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.
Enter increased GOP/Teatroll demagoguery, stage right....
Ruined by republicans. Brought back by the consumer.
"questioned by telephone."
Land lines or cell? You need to start reporting that.
The three point Romney lead on immigration is telling. I guess more people do not like immigrants than those who do. But, isn't this nation a country of immigrants?
Republicans did nothing to help, they knew Obama would turn the economy around after they ran it into the ditch, now they are trying to win to take credit for turning it around. The World is watching and aren't anticipating a change in the administration which will be bad for the World market, all the signs are lining up. DEMOCRATS UNITE, the World is with us.
Its not we dont like immigrants, we just dont like them stealing our jobs and not paying taxes
Wishful thinking on CNN's part. Trying to make things look good for Obama even though CNN knows that the economy stinks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This article brought to you by the obama campaign. They must have taken the poll at dnc hq.
Which president do you suppose would give us more jobs rebuilding our infrastructure....like our electrical grids ...you know so millions of people wouldn't be without power for more than a week? Maybe government could have some influence in that....in addition to our roads,bridges,rails,water systems....all our infrastructure was built decades ago. We as a country could work for the next twenty years modernizing ourselves to the benefit of all....including business. Waiting for industry to do this on It's own is not going to happen nor is it It's responsibility!!!! There is a role for government and this is it. So if our economy is the number1 issue add this to the increase in manufacturing jobs and another Obama term looks pretty hopeful.
Of course people are optimistic about where the economy is headed. It's 2012! It's 2012! It's 2012! Sing it with me now...
It's not just some mythical year theoretically out in the future somewhere. We only have 125 days, 3 hours and 6 minutes left. I think we can make it without going broke or getting downgraded again. Romney 2012.
Oh NO, says the repubs, we worked soooooooooo hard to destroy any hope of an economic recovery
"questioned by telephone."
Might want to actually look at the survey. It clearly states how many respondents we from land-line and cell phones.
Ruh Roh Romney, now what are you going to do? Can't lie about the never ending construction trucks I see rolling by...can you GOP?
My 401K is doing splendid. Thank you President Obama!
what a joke this is. just more CNN propaganda fluff for their boy Obumbles. 8.2% unemployemnt ( really MUCH higher then that) huge deficits. record number of people on welfare, food stamps, disability....yeah....GREAT economic times. What a pathetic joke.
i dont know how to call it Bs or daydream.Optimism in economy is going up??The one who's telling you that is a liar.probably mister O
Watch how fast it declines if the most incompetent, inept, corrupt union toady president in history gets reelected. Americans see the nightmare and lies of the last three years ending in November. Of course there are a lot of drug addicts, welfare frauds, and corrupt union bosses fighting to reelect the Kenyan village idiot who will continue to steal the money from hard working Americans to give to them. And based on 2008, we know that SEIU/ACORN will bring them together to steal another election.
when my business starts to pick up and i can hire all of the people i laid off I will believe it. until than more BS
Big question- those who have changed their optimism- who do they believe will win? If you think Romney will win (we now have someone to go against Odumbo) then you think the economy will turn around after we boot the Idiot-in-Chief out. I do!
Well, no one asked me and I disagree.
The righties never like good news. They want the Country to tank. Ain't gonna happen. It's only gonna continue to get better.
Obama will win reelection. Most Americans realize that the economy tanked under Bush and is now getting better. Mittens would return us to the horrible trickle down and even more tax cuts for the rich. He's a horrible, truth-challenged and phony man. Things are indeed looking up for the President because has is increasing his lead in Ohio, and that state, more than any other will determine the outcome of this election.
I love Willard Romney.
Hey, I have an idea for the News acting as an ARM of the DNC over the last 40 or so years. Call ONLY Blue States and stay inside of the boundaries of really Blue Counties. Ya, that should make Obummer and his ban of Incompetents look good. Geesh
Umm Claudia if you think the economy is in a turnaround WAKE UP- unemployment numbers will tick up again Friday.....