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Partisan Pocketbooks: The Politics of Personal Financial Evaluations


  • Aaron C. Weinschenk

  • Direct correspondence to Aaron C. Weinschenk, Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, NWQ B, Room 5541, 2025 E. Newport Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53211 〈〉, who will provide data and coding information to those wishing to replicate the study. I would like to thank Thomas M. Holbrook for his thoughtful comments on earlier versions of this article.



In this article, I apply the concept of partisan biases to personal financial evaluations. I ask whether there are systematic differences in partisans’ evaluations of their personal finances that depend on whether their preferred party occupies the White House. I argue that when there is a Democratic president in office, Democrats will view their personal financial situations more favorably than Republicans. Conversely, when there is a Republican president in office, Republicans will view their personal finances more favorably than Democrats.


I use ordered probit and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models.


I find that partisan biases do exist when it comes to personal financial evaluations. However, the weight assigned to partisanship when it comes to personal evaluations is contingent on the level of party polarization at the time of the survey.


Partisan biases are more pervasive than previously thought, even trickling down to evaluations that are personal in nature.

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