May 22nd, 2009
03:48 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN Poll: 7 out of 10 say things going badly in country

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll suggests Americans are becoming slightly more positive about the condition of the country, but the vast majority still say things in the nation are going badly.

Twenty-eight percent of people questioned in the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Friday think things are going well in the country today, up 12 points from November. Still, more than seven in 10 Americans think things are currently going badly in the country.

"This poll question has a record of being a good political indicator," said CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. "When the number of Americans who say things are going well is this low, bad things happen to people in power. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter was thrown out of office. In 1992, the same thing happened to the first President Bush. And last year the Republican got wiped out."

The poll also indicates that 42 percent of people questioned think the country's in a serious recession, up 10 points from last October. Another 35 percent said the nation's suffering from a moderate recession and 12 percent labeled it a mild recession. One out of 10 said there's no recession.

Will things get better in time for next year's midterm elections?

Many economists believe the recession will end later this year. But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned on May 18 that "even as growth starts to turn positive, which will happen, unemployment is going to keep increasing for a while and it's not going to feel better for a long time for millions of Americans."

"The last major recession ended in March 1991," Schneider said. "But unemployment kept going up for more than year. So what happened? In 1992 we got angry voters and a president was thrown out of office."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted May 14-17, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: CNN Polls
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. J.P.

    But wait, this can't be! We elected our Lord and Savior!

    Things can't be bad! He said he'd waive his magic wand and say the magic words and things would be all better!

    I knew it was too good to be true... I should have figured it out when I learned he didn't really have a flying unicorn, nor a little helper leprechaun.

    May 22, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  2. Kevin in Ohio

    Obama and his democrat cronies are definitely not making anything better.

    May 22, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  3. yuri

    It is tough to please all and we guess time is the best teacher, we have.

    May 22, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  4. bk

    We are losing over 600,000 jobs a week. Unemployment will be over 10%. All the money Obama has spent has not helped anything. You can not spend your way out. Wake up people!

    May 22, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. JT

    J.P. – Overkill and untrue. We've been in this recession/depression since Bush & Cheney were still in office. All the economic charts are making your statement look ridiculous.

    May 22, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  6. Great Expections...?

    What does the country expect that Obama will take one dollar and turn it into trillions...All Obama really knows is talk talk..and sounding smart
    ....but is he really walking the talk ????????????????????????

    May 22, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  7. Rob

    One has to wonder what the first line of this story would be if the Republicans were in control? I think it's a pretty safe bet that they would not associate 7 out of 10 people thinking things are bad with the word positive. Yet, because their chosen one is warming the seat at 1600 Penn Ave., they can't come right out and tell the truth.

    May 22, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Dems hurting more than helping

    I am one of the 7 that believes things are going badly I also believe that Obama and the Dems are hurting more than they are helping.

    Obama and the Dems are pushing a Socialistic agenda that is damaging to this economy. They have passed a record deficit budget which is hurting us.

    Obama is tryoing to run the auto industry, the banking industry, and the nealth industry. This is socialism, and it will fail.

    May 22, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. alvino

    Obama appears to have prevented a depression that Bush and his cronies created.

    May 22, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |

    One out of 10 said there's no recession. Lemme guess...
    These are the southern evangelical rethuglicant's like the two low-information, uni-brow posting morons J.P and Kevin in Ohio right?

    May 22, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  11. Ekbaaaaaaal from NC

    That is due to Obama – he plays on class warfare, fear and hatred. That is the basis of every speech he gives.

    May 22, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. Charm

    Things will probably get worse until it gets better. Right now credit card companies are doing everything they can do before credit card reform hits them. Slashed credit limits, increased interest rates. What's sad about this, is that many good credit card paying consumers are being slammed as well. All it takes is one overly anxious credit card company to decrease the credit limit of a good consumer and all the other credit companies follow suit, essentially ruining the consumer's credit. I think US consumers should flip credit card companies the bird and refuse to do business with them once credit does free up.

    May 22, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. Moderate Democrat

    12 points higher then november. Sounds like a pretty good improvement to me.

    Then again, you have some people out there who thank their former messiah for slaughtering 3000 people in new york. Of course there will be some who think it's going bad since they haven't been attacked under this president. But we can take solice since it's up by 12: more are now thinking it's improving then when the torture king was president.

    May 22, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. Skip, a black man

    Please dont worry......Obama can fix everthing!

    May 22, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  15. ugh

    Unfortunately this was many years coming, EVERYONE got greedy and now we are paying the consequence.

    May 22, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  16. Typical Republican

    I haven't been attacked while you are President...there for you are NOT keeping us safe. Not until you murder 3000 people in my country will I claim you are keeping us safe! Bush slaughtered 3000 people in his first 9 months in office, you still have time Barry, you too can keep us safe if you kill some of us!

    May 22, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  17. God help us

    When BO is KILLING Capitalism what do you expect.....

    May 22, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  18. Albo58

    Couldn't be the fault of the inept president and his Congressional majority sheep, it's got to be something else!

    May 22, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  19. Check Yourself

    This won't change during the Obama administration...He'll be a one-term president...

    May 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  20. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    "I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust."
    Blah, Blah, blah, until the American citizen begins to understand that inflation is a tax on our earnings, that the federal reserve is a privaite bank and not part of the US Government we will never be a free country again. Support HR 1207 and audit the Federal Reserve bank we need to know how much debt we truly have. This bank has never been audited since it was founded in 1913!

    May 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  21. Cheese&Whine

    Was there a real expectation that a global economic crisis would be over in 6 months? Things are bad...and it's going to take time to make them not so bad. Doesn't matter who President is.

    Oh, and do "we can't spend our way out"...actually that's how economies grow and how recessions end. I'm not stoked on trillion dollar bail outs or economic stimulus plans but...the alternative was worse.

    May 22, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  22. witch

    go back and read this again. Things are bad did you think that they would be better in a blink of an eye? Most of us who have any sense know that it is going to take time. Look, get real people it will take time and it doesn't help when you have people that don't want to see the country get better. Have a safe holiday weekend!

    May 22, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. ib

    Anyone who thinks things are better under Obama needs their heads checked. The things he is doing will only make things a lot worse in this country if there is a country left when he gets through. Come to think of it only the far left will be left.

    May 22, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. LacrosseMom (CNN please post)

    @ J.P. ........... Your comment is hateful and vile. And it offends, Christians!

    I was not polled, nor were millions who make up the 60% or more that support President Obama.

    CNN, are you turning into 'Faux News' ?

    May 22, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. Proud Member..Party of No

    This clown-show of an administration is only making things worse. Barry has picked the money tree clean and he has nothing to show for it.
    Move over Jimmy Carter, we may have a new "Worst Ever".

    May 22, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
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