ assessments have become more positive: In March, 48% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters thought that life is better today compared with 50 years ago; currently 55% say this.


Given that the republican party is largely white, it is not surprising that Trump supporters are the most negative when comparing their status now compared to 50 years ago. Since Democrats are more diverse, it is not surprising that their attitudes are different.

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