CNN Poll: Shift on describing economy doesn't help president's numbers
January 16th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
3 years ago

CNN Poll: Shift on describing economy doesn't help president's numbers

Washington (CNN) – The number of Americans who say economic conditions in the country are "very poor" has dropped dramatically, according to a new national survey.

But according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, most of those people switched from describing the economy as "very poor" to "somewhat poor." The survey also indicates there's been little change in President Barack Obama's approval rating.

See full results (pdf)

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Thirty-eight percent of people questioned say the economy is in "very poor" shape, down 13 points from November. But the number of Americans who describe the economy as "somewhat poor" has risen eight points, from 34% in November to 42% now. As a result, eight in ten continue to say the economy's in poor shape. According to the survey, just 18% rate the economy as "good."

"The change was most dramatic in the suburbs, where most elections are won or lost,'" says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In November, 63% of suburbanites said the economy was very poor. Now that number has dropped 23 points."

According to the survey, 47% now approve of how Obama is handling his job, essentially unchanged since mid-December, when it was 49%. Fifty-one percent disapprove, up three points from last month.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from January 11-12, with 1,021 adult Americans, including 928 registered voters, conducted by telephone on January 11-12, 2012. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

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Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Economy • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Namejkane fl

    Go Obama, economy is getting better with no help from republican clowns.

    January 16, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  2. Chace

    Wow, it took a poll to figure that out? Come talk to the recent graduates that can't even get a job at McDonalds right now!

    January 16, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  3. sparkles

    The economy is in horrible shape. He has failed.

    January 16, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. Granger

    amazing that there are that many who believe this pres is doing a good job. Doing a good job of what? He's become the most divisive pres ever, he has a drunk uncle here illegally, an "beloved" aunt that is here illegally, he orders his justice dept to not enforce laws he doesn't like, he has done nothing but worsen the economy. Hello?

    January 16, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  5. Jeff

    Aww, poor poor Barry. I guess dance parties in Boston isn't cutting it anymore.

    January 16, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  6. Biotechdev

    How interesting that CNN is so concerned about how any little shift in perception could help Obama, isn't it? Too bad they didn't think the fact that the debt exceeding the total economic output of the US was a big story

    January 16, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  7. ddblah

    The airway is bombarded with ads claiming the economy is bad. Guess you see the effect.

    January 16, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  8. M

    It is not Obama's fault. It is the do-nothing republican congress' fault. All they care about is removing Obama from the White House. They will sacrifice the Country's future to do that. Obama has my vote.

    January 16, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  9. Rags

    Obama's numbers are better than seen due to the Repugs doing their best to discredit him. The Repugs are totally at fault. 'nuf said!

    January 16, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  10. schnikers

    As long as avarice is the engine that drives this country we will continue with this slow economic rebound. .

    January 16, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. Don J Devine

    What do 75% of people named "Bill" think? Brilliant. Simply brilliant accuracy and very meaningful.

    January 16, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  12. John

    President Obama is doing what he can with what he has..... I personally think he has done a lot having a congress that opposes to everything he asks for...

    January 16, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. GeorgeGray

    No hope and no change. Moreover, do you think a new litter of low paying dead end jobs is really going to help anyone? Indeed, in the end the gov't is going to have to be the employer of last resort. Also, paying people to obey "the law." Regarding this last, why else would anyone obey the preferences of people they've never met?

    January 16, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Former Republican, now an Independent

    As a former registered republican, I can comfortably say that President Obama is far more intelligent, and actually possesses more business sense than any of the republican field of candidates. Jon Huntsman was the smartest of the republican candidates, but still not a good choice to lead the country. The U.S. needs true leadership, not a president who would institute the same failed practices that got us into the present mess.

    January 16, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  15. paw640

    And it took a poll to figure this out!?!

    January 16, 2012 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  16. bettie

    obama really needs to go away, he has done more damage then good. if he has his way we'll being going to war and the american people will be getting arrested for their constitutional rights.RON PAUL 2012!

    January 16, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. matt

    I should be surprised by news like this, but I pretty much expect it at this point. The people of this country have always known what is best for the future, but those in power refuse to listen. We have lost jobs to countries overseas, we continue to let illegal immigrants come into this country, and the drug was is clearly not working. We either need to put all our resources into this drug war, it is destroying our country. The cartels and thugs think they can get away with intimidating americans and mexicans alike, let's see how fast they can run from a predator missle.

    January 16, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  18. Truth

    So the republican can tank the economy after taking the midterm election after making all these promises and it is Obama's fault. Remeber that their statement was to make Obama a one term president. Let's reelect Obama and get the republian out of the house and get more of the right policies in place to help the midddle class.

    January 16, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  19. mdmooser

    If the haters are allowed to win what is next? The first President to face others inherently dug in proclaiming he's not my President! Bottom line, no President has faced this much opposition from the other party the entire term. Any opposition should be voted out and let's get on with it. Whether you like it or not, this is one of the best President's we have had since Kennedy except for a lot of Clinton's riding the net boom. And i thought as a nation we had moved ahead, NOT!

    January 16, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  20. BJ

    Please give Barak Obama the support, space and peace to do his job. These so called unscientific polls are annoying. He is doing his best, all he needs is your support as people. THANK YOU very much!

    January 16, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  21. Phil

    6 million less employeed now than there was 3 years ago. Enough said.

    January 16, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. 666

    8 in 10... What is wrong with the other 20%? Are they doing great drugs? I want some.

    January 16, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  23. Its the Economy Stupid

    Of course Americans think this.

    Military/Government spending has never been higher.
    The national debt has never been higher.
    The Senate, The Congress have never been more ineffectual.
    We've lost our credit rating because our continued raising of the national debt.
    Inflation has never been higher than it is now, ergo, PRICES ON EVERYTHING has never been higher.

    Of course Americans aren't going to trust the President. They didn't trust Bush, so why would they trust Obama? Being a Democrat or Republican doesnt make you blameless when you screw everything up or make it worse than before!

    January 16, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  24. Eric of Reseda

    The economy, factually, IS improving. Period. And regardless of political affiliation, people should realize that this Administration has done a pretty good job when you consider the hole 8 years of GOP control dug us. The fact is, the same thing happened leading up to the the Great Depression: 10 years of GOP control. And, Reagan took a national deficit at it's lowest since WW2, and EXPLODED it. (This was Reagan's greatest regret, per him. He makes Obama look like an amateur when it comes to deficit spending). Fact: We were still paying off Reagan and Bush 1 (and Bush 2) when Obama was elected. Americans MUST stop listening to GOP rhetoric and SEE the facts, the trends. GOP economic policy is bad for America. A Democrat – even more "Socialist" than Obama, dug us out of the Great Depression. In fact, FDR, a Liberal Democrat, left the United States the most powerful country in the world, both militarily and economically. Indisputable facts.

    January 16, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  25. Marcus

    Obama has racked up 5 TRILLION in debt in just 3 years!!!!!! So, because of him ALL of our children will have worse lives than we have had. Thanks for taking away our childrens future's Obama, real nice. WORST PRESIDENT EVER!!!!!!!!

    January 16, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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