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. LacrosseMom (CNN please post)

    @ BK............ you far-right people....... love to lie........ 600,000 jobs.......A WEEK???

    This Bush Disaster will not be solved overnight. Economists are saying that by the end of the year, things will improve.

    You can not solve the problems that Bush left behind overnight.

    May 22, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. LacrosseMom (CNN please post)

    At the risk of not having another comment posted........ is it just me or are all the comments posted here.......... from the far-right?

    What's up CNN?

    May 22, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  3. Hans Brecker, Albany NY

    So where is the change you "Donkeys" voted for.......people complained about the economy with W and now they complain about the economy with OB.......maybe it's the numb-minded voters instead!!

    May 22, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. JT

    Are you people even reading the article? The low point for people was last fall (remember, when Bush and Cheney were in office), and now they feel BETTER about the economy.

    May 22, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Moderate Democrat

    ib May 22nd, 2009 4:16 pm ET

    Come to think of it only the far left will be left.
    Now that's some positive thinking! I too look forward to a day when our nation is comprised of 100% ethical, law obiding and progressive thinking people. People who do not spend their hours in the pursuit of torture and mass genocide.

    I'm glad you have found some good in all this bad. I salute you!

    May 22, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. Independent in Virginia

    Cheese&Whine: "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."

    Ask yourself – How's that working out for California?

    May 22, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Keith

    It will take years to clean up Bush' s Mess!

    May 22, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. 4 and The Door

    Based on a poll of Nancy, Harry, Barry and Joe, things are much much worse than they had ever imagined! Yikes!

    May 22, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |

    yeah mon, badly! starting with a jacked up government lying to us about iraq, then move over to a jacked up economy, then slide over to craziness from gay folks trying to push a live free as ya wanna agenda . then back to more silliness from the so called government. congress, senators , governor and the circus goes on!

    May 22, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. GREED

    Will not work out forever...........

    May 22, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. tess

    i'll say again – can't wait until 2010 when all the worthless dems (and some "centrest" republicans are send packing !!!! all the soaring speechs (a la teleprompter) are beginning to sound alike – empty! i hate to say it but hillary was right about one thing – o'bama wasn't and isn't ready to be president---–

    May 22, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. No Incumbents 2010

    I still love Obama. We have to give him a chance. People just are racists and they do not appreciate change. I hate Bush and he should be tried and anything is better than the last 8 years. Obama inherited this mess and I think he has already made the world respect us. I think I'll open my home to a Gitmo detainee if it helps the President.

    Did I pretty much get the mindless dribble of the left correct?

    May 22, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  13. JT

    READ THE ARTICLE before you post. Most of the comments to this article are incoherent and obviously show the readers have not read the article first.

    May 22, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Lefty McLefterson

    Republicans have no reading comprehension. The optomists gained 12 points. That means the pessimists lost 12 points since November. That puts the number of people who say things are going badly at 82 out of a hundred back in November. Now only 70 do. So it's an improvement. It's just that CNN's headline was composed to emphasize the glass half empty perspective. And the uneducated conservatives just read the headline and reacted without doing any sort of critical analysis of what was written. Typical. Of course this type of logical thinking is beyond them.

    May 22, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. No More Cheney

    Of course things are bad; we haven't prosecuted those criminals Bush and Cheney yet for starting a war on false information and violating the Geneva Convention. I, for one, will start to feel better once these criminals are held accountable for the deaths and misery they have wrought upon our country. Then, there is the huge hurdle of getting out of the quagmire in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    May 22, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Haha at democRATS

    Everything is and will always be Bush's fault! LOL

    May 22, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. Dennis

    The "Bush" disaster began in the Clinton administation with the push for sub prime loan. Whenyou add the magnitude of debt that Obama signed us up for, we're looking at 20-25 years before the economy is really right again, if ever. Do I feel better about the economy? Hell no!

    May 22, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. mike,texas

    If 10 billion where spent on domestic terrorism which happens daily and in greater numbers than the 1 and only attack since WW2,and on Dicks watch (coincidence),this country wouldnt be broke.

    May 22, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Diane P

    Why are you spending so much time feeding the failed GOP philosophy, things are a lot better than they were. I've noticed the value of my 401k on the increase, it seems you feel the GOP should have the same amount of coverage as the current Administration, it's getting old & foxish, hiring Ms Matalin as analyst was not a good look. you're featuring Liz Cheney as if she was an elected official or terrorism expert, are you now answering to Rush!!!!

    May 22, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Ellen

    Better than the 9.5 of 10 when W was in office!

    May 22, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. Joe Publicini


    It will take years to clean up Bush' s Mess? Yes, that's a nice crutch that Obama can lean on for the next 4 years. No sense of being promoted for a job and actually have the sense of accountability with it.

    May 22, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  22. Cali J

    How many loony bin Dems on this board have posted that Bush killed 3000 Americans. Proof please or get beamed up.
    The left is a sick group. How about slick Willy saying "I would like to take him (Bin Laden), but he's a hot potatoe."? Or Jamie's wall? Wasn't the policies of the previous democrat administration the guilty party of 9/11?
    To those of you out there with the conspiracies, where's the proof? Just like Pelosi, you lie! Have another Kool-Aide

    May 22, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. Fed Up

    I guess the economy being in a shambles had nothing to do with you spending more than you made, running up credit card debt, buying more house than you could afford and having to have two or three car payments to go with your lattes. I am amazed at how quickly Americans are willing to let government run your lives instead of taking personal responsibility for your own actions. What happened to that American independence you are known for?

    May 22, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Fitz in Texas

    What really worries me is, if we think it's bad now, wait, it will only be getting worse. This is NOT the "hope" and "change" I was hoping for.

    May 22, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. ILoveLiberals

    Bush conducted this poll....laugh now but I know there is a dumb liberal who believed me for a quick second...hahha

    May 22, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
1 2 3