Bloomberg by the Numbers: 17.3

Photograph by Erik S. Lesser/EPA

GOP cufflinks during a rally in Atlanta.

That’s the difference in consumer confidence between Democrats and Republicans as measured by the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index for the week ended July 22.

The index — a measurement of respondents’ views on the economy, the buying climate and their personal finances on a scale of minus 100 to plus 100 — was minus 27.8 for Democrats and minus 45.1 for Republicans, a record 18th consecutive week that consumer confidence was higher among Democrats than among Republicans. The overall index was minus 38.5.

Consumer confidence usually is higher among Republicans because they are financially better-off than Democrats. The results probably are influenced by a presidential election fewer than 15 weeks away. Democrats are promoting President Barack Obama’s economic record as he seeks re-election, while Republican challenger Mitt Romney and his allies point to a national unemployment rate above 8 percent for 41 consecutive months.

The results “demonstrate how partisan predispositions can influence economic assessments,” Langer Research Associates, which produces the index, said in a written analysis.

“It appears that Republicans are especially gloomy about the economy now in part as an expression of their discontent with the way Barack Obama has handled it,” the analysis said. “Democrats, for their part, are taking the opposite tack, expressing higher levels of economic confidence, given their support for the guy at the helm.”

Here’s a look at some Bloomberg stories about the election and the economy:

‘SUPER-GOUGE’ RATES: Television stations in presidential swing states may charge super political action committees and other outside groups what one Democratic consultant calls “super-gouge” advertising rates, Julie Bykowicz writes in the fourth and final installment of Bloomberg’s “Making Millionaires” series, which looks at people and groups who are benefiting from 2012 campaign spending.

HARD TO REACH: About spending about $100 million on tens of thousands of negative television commercials in the past three months, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney and their allies haven’t done much to influence the horse-race standings in the presidential swing states, John McCormick writes.

TAX-POLICY IMPASSE: Congress remains mired in a stalemate over how to extend Bush-era tax cuts that expire at the end of the year, Richard Rubin and Kathleen Hunter write. The Senate voted yesterday for a Democratic plan to extend tax cuts for individual income for up to $200,000 a year and income of married couples up to $250,000, though the Republican-controlled House opposes that plan and wants to extend tax cuts to all income-earners.

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