CNN Poll: Shift on describing economy doesn't help president's numbers
January 16th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
2 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. CVaughan

    either political candidates/officials like or dislike polls, the tipping point
    is if those poll numbers suit their agenda
    ABC/CBS/NBC, CNN and yes even... FoxNews has polls all with different
    numbers

    polls are no longer scientific but, then again they never were to begin with

    CVaughan

    January 16, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  2. Melissa

    This is considered breaking news??? Where has CNN been the past 3 years?

    January 16, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. scottt01

    It is an election year!!! You can find better lipstick to put on this pig.

    January 16, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. janie

    Obama's not perfect- but our economy was a heck of a lot worse under Bush...or do you all not remember the "near-depression" that we were thrust into at the end of Bush's term. Granted – the economy is awful- but did you really expect him to wave a magic wand and make everything perfect in 4 years? It took us 8 years to get into this mess- give him time to get us out of it. 4 years will never be enough- and if a republican gets into office – the poor and middle class will be eating in soup lines and begging for food on the corner. NO more social security or disability- only the rich white people will prosper and everyone else will suffer. It's the American way.

    January 16, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  5. Rob

    The Republicans made it quite clear from the start that their number one job was to beat Obama and they have pretty much everything they can to keep the economy from recovering.

    January 16, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  6. D. Tree

    8 in 10 people say the economy is in "poor" condition – but it would be a mistake to assume those 8 people agree on a way to fix it.

    The truth is, some of those 8 people believe Obama should be more conservative, and some of those 8 people believe he should be more liberal.

    The question becomes, who's numbers are larger in the electorate? With more 68 percent of Americans in a Wall St. Journal poll saying they would favor a surtax on millionaires, my bet is on the liberal voters.

    January 16, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  7. Beaver Cleaver

    "...The Repugs are totally at fault. 'nuf said!..." Obama had Dems in control of the Senate & House his first 2 years. Try again.

    January 16, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  8. katmoondaddy

    He's the worse president in history and it's NOT because he is black.

    January 16, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Walter

    Changing dozens of House members won't make any difference – changing one person in the White House will.

    January 16, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    How is this breaking news?

    January 16, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Beaver Cleaver

    Bush lit the fire that burned down the economy, Obama is throwing gasoline on it.

    January 16, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. Rup's Mom

    How is this breaking news? I think it is quite obvious.

    January 16, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. Jeff

    "just under half" of what? Landline telephone subscribers? That is primarly old people, isn't it?

    January 16, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Fla Pete

    Pres.Obama says it will take time,not overnight as most people want.You had Bush screwing up this country for 8years,yet not only does Obama get the blame,but has to clean up the Repubs mess in one term as well...You rightwingers must be in a fog,you hypocrites forgot how we got there,2 unfunded wars,Medicare,Medicaid changes unfunded,less money coming in because of tax breaks.You jerks should go stand in a corner in a round room,too many anal retentives for one to help...

    January 16, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  15. VegasRage

    This is breaking news?!?! I don't think so.

    January 16, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Beaver Cleaver wrote:

    Obama had Dems in control of the Senate & House his first 2 years. Try again.
    -------------------
    Democrats had a filibuster proof majority [assuming all Democrats and 2 Independents like Joe Lieberman voted as a bloc ] for the first few months of 2009, unitl Sen. Ted Kennedy passed. Joe Lieberman chose to stand with the Republicans on most issues, and still does.

    Try again.

    January 16, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  17. Jed Mc'weinerslave

    Ok we got a sample size larger than 10. Are there 2 people HERE who think the economy is good shape?

    January 16, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  18. Joshua

    Spending more money we don't have is the only way out of this mess!

    January 16, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  19. Birther Movement

    The economy is slowly improving. It'd improve faster if the GOP would just go away and let the serious people in elected office do the job of undoing all of Bush's destructive plans. It took Bush 8 years to get us into this mess, it'll take more than 4 years for Obama to get us out of it thanks to the GOPers.

    January 16, 2012 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  20. HopefortheFuture

    The President saved us from a depression and is continuing to help us back onto our feet, despite Republican obstructionism.

    January 16, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  21. Gomer Pyle

    @Former Republican, now an Independent

    iIf you were ever really a republican all one would ask is why. With beliefs like yours, it looks like you're now much closer to home. Big boy pants not needed.

    January 16, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Obama had the first two years of both houses being democrat and could not get much done. He is a failed leader.

    January 16, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  23. sybaris

    The "bad economy" mantra is getting lame.

    On my way home from work every evening I note how all the fast food and sit-down eateries have their parking lots full.

    All these poor people can't afford to eat at home I guess

    January 16, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. dubrats

    he tried...he failed....nothing personnal.......NEXT.

    January 16, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. elgatoblanco

    Let the GOP have control. People might change their tunes when the government slashes spending and they see the hurt it will cause society. And let's be real here... If the Republicans do get control of the government, do you really think they will be all about cutting spending and reducing its size- the size of their power? There will probably be some cuts, but only in ways that benefit their friends in the business world- like cuts to the EPA, and other consumer friendly regulatory agencies. We've seen a situation like this before with the great depression, and a lot of people seem to forget that it took a long time and lots of outrageous spending (culminating with the onset of WWII) to fix it. Get thee to a library, and read some U.S. history!

    January 16, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
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