September 3rd, 2009
10:00 AM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans say country still in recession

Nearly nine in ten Americans say the country's still in a recession, according to a new national poll.
Nearly nine in ten Americans say the country's still in a recession, according to a new national poll.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Nearly nine in ten Americans say the country's still in a recession, according to a new national poll.

Eighty-seven percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday morning say the nation's in a serious, moderate or mild recession, and nearly seven in ten say things are going badly in the country today.

"Economists may be speculating that the recession is over, but don't tell that to the American public," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The good news - if you can call it good news - is that the number who say things are going badly has been dropping steadily since last fall - from an all time high of 83 percent in November to 77 percent in April and 69 percent now."

The survey also suggests another positive sign: The number of Americans who say the country's in a serious recession has also dropped a bit, from 42 percent in May to 36 percent. And while the economy's still the top issue on the mind of Americans, the poll indicates its dropping in importance. Forty-one percent of those questioned say the economy's the most important issue, down ten points from June and a drop of 22 points from March.

The Republicans still get more blame than Democrats for the country's economic problems, but that figure's down from 53 percent in May to 41 percent now. Twenty-seven percent say the Democrats are more responsible for the economy, up six points from May.

According to the poll, 52 percent support President Barack Obama's economic plan, down from 65 percent in March. Fifty-five percent think the "Cash for Clunkers" program was a success, but less than four in ten say Obama's economic program has improved the economic conditions so far.

"Liberals and moderates tend to think that Obama's program has helped the economy," says Holland. "But most conservatives think it has made economic conditions worse."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted August 28-31, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Read: The full poll results


Filed under: CNN poll • Economy
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Tom in Delaware

    Oh, what do they know?!?

    If Obama says we're in a recovery, then by God, we're in a recovery.

    The messaikhspeaks and the sheep obeaaaaaay.

    September 3, 2009 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  2. alex

    americains must know that is not easy for obama to fix economy during 7 months, bush must get more blame than barack obama, because it got worse during his governace, but obama is trying balance it ,by the will of GOD he will succed,despite they have not created more jobs as expected, the country is getting out of recession,

    September 3, 2009 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  3. Legna

    I am a small business owner and for those of u who say the economy is gettn better are mis-leading folks. Its still gettn worse, but at a slower pace. Open your eyes and look around at all the empty buildings, apts., and homes that are gettn more delapidated by the day..Unemployment is getting worse, cap and trade will push it beyond 20%. Increasing taxes will simply make it worse, continued loss n tax revenues will still occur until liberal republicans,and democrats stop spending and reduce their size n government.. China is about to increase the interest they require on debt which will again cost us more. If we don't get all the liberal Idiots out of office it will b too late. Please wake up and don't let this crazy transformation take place. It does not work..

    September 3, 2009 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  4. Willy Brown

    As long as the democrats are in control the USA will always be in a depression.

    September 3, 2009 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  5. Mike R

    9 in 10 Americans are not economists, and hence have no valid judgement on whether we are in a recession or not.

    September 3, 2009 07:22 am at 7:22 am |
  6. eolufemi

    Well, Americans are kind of dumb...

    September 3, 2009 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  7. eolufemi

    What amazes me is how we can take the award for worst educated students in the world, yet these same individuals grow up believing they know more than trained professionals and experts about everything from economics to health care.

    September 3, 2009 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  8. Hopeful Optimist

    "Liberals and moderates tend to think that Obama's program has helped the economy," says Holland. "But most conservatives think it has made economic conditions worse." How telling. Just proves that despite the actual numbers showing improvement, the party of NO is deadset on refusing to acknowledge the fact.

    Kinda reminds of the conservative preacher telling the congregation that not only does he not believe in evolution, he's not too sure about gravity and relativity either.

    Folks, the fact that conservatives still exist in this country attests to the poor state of our education system. Pitiful, just pitiful.

    September 3, 2009 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  9. Dale

    If Republicans blame Obama for the recession, then they will give him credit for the recovery, right? ;)

    September 3, 2009 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  10. Obama's program has helped the economy

    I agree, he has been very good for this country

    I think the conservatives (the extreme right) has proven themselves to be rabid and think 'its my way or the highway', to the point that much of the U.S. has taken notice and says why bother discussing it with them?

    September 3, 2009 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  11. Mike

    We will go into a deep recession early to middle 2010 when the first payment on the money borrowed by obama and the democrats comes due. We will be lucky if it is not hyper inflation.

    September 3, 2009 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  12. Fan of Common Sense

    Unfortunately a lot of Americans get "economic recession" and "personal depression" confused......but whenever I look at our government, I get depressed to.

    September 3, 2009 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  13. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Hold on to your hats, people. If Obama and the dumb-a-crats get their way, it's going to get A LOT worse. 2012 cannot come soon enough.

