October 6th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN POLL: Majority think country headed for depression

ALT TEXT

A new poll shows Americans think the country is headed for a depression. (AP Photo)

(CNN) - A new national poll suggests that six in ten Americans think another depression is likely.

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Monday afternoon, 59 percent of those questioned say that its very or somewhat likely that another depression could occur in the United States. Four in ten Americans say it not likely another depression will occur.

Watch: Poll: Economic depression is likely

The country went through a decade long depression following the stock market crash of 1929, in which roughly one out of four workers were unemployed, banks failed across the country, and millions of ordinary Americans were temporarily homeless or unable to feed their families.

Eight in ten of those polled say things are going badly in the country today and 84 percent rate the economic conditions as poor.

"The question on how things are going in the country is the longest trend on the public's mood in polling history, and in 34 years, Americans have never had such a negative view," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That 20% mark is an all-time low the makes the mood of the country worse today than it was during Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis, or the aftermath of 9/11."

Thirty six percent of those polled think the financial crisis will affect them immediately, with 19 percent saying within a year or so. Thirty seven percent say they'll eventually be affected by the financial crisis, with 8 percent saying they'll never be affected by the downturn.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, with 1,006 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for some questions and 4.5 percentage points for others.


Filed under: Economy
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. James

    Perpetually fretting Democrats will not want to accept it. The campaigns themselves can’t afford to believe it. Many journalists know it but can’t say it. And there will certainly be some twists and turns along the way. But take it to a well capitalized bank: Bill Ayers isn’t going to save John McCain. The race is over.

    John McCain’s candidacy is as much a casualty of Wall Street as Lehman or Merrill. Like those once vibrant institutions, McCain’s collapse was stunning and quick. One minute you are a well-respected brand. The next you are yelling at the messengers of your demise as all around you the numbers start blinking red and stop adding up.

    October 6, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Shelby

    We are headed for a depression and won't it be just fitting to have an anti-American, commie loving, terrorist sympathising president during these coming years.

    Yes, Vote Barack O'Bama if you truly hate America as much as he does.

    October 6, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    With the Dow Jones index "SHORT" 5% from January 2001, it certainly looks that way.

    Congress was controlled in both houses by Reoublicans from Jan 2001 to Jan 2007
    The Presidency was controlled by Republicans from 2001 to current.

    As the Dow stays down, of course we're going to feel that way.
    Which is also the reason why the country is going to hire a new steward of the economy (Democrat) as opposed to the failed policies of the Republicans.

    Moreover, with one candidate saying "I don't know much about the economy; I have to learn more" etc. we certainly don't want to hire that candidate.

    Especially when his main economics advisor, former Sen. Phil "the US is a nation of whiners" Gramm, helped push through the Enron loophople that toppled that company and was a huge advocated of deregulation, the current problem with our economy.

    So, yes, we're likely heading that way. But we're hopeful that things will change soon. I know my 401k, pension, savings, etc. are counting on a rebound.

    October 6, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Dan, Mpls

    The public always wants to put the blame on its elected officials. The blame rest squarely on the people who elected these officials in the first place. Swift boat tactics got a dumb president elected into office and we are now suffering the consequences. Look like the same thing is happening again.

    Each individual American should take a look in the mirror. You are the one who caused this mess. For those of elected Bush who lose your jobs. You deserve it.

    October 6, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  5. BJ

    OBAMA = ACORN (Obama organized Acorn)
    ACORN = DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS
    ACORN + CONGRESS = forced banks into sub-prime lending
    ACORN + CONGRESS + BANKS = FANNIE MAE
    FANNIE MAE = largest contribution to DODD and OBAMA
    FANNIE MAE + FREDDIC MAC = WALL STREET CRASH=

    DEPRESSION!!!

    Obama and the Democratic controlled Congress are the main culprits for this financial crisis... By forcing banks to lend to people who could not afford regular mortgages. THIS IS THE ROOT OF THE FINANCIAL CRASH!

    October 6, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  6. Michelle in PA

    Regardless of who is elected, I agree we are in for very bad times. The country has been mismanaged too long to recover overnight.

    The only difference is whether the American public wants to give handouts to the rich and hope they are kind enough to forego purchasing that 9th vacation home to let a few scraps fall the way of the average citizen struggling to survive, or whether we feel it is important to create a hand up for the average citizen so he or she can have the opportunity for work, hope for a future and dignity.

    To me, the choice is clear. Obama/Biden 08!

    October 6, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. j

    Yep, it's going to get worse before it get better and it'll probably cause a few global wars in the process. I'm betting the US won't be a super power or a very dimished one by the time it's all said and done. The giant debt this Administration and the Congress dug us into is going to be our downfall.

    I find some of the earmarks included in the "bailout" plan really offensive. I'd like to pack the federal government with fiscal conservatives in the hope that they'll only spend on necessities. If the US were a corporation, Bush, Paulson, Bernake and a few others would have been fired by now.

    October 6, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. redhead from Toronto

    This is not news, middle America has been dealing with this for months. Only rich fat cats like (R) McShame don't know what's going on with the Economy. Shame on you (R) George Bush, look what you have done to the great US of A.

