November 20th, 2009
09:09 AM ET
5 years ago

CNN Poll: Blame for recession shifting from GOP to Democrats

Washington (CNN) - Nearly two years into the recession, opinion about which political party is responsible for the severe economic downturn is shifting, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday morning indicates that 38 percent of the public blames Republicans for the country's current economic problems. That's down 15 points from May, when 53 percent blamed the GOP. According to the poll 27 percent now blame the Democrats for the recession, up 6 points from May. Twenty-seven percent now say both parties are responsible for the economic mess.

"The bad news for the Democrats is that the number of Americans who hold the GOP exclusively responsible for the recession has been steadily falling by about two to three points per month," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "At that rate, only a handful of voters will blame the economy on the Republicans by the time next year's midterm elections roll around."

Thirty-six percent of people questioned say that President Barack Obama's policies have improved economic conditions, with 28 percent feeling that the president's programs have made things worse, and 35 percent saying what he's done has had no effect on the economy.


One reason for that, says Holland, may be the growing federal budget deficit: Two-thirds say that the government should balance the budget even in a time of war and recession.

The survey indicates that only 18 percent say the economic conditions in the country today are good, down 3 points from August. Eighty-two percent say economic conditions are poor.

"Some economic indicators may suggest that the economy has turned the corner - but try telling that to the American people," adds Holland. The number of Americans who say that the economy is in good shape - a number that grew steadily through the spring and summer - has now stalled, with fewer than one in five expressing a positive view of current conditions. More than eight in 10 say that economic conditions are in poor shape, with 43 percent calling them very poor.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted November 13-15, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Full results (pdf)

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinahauser contributed to this report

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: CNN Polls • Economy • GOP
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. kansas

    Is the public beginning to notice that the Democrats got control of the House and Senate 2 years before Bush left office? Remember the good old days of 2006?

    November 20, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  2. GOP = "I hope he fails"

    Okay, fair enough actually. I too wish they could make things happen a little faster, so some blame does go to the Dems.

    However, to be clear, this recession was STARTED by the GOP, and they have offered exactly nothing in terms of constructive help in solving the situation. It is primarirly the result of a crash in an overinflated real estate sector, and the corresponding crisis in the financial sector. The ideological Republican right sat around repeating their canned comments about "tax cuts" and "less regulation" while the fat cats in the financial sector amuck. Too big to fail is purely and exclusively the fault of the GOP.

    Now all they do is sit around criticizing Obama for anything he does, and offer no alternative of their own. The GOP solution seems to be.......do nothing.

    November 20, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  3. JJ-Orlando

    Look, all I know is that while the Clinton's were in office I had a job and was not ever really stressed out. One in a half years after Bush was in office I was laid off and told to join the Army. I had 4 children and diabetes. I still have not been able to find a good job since 2002 and I am a college graduate. I have not been able to find health care for may family and at least I have had a couple of breaks thanks to legislation passed by Obama. The recession started because big rich corporation began paying low wages and working employees to death. They refused to allow Unions to form and people began getting sick mentally and physically while families were being torn apart because of the lack of mom and dads presence. You now have a generation of people that hate Rich people.

    November 20, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
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