    September 3, 2009 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  14. Craig in VA

    Hey man I need my free healthcare I got my gummnet check coming but I need some more free stuff

    September 3, 2009 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  15. Democrats should be prosecuted

    The Democrats should go to jail for what they are doing to this country. Surely there are laws to protect us from their shenanigans with the economy, health care – you name it. The do-gooder libs complain about being protected from terrorists – instead they should do just a little research and learn how devasting the impact Obama and his cronies will have not just our economy – but the whole country and every aspect of our lives. How can you be off by 2 Trillion dollars?

    Obama will go down as the very worst President ever – Number 1 !

    September 3, 2009 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  16. stormerF

    depends on where you are in the country. I have not seen so much recession here where I am,but then we do not have the unemployement rate as some areas do...Or the unemployment benefits have not ran out yet?

    September 3, 2009 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  17. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The country is still in recession from a techincal aspect. It will still feel like a recession as long as people are out of work. We need to have more jobs open up and manufacturers have things built here in the US like solar panels and clothing. I don't like buying clothing made outside the US (or other countries that have reasonable labor laws), but it is so hard to find.

    September 3, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  18. Susan

    I think we are still in a mild recession, but we are coming out far faster than predicted, which bugs Republicans. They want the administration to fail on every front, not just health care.
    The real issue is still jobs, because job creation will not happen quickly, and that is most people's benchmark: am I working, is my family OK.

    September 3, 2009 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  19. Kevin in Ohio

    The economy did not start tanking until the dems took over Congress on Jan 1,2007. Couple that with Barney Frank's dealings with Freddie and Fanny, and it was the recipe for disaster that not even George Bush could prevent. We are still WELL below the prosperity levels that occurred during the height of the Bush Administration. Now the dems are attempting to spend our way to bankruptcy with plan after plan of tax/spend. Can 2010 and 2012 get here any faster?????/

    September 3, 2009 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  20. Jeremiah Kelley

    Yes the economy is bad and its going to do nothing but get worse. Ofcourse by taxing hard working americans more so that obama can pass his healthcare agenda and raising electic and energy rates so the nuts that believe in global warming, like al gore who will make millions off of cap and trade will be happy. Oh ya plus amesty for all the illegals in this country and their familys. Sounds like this country is on the right track. I bet people will be happy that they might just go out on a shopping spree or take a 35000 dollar vacation to martha's vineyard!

    September 3, 2009 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  21. Pa independent but fiscally responsible

    The recession is still an issue and businessses are operating with a bare bone staff. Nothing can really change while Obama is on his spending spree and we are waiting to see the cost of his programs. The idividuals I see yelling for single payer health care don't appear to understand economics, balanced budgets and cost. Where is the money coming from when you are already massively in debt? With corporate revenues down, it has to come from taxpayers.

    September 3, 2009 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  22. jim

    The rich are richer and for the rest of us...

    well, when is our wonderful government ever going to stop jobs from leaving America? I heard from 4 presidents that there will be programs to help retool Americans who lost jobs to overseas. But then if you're on unemployment and try to take a college course, they drop your benefits..... OK..

    Our tax money went into the pockets of the rich in the form of bonuses and they argue "We need to do this to keep talent". But then on the other hand, these same people ship jobs overseas with the argument.. "We need access to global talent".

    Instead of giving these losers our tax money to retain their talent, why don't we ship their jobs overseas? I'm sure there are people in India who can do what these idiots do for a fraction of the cost.

    America is no longer America.

    September 3, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  23. Fed Up

    We have eyes. Obama and his media can state the recession is over all they want. However, the people that are actually living in reality, instead of the Rose Garden and high prices homes and apartments, realize they still don't have jobs, their 401K's are gone, and the savings is quickly drying up. Shove some more "stimulus money" for the big companies down our throats. How's that health care reform working for you? How about the change?

    September 3, 2009 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  24. For Love of Country

    Maybe President Obama's administrations' attempt to dismantle this country and put it back together again, will ultimately fail.

    If as much drive and creativity went into JOB CREATION, as has been exerted on the HEALTH CARE legislation... then more Americans would be happier and healthier (it is amazing what a shot-in-the-arm it is to have a pay check every week).

    My prayer for this great country, is that American Patriots will UNITE across party lines and come together. One veteran put it so well when he said "I swore an oath to uphold the constitution of the United States from enemies both foreign and domestic". Who knew we would be facing these domestic threats from a President and his Czar officers?

    Why in the world are we entrenched in political war-fare on both sides?

    September 3, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  25. Tim in NC

    Lets see if this gets posted

    80+% of Americans are as finacially illiterate as Wall street is morally bankrupt... so why are we looking to the 'average American' for this late breaking news... since when is opinion and hearsay concidered factual information, oh thats right... [looks at CNN's array of commentators].

    September 3, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
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