Washington (CNN) - Although most Americans think that the economy is currently in poor shape, economic optimism has skyrocketed since last fall, according to a new national poll.
And a CNN/ORC International poll released Tuesday also indicates that while voters are divided on whether President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney would do a better job on the economy, Romney holds an edge among crucial independent voters in the race for the White House.
Full results (pdf)
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"Americans are usually optimists, but in 2011, polls for the first time found that more than half the country thought that economic conditions would worsen in the next 12 months," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "Now that trend has reversed itself, with only four in ten saying that the economy will be in poor shape a year from now."
Sixty percent of those questioned say the economy will be in good shape next year, a surge from 39% who felt that way last October. Despite that jump, three-quarters say that current economic conditions are poor, a slight worsening of opinion since May, but better than where things stood in January.
"Not surprisingly, the poll indicates that the economy's the public's top issue, the only topic that more than half say will be extremely important to their presidential vote in November," adds Holland.
The economy's been the top issue on the minds of American voters since late 2007.
Health care runs a close second, followed by the deficit, education, unemployment and terrorism. The survey was conducted Thursday through Sunday, immediately after the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the national heath care law.
Who would better handle the number-one issue?
Forty-eight percent of registered voters say the president would better handle the economy, with 47% saying Romney would do a better job.
"The economy remains the number-one concern to voters, but neither President Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney have an edge on that issue among registered voters nationwide," Holland says. "The groups that think Romney would do a better job - higher-income Americans, men, and older voters - and counterbalanced by lower-income Americans, women, and younger voters who give the edge to Obama. Fifty-two percent of independents think Romney would do a better job on the economy."
The economy and jobs has dominated the first three months of the Obama-Romney general election showdown.
The poll indicates Romney has a ten point advantage on which candidate would do a better job dealing with the federal budget deficit, with Obama holding an eight point advantage on foreign policy and a seven point advantage on health care. Romney holds a three point margin on illegal immigration.
The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from June 28-July 1, with 1,517 adult Americans, including 1,390 registered voters nationwide, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.
romney he is terrible choice for anerican people because he is too rich to be the our next president
You've got to love it when the conservatards are upset when the economy shows signs of improvement. How much more transparent can they possibly be? They would rather see our country crash than have a black man in the white house.
I already know what 4 years of Romney will be like – great for the rich and terrible for everyone else. No way I'm voting for the party of NO nothings. You want to vote for them that's your business but do us a favor and spare us having to listen to your god awful LIES cause no way are we going to believe you.
Romney,Murdoch,Jack welch, a cast of old white republican stooges. There time has come and gone period. Obama Biden 2012!
I work three jobs without benefits not even 35 hours a week. Doesn't look too good to me.
CHT....Just the opposite...If Obama is Re-elected you will see the market tank. Right now the market is anticipating a Romney win. Adding more debt to our situation is gas to the fire. The "rookie" has had his chance and is lost at sea.Its time to incorporate some rational behavior in our economics.
My company has more business than it can handle right now. manufacturing more
Anyone who thinks the economy is getting better is a fool. We're printing money, that's all. The debt is higher than ever, and the day of reckoning cannot be far. How can anyone think a country economically improving if the debt is still increasing?
only looking good for the future because their is a light at the end of the tunnel with obumma on the way out – the economy is NOT good now
more fired here – more foreclosures here – more unemployment here – market down... please explain what is good?
I hate to play on stereotypes, but here goes.
It looks like the group of people that are (traditionally) good with money trust Romney can improve the economy whereas the group that often isn't great with money think that Obama can do the job.
No matter who is president, I just hope the economy improves. As a conservative, I think Romney would do a better job but in my opinion it's choosing the lesser of two evils. They're two sides of the same coin. I just hope it comes back and I will give credit where credit is due.
He will make his friend even richer, do you people think Mitt really cares about the average person, lol, not
I'm not sure where these polls come from for articles like this because I just don't hear the same things in the real world. I can say my daughters circle of friends in their twenties are furious with Obama on his recent pander to allow 800,000 illegals stay in America when jobs are already hard to find. Thats at least 30 former Obama voters turning to Romney. Thats all I can say for certain, unlike these daily polls in the news. If the election rides on 30 or less votes you'll know they came from St. Louis!!!
Myviewis: you give away your blatant bias and the fact that you spend alot of your time each day in an echo chamber by skippign over the part where Obama was a successful and popular state senator with high approval ratings for more years than it took Mittens to blow up his apprival rating in MA and then leave in disgrace (30% approval) with no chance whatsoever of being re-elected. Doesn't help that Obama and Mittens went to the same exact law school, where Obama graduated with high honors as the first black Harvard Law Review editor and Mittens was jsut a run-of-the-mill student, but then you pretend that "Obama didn't pursue a legal career" as if it's awful and then tout Mittens as having a "law degree" as though it's much better and the answer to our prayers. You should be able to manage a better attempt at faking that you're providing an objective analysis.
Me, I don't even bother faking...the GOP/Teatrolls are dangerous people....half of them are manipulative crooks hellbent on installing a corporate oligarchy and furthering our already out of control plutocracy and the rest are low-information, undereducated and gullible troglodytes who were raised malnourished on a diet of carefully scripted and rigid ideological nincompoopery and religiosity and, as a result, allow themselves to be convinced to vote against their own interests almost every single election. See the difference?
Almost every number across the board...DOWN! Consumer Confidence and manf. and on and on and on.
And unemployment climbing higher. And I hear we are at risk for another recession. Except this one will be Obamas first full recession. He will fully own it. And he has no right asking for 4 more years of this failure. Enough is enough!
I remember people use to say Obama is an elitist, lol, and Mitt is what, your bar buddy, lol, idiots.LOL
JFK, and FDR were both very wealthy, both considered good presidents
First, I think the Dem ticket needs someone besides Biden. This is a nice story, until the Hannity types twist it.
And the second quarter is always historically the worst.
Who will do the hard work? Crops are not getting harvested and industries dependent of immigrant workers (landscaping, construction, services, etc.) are in trouble right now. Congressmen on border states are asking for expedited work permits to get people willing work to the job sites.
Construction? These people will get the infrastructure jobs Americans need?