NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Republicans can't seem to agree with the Federal Reserve, even when the Fed states a fact. Though central bank governors agree that, while mixed, the economy has been positive, exit polls show most Republicans think the national economy is getting worse.
U nder Barack Obama, America hasn't been working," Mitt Romney said Tuesday night to supporters in Milwaukee. "The ironic tragedy is that the community organizer who wanted to help those hurt by a plant closing became the president on whose watch more jobs have been lost than any time since the Great Depression." Exit polls taken by The Washington Post showed 40% of Wisconsin voters felt the economy was "getting worse," while 50% of Maryland voters and 45% of Illinois voters responded the same. The percentage of primary voters who said they thought the economy was "starting to recover" lagged significantly in Wisconsin, Maryland and Illinois at 30%, 21% and 22%, respectively. Granted, many voters could have been responding based on their perception of economic circumstances rather than what statistics have shown, but it's significant that the percentage gap is in the double digits between those who see a recovery and those who see more downturn. "There's such a deep-seated personal opposition to this president and everything that he's done," said Gary Dorrien, a social ethicist at Columbia University. "This recovery is very slow, we're coming out of a very deep hole, but all of the macroeconomic indicators are pointing in the right direction." Since 1948, only once has unemployment been above the 10% high of October 2009: From September 1982 through June 1983, the unemployment rate hung at 10.1% or higher before it fell off to 9.4% in July 1983, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Through February 2012, though, unemployment has dropped off to a current 8.3% rate as other key indicators like gross domestic product, manufacturing and households' real disposable income have improved, albeit moderately. "On balance, U.S. financial conditions became somewhat more supportive of growth over the intermeeting period," the Federal Open Market Committee notes released Tuesday said. " E conomic data were generally better than market participants had expected and investors appeared to see diminished downside risks associated with the situation in Europe."