    October 6, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. Jeanine G

    "turn the page"

    "the fundementals of the economy are sound"

    "mental recession"

    McCAIN/PALIN.....they think it is going to get better if we ignore it.

    What world are they living in?

    October 6, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. Anne in CT

    Definitely a Depression with President Palin

    October 6, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Mark, Ohio

    Nice that McCain wants NOT to talk about the economy anymore :-)

    October 6, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Anne

    After 8 years of not paying attention to what our government was doing, we, the American people, are getting exactly what we deserve. Only after our retriement, pensions and savings accounts are threatened, are we waking up to the fact that no one was watching the hen house. The foxes slid in with ease. Now, it looks as if we're about to elect 4 more years of the same. We don't learn quickly.
    Our only hope is with a new direction with OBAMA/BIDEN.

    October 6, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. Jack

    If obama ever steals the election – our country will really be in bad shape. All those "free" programs obama expects to hand out – just who exactly will pay for them???? You need JOBS to pay for all the welfare plans obama wants to "Give" his people!
    Vote McCain/Palin – we can Trust them to take good care of our country.

    October 6, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. KenM

    Think ACORN/Obama and you'll understand why Obama has a direct link why we're in this mess.

    October 6, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. Tony

    FACE IT PEOPLE.

    WE LIVE IN TWO AMERICAS! ONE FOR THE HAVE'S AND ONE FOR THE HAVE NOT'S. THAT IS A FACT!

    THE MORE THEY HAVE, THE MORE THEY WANT AND UNTIL PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY WAKE UP, GET UP, STAND UP!, THINGS ARE NOT GOING TO CHANGE.

    MCCAIN AND PALIN ARE COUNTING ON THE APATHY AND IGNORANCE OF THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICAN PEOPLE TO TAKE THEM TO THE WHITE HOUSE WITH NO SOLUTIONS, NO ANSWERS, AND NO IDEAS!

    SHOW THEM IN NOVEMBER THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE MORE THAN CAPABLE OF LOOKING AT THE FACTS, GETTING THE INFORMATION, AND THAT WE REFUSE TO DRINK THE KOOL-AID ANY LONGER.

    OBAMA / BIDEN '08!

    October 6, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. RSB

    What are you going to do, John? Time for real answers not old accusations.

    October 6, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Risky? RISky? RISKY?????

    Sheeesh...comments keep closing before I've had a chance to say anything!!

    Ok, and this headline is one of many reasons why McSame will lose!!

    McSame/McSnarky are the risky ones!!

    Oh, and, 'thou shalt not bear false witness' also applies to YOU Ms.Palin, or are you not a follower of Mr God???

    OBAMA 08!!!!

    October 6, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Joyce, nj

    Could someone please ask McCain and Palin to quit this annoying diversion and actually offer a solution?

    The economy is in the tank, that's official as of today. And here we are reading about dumbo's comments on Obama.

    Obama not only have to deal with resolving this issue and offering solution, he needed to devote a bit of his time dealing with Palin's stupid ignorant quabbles.

    I'm sick of reading about it.

    October 6, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. Tom - Cary, NC

    The final nail in the coffin would be if Obama is elected President. It will go down in history as the worst reaction to trouble since the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. Only McCain has a prayer to pull us out.

    October 6, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. pat C.

    TRY TELLING THAT TO PALIN AND CCAIN.....THEY DON'T SEE IT. THEY ARE NOW TURNING THEIR REDIRIC BACK TO OLD NEWS AND WANT TO START CHATTING ABOUT THE WAR. ANYTHING EXCEPT HAVING TO JUSTIFY THE DOWN FAL OF OUR ECONOMY.
    HOW CAN AMERICA SLEEP AT NIGHT KNOWING THEY HAVE TWO MORANS SUCH AS PALIN /MCCAIN EVEN SUGGESTING THEY ARE THE TWO TO GET US OUT OF THIS!!

    October 6, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Pier Giacalone

    Right and don't forget that it took a World War to get us out of the last depression....looking forward to this one (head shaking).

    October 6, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  22. Jim Schimmer

    AND ALL McSAME/WITCH DOCTOR TALK IS R.Wright and W.Ayers!!!!!

    ENOUGH OF THIS NON-SENSE!!

    DEREGULATION MONSTER McSAME!!

    October 6, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  23. jm for sc

    Maybe when people feel the effects of a depression, they will wish to never have seen McCain. He admitted to not having a clue on economics yet, he pretended to suspend his campaign to take care of something he knew nothing about.

    Obama is smart enough to understand economics. He is smart enough to surround himself with people who knows economics instead of surrounding himself with people who understands how to lie and deceive others.

    October 6, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  24. Jill

    And people are believeing that McCain and Palin are the answer...where have these people been? Another 4 years will doom us.
    Obama/Biden is the only hope.

    October 6, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  25. inat

    of course they do! The Democratic Party and media is telling them that we are!

    One party runs on doom and gloom – its a know fact that democrats do better when people are feelign bad about things. Why would anyone want to be part of that party?

    October 6, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
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