A survey - Barokong
My Hoover colleague David Brady put together this lovely graph, using the Gallup poll results from their standard question, "do you think the economy is getting better?"
It has many interesting interpretations -- add your own in comments.
A context that spiked my interest is the use of survey data for expectations in economics. We frequently use such surveys to establish what expectations are, or to question whether expectations are rational. That partisan feeling so dramatically affects people's views of the economy is interesting for the interpretation of such survey results.
Most economists don't think that presidential elections have all that much to do with the state of the economy, at least within the bounds of what traditional Republicans and Democrats actually end up doing when in power. The people, apparently, believe quite differently, or at least this time.