May 9, 2023 - Economy

Americans' confidence in Fed chair Powell depends on who's president

Share who say they have confidence in Jerome Powell, by political party
Data: Gallup poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

How confident are Americans in Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell? That appears to depend on who's sitting in the White House.

Driving the news: Confidence in Powell declined this year from 2022 amid stubborn inflation and a banking crisis — but under the hood, partisanship plays a big role, according to a new survey from Gallup out Tuesday morning.

Zoom in: Since Powell was nominated by Republican President Donald Trump, and renominated by Democratic President Joe Biden, you've got the conditions for essentially a natural experiment on how partisanship colors Americans' views on the economy.

  • From 2018 to 2020, when Trump was president, 62% of Republicans on average were confident Powell would do the right thing for the economy. Now, that number is 21%.
  • Democrats' confidence in Powell went from 48%, on average, under Trump, to 60% in this most recent Gallup survey conducted in April.

The bottom line: "It's the politics, stupid," seems to have replaced the old James Carville line, at least for now.

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