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Half of all voters in the 10 states that voted for Trump but have Democratic senators say the economy is better off now than it was a year ago, according to new Axios/SurveyMonkey polls. And in nine of the states majorities approve of the GOP tax law.

Expand chart
Data: SurveyMonkey polls conducted February 12-March 5, 2018Poll Methodology, Bureau of Labor Statistics; Note: December 2016 and 2017 state unemployment values used; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Why it matters: Economic optimism underscores the challenges faced by Democrats as they try to take back the House and Senate. As we wrote yesterday, five Senate Democrats would lose to Republican candidates if the election were held now —Democrats need to pick up two seats to regain the majority.

Our thought bubble on the economy from Axios Business Editor Dan Primack: Democrats are stuck. They spent the Obama years yelling about how the economy was doing well, while Republicans closed their eyes and jammed their fingers in their ears. Now that Republicans have decided it's safe to see the obvious, the Democrats either must agree that the economy is growing under Trump or look like hypocrites. Yeah, the GOP is also being hypocritical, but its current position is the factually correct one.

But, but, but... Americans were far more split on their economic expectations for the future, according to a recent AP poll, :

  • 34% said the economy will get better, 32% said it would say the same and 33% expected it to get worse
Expand chart
Data: SurveyMonkey polls conducted February 12-March 5, 2018Poll Methodology; Note: "Disapprove" and "Approve" include "Somewhat" and "Strongly" responses; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

Despite the approval rating of the tax bill, more than half of voters in each state didn't think they would personally benefit from the tax law.

Behind the numbers:

  • West Virginia and Montana are two of the most optimistic states about the economy being better than it was a year ago. Sens. Tester and Manchin are the two of the most vulnerable Democrats according to our poll.
  • Republicans will certainly use approval of the GOP tax plan while campaigning, and that could really hurt Democrats considering not a single one voted for the bill.

Methodology: These SurveyMonkey/Axios online polls were conducted February 12- March 5, 2018 among a total sample of 17,289 registered voters living in Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, Indiana, West Virginia, Montana, North Dakota.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
49 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Ohio upset's '22 clues

Shontel Brown campaigns with Rep. James Clyburn in Cleveland on July 31. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

An upset in Ohio on Tuesday night is giving moderate, Biden-aligned Democrats momentum vs. the party's vocal left ahead of next year's midterms.

Driving the news: In a special primary for U.S. House in the Cleveland area, Cuyahoga County Council member Shontel Brown pulled out a surprise victory for the Democratic establishment in Cleveland.

2 hours ago - Health

New York City revives vaccine passports

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New York City yesterday became the first city in the U.S. to require proof of coronavirus vaccination for indoor dining and other leisure activities, a measure popular among public health experts but previously squashed by political backlash to "vaccine passports."

Why it matters: Employers and now local governments are starting to ensure that remaining unvaccinated will have consequences for everyday life, testing the resolve of those who say nothing could persuade them to get a shot.

Updated 2 hours ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Sakura Yosozumi during women's park skateboarding at the Olympics on Aug. 4, 2021. Photo: Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

🤼🏿‍♀️ "Making history": Mensah-Stock first Black woman to win Olympic wrestling gold

🛹: 2 teens and girl, 12, sweep board at women's park skateboarding

🥇: Sydney McLaughlin breaks own world record to win gold in 400m hurdles

📈: Simone Biles' exit brings global attention to mental health

🦠: Greece's artistic swimming team to miss Olympics after COVID outbreak

🏃🏾‍♂️: Tampa teen phenom Erriyon Knighton eyes gold in Tokyo

🛫: Belarus sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya departs Tokyo for Vienna

.📷: In photos: Tokyo Olympics day 12 highlights

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage