CNN Poll: Shift on describing economy doesn't help president's numbers
January 16th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
6 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

Also see:

Paul scores sought after endorsement in South Carolina

DeMint: I will not endorse

Romney nabs Florida endorsement

FIRST ON CNN: Huntsman to drop out

Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Economy • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. eagle575

    i want to meet the ones that think he's doing a good job...i got a swamp in arizona to sell.

    for those critical of the gop house (disclaimer: i'm libertarian) the house has sent over 20 job-growth bills to the senate but princess harry will not allow a vote. obama's jobs bill is a joke – steely dan's aja album created more permanent jobs than that ever will.

    January 16, 2012 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  2. AFSOC 1st Sgt

    I think about 40% of Americans woud vote for Obama even if grew horns, turned red, and sprouted a pointed tail. Another 40% would vote against him if he walked on water and unemployment was zero. The election, therefore, will be decided by the 20% who put party affiliation, religion, race, etc. aside, turn off Fox and MSNBC, and actually use their brains, learn the issues, study the candidates ideas, and think.

    January 16, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  3. travis

    obama has done alot. from passing bills on that we dont need to read that make no sense at all( i demand my representatives to read everything they sign) to letting nature take care of the bp oil spill in the gullf, to practicing his golf swing and quadrupling the deficit in record time with nothing to show for it. i think we have so many welfare recipients in this country now they almost out number the workforce. its inevitable for economic collapse if we dont make some drastic changes in spending. RON PAUL 2012

    January 16, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Charlie

    Most folks will believe anything in Print or Tweet. The reality is that the POTUS has done some considerable things to correct the economy despite the GOP basically stonewalling any effort to improve it. The Midwest for sure would be in fare worse shape if there was no Auto Industry. The question should be why has the 6 Big Banks under the Right Congressional House allowed banks to mass up and sit on 7 Trillion dollars while only investing back 1 Trillion in the US Economy including Small busineses? Folks that continue to vote against their own personal best interests is the new definition of insanity

    January 16, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. Carol

    The wrong people are being polled about President Obama. I've never been asked, not ever, and most of my friends and relatives haven't either.

    January 16, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. david

    The repubs crashed the car, have gone out of their way to prevent the car from being fixed and people are actually considering giving them back the keys, wake up sheeple.

    January 16, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  7. Glen

    In spite of CBS, NBC and CNN flogging every piece of semi-good news about the economy, everyone out in the real world knows we have big problems. And most of those people aren't even really aware of how hard we will be hit by the collapse of the Euro and EU. Oh they will work it out...... Right just like those housing problems in the US are working themselves out. You guys shilled for Obama last election, you should be embarassed.

    January 16, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  8. mike

    The economy is in horrible shape.... is anyone seriously believing that its improving? this is cnn propoganda .....the article will read... OBAMA SEES SURGE FROM IMPROVING ECONOMY.... its all lies... the economy is in the dog house and obama had a fully democratic government that passed every hairbrain scheme he came up with and it didnt help... it olny hurt... america we can not afford another four years of this man... he needs to retire to the golf course.. the same one he was on when BP was polluting New Orleans waters.... where was Kanye West....

    January 16, 2012 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  9. independent

    I support the President. His efforts to restore the World's and the Markets' faith in America, as well as in Americans' faith in America have been monumental. Despite the obstructionist efforts by the Right to tear down America, in hopes of tearing down this Presidency, Mr. Obama has maintained his hope and efforts that they will put America first.

    I don't have the same degree of hope as the President that most Republicans, including those in office, are willing to work with liberals, progressives, democrats or anyone else with a differing point of view. They believe that differing points of view are UnAmerican. How little they truely understand America. However, the President still has that hope and I applaud and support him for it. He still has my vote.

    January 16, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  10. T'sah From Virginia

    So the "economy" IS getting a little better – YET, ►The survey also indicates there's been little change in President Barack Obama's approval rating.◄

    Blame it on "tunnel vision" brought to you further by the CANDIDATES from the RIGHT poisoning the media!!! NOT TO WORRY – the candidates from the RIGHT is DYING out one by one and sooner ALL VOICES WILL BE HEARD!!!

    Obama 2012!!

    January 16, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  11. Toonces

    Obama makes a lame attempt at trying to get Ron Paul voters by downsizing the government. Too little too late buddy.

    January 16, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  12. Brandon

    LOL, there are many people living in denial here. The economy is trashed, vote for Obama all you want, it will just make things worse.

    January 16, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  13. toadears

    Too little, too late.

    January 16, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  14. Larry L


    "The economy is in horrible shape. He has failed."
    Eight million jobs were lost BEFORE he took office! The economy crashed after eight years of Republican rule! The first bank bail-out was issued by Bush! Republicans blocked every initiative and would never allow the wealthy to pay their fair share! Are you really stupid enough to think anybody could totally fix the economy under these condidtions? Turn off Fox News and think!

    January 16, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. travis

    not to mention his refusal to guard the border and challenged arizona for enforcing federal law he refused to enforce. passinjg of the ndaa which allows him to assasinate american citizens without due process. he swore to protect and uphold the constitution and his action are unconstitutional so i think its fair to say he should be impeached and brought up on charges of treason. oh i thought he said he was gonna bring all the troops home and close quantanamo bay. i dont remember one word he said that was truthful. RON PAUL HAS MY VOTE. HONESTY, INTEGRITY

    January 16, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  16. a disgrace

    with obama's failed presidency already long over it up to all of america to ensure this disgrace is portayed in history as the incredible failure he was.....

    January 16, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  17. Marty

    Of course his numbers didn't improve when the economy did. Not a single one of his policies or actions (or inactions) has ever helped the economy. Cnn, you're comparing apples and oranges.

    January 16, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  18. mcgee

    Amazing that the number of people who are not happy is not higher. Until the US is allowed to drill oil again and the pipeline from Canada is approved, among other things, we will never get better. Obama is asking for another increase to the debt ceiling, instead of encouraging a balanced budget. Elections can't come soon enough and I hope things change.

    January 16, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  19. Alan

    Obama is doing a great job. Its the Republicans, Congress and Senate keeping him from getting the job done. The US Government need to realize they are all suppose to working for the same thing. The American People and keeping the United States a Great Nation. What ever happened to Stand Together WE Grow, Divided WE Fall. The government should never be divided in the first place. Decisions should be made by vote and what is in the best intrest to this country and not by what political party you belong to. Just like any productive business. If the people are not being productive and are not contributing the better of the business they all need to go.

    January 16, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. Tony

    Obama is the only adult in the government. The rest are just clowns. Reagan was the greatest clown of them all. He started the end of the USA as we know it. If only we can turn back the clock and introduce legislation that requires an IQ test before anyone can be nominated for President. That would disqualify practically every Republican candidates except Hunstman maybe. Then again Hunstman is bi-lingual. That makes him a communist at best.

    January 16, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  21. mpbulletin

    The economy keeps improving but the American "instant gratification" mentality results in people thinking it should have recovered faster when ANY economic analysis shows that to be impossible.

    Before Obama took office 4.4 millions jobs had been lost. Another 4.3 million were lost since he took office with the bulk of those occuring between January and May 2009. Under OBAMA the country has gained back 2.7 million jobs, over half of what was lost since he took office.

    This alone is a VERY good indicator of what his policies have done but if you take into account GDP, the increases in health care coverage of Americans, increase in trade of American goods, helping small businesses, insituting fiancial reforms that will keep banks and institutions in check so this type of crisis DOES NOT happen again.

    We have seen an amazing amount og improvement especially given the childish opposition for the sake of opposition from the national republican party. Given that level of opposition it has shown Obama and the Democrats have singlehandedly put this country back on track with NO help whatsoever from the other side.

    This is what the voters need to see... the bigger picture instead of the talking point from right-wing media and republican politicians. It is a sad state when the American people believe the unsubstantiated talking points over the facts of the overall situation.

    January 16, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  22. Tom in San Diego

    Yes..but Obama wants everybody to live in their cars....wake up sheeple.

    January 16, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. enoch100

    Am very thankful the economy is getting better; and that in spite of Mr. Obama. Imagine how much better it will get when he is out of office.

    January 16, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  24. John K

    Look Dudes, I don't care about the numbers, so what, what I do care about is a game plan, well thought out as to turning the tide of into the black not the continued red ink. That means specifically, cut the excessive spending, stop the out of control borrowing, quite the bogus over printing of paper dollars. Be a tough negotiator with other countries we do business with, stop the give away programs, ie 338 billion spend on illegals each year here, look it up if you don't believe me. End career politicians in Washington, 2 terms that is it. Complete globally with specific goods and services we do best! Get more business employee owned and operated thus ending any unions with those specific companies. Create more self automony

    January 16, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |

    With the Obstructions going on constantly and networks like CNN, And Fox, putting out constant put downs and bogus polls defaming the President, these current polls don't reflect the actual feeling in the country, the Republicans are hell-bent on running this country into the ground, re-directing the wealth through economic manipulation and disinformation directed at the middle class who will stupidly vote against their own best interests In support of corporate rule versus the people controlling their own destiny, without president Obama we are left undefended, So, we must vote in mass to keep the republican economic terrorists from destroying America!!!

    January 16, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
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