CNN Poll: Economic optimism jumping
July 3rd, 2012
04:00 PM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Economic optimism jumping

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.

soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    @liberal disease
    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

    What business are you in . Making body bags , maybe anti tank rounds , or WMD locators ?

    July 3, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Ramrod

    Only one poll counts; the one in the ballot boxes on election day. And sometimes even that gets over-ruled by the Court.

    July 3, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. Four and The Door

    Alex in Wisconsin
    ... Obama 2012, he didn't actually blow up the economy and 20 years worth of wealth lost can't be recovered in less than 3 years.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    No, but he promised he would reduce unemployment if we could just let him spend $850 billion on jobs jobs jobs jobs ( his words, not mine ). He got the money. We got higher unemployment, 3 years older and a whole lot wiser. Buying an economy back to life doesn't work. Let's try managing it back to life instead. Romney 2012.

    July 3, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. Charles

    Wouldn't it be great if the partisan hate could be put aside for one day. Celebrate July 4, 2012.

    July 3, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. TooClose2DC

    ""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."

    It went from 50+% to 40+%? That's skyrocketing? Maybe they are thinking it will be better a year from now because there will be someone new in the white house and in congress. Way to pick your stats CNN!

    July 3, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. Como

    Simply put I don't believe a word of this article nor a single data point of the poll. Consumer spending is in the dumper, as in industrial output, wholesale prices are way down. Although wholesale prices are down it is a bitter indicator of poor ecomonic performance. China's economy is now slowing and Indias is also slowing due to a severe lack of energy. This article is only based upon a momentary point of false joy from Europe. The US has a double tax meltdown coming in 2013 beginning with the expiration of the joint Obama/Bush taxcuts and the looming tax impacts of Obamacare. Spin spin spin CNN but you are just cheerleading for Obama. Obama may have inherited a recession, as most presidents do, but he has killed the recovery as most presidents don't.

    July 3, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  7. the_dude

    CNN you look pretty dang stupid when earlier in the day you post an article about the chief at IMF indicating the USA needs to start having a recovery. Then you post this obviously BS post about optimism in the US economy.

    July 3, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. TooClose2DC

    It went from 50+% to 40+%? That's skyrocketing? Maybe they are thinking it will be better a year from now because there will be someone new in the white house and in congress. Way to pick your stats CNN!

    ""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."

    July 3, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. dorksman

    CNN will do amything and lie about anything to make Oboomer's poopularity skyrocket especially at July 4!!!

    July 3, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. TooClose2DC

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    It went from 50+% to 40+%? That's skyrocketing? Maybe they are thinking it will be better a year from now because there will be someone new in the white house and in congress. Way to pick your stats CNN!

    ""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."

    Gotta Love it!

    July 3, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    @Investment Advisor
    It appears you don't have an answer for me because it's "above your pay grade". Next

    July 3, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. TooClose2DC

    r comment is awaiting moderation.

    July 3, 2012 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  13. Larry L

    @Lobo

    Its not we dont like immigrants, we just dont like them stealing our jobs and not paying taxes
    ------------------------------------------------
    Crops are rotting in the fields and the construction industry is suffering since we tightened up on immigration from Mexico. Eleven Republican Congressmen from border states are asking for expedited approval of work permits. Americans don't seem to want those jobs. All related industries will suffer as result of this work going undone.

    July 3, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Greg

    One of the biggest indicators that a market top is in sight.
    Prepare to take profits...soon.

    July 3, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  15. NVa Native

    The Repubs and the fox BS machine, along with hate radio, have done a good job keeping the economy down for the past four years, but the American people are tired of their moral & social corruption and will not allow their misdeeds to go un-answered.
    We are tired of the misery that has been the result of the GOP's policies of greed.

    July 3, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. kabong30

    Remember when CNN did news? Can we have a little less Obama cheerleading and a little more truth? Our Attorney General has been held in contempt of Congress, millions of Americans are without power while our President has popped out for a little vacation from all that campaigning. Our government has apparently made a successful grab at more power and taxes than we've ever had in our history. Why are people optimistic? Because they're being openly lied to by the "media".

    July 3, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  17. DumbasRocks [R]s

    Oh...what's that sound in the distance? listen.........why its somebody playing Taps....as they bury the 2012 [R] presidential hopes. Unfortunately I think I can hear somebody pounding the casket from within. Of course!!!....[R]s are so abjectly stupid, they don't even have the good sense to know when they are dead.

    Apparently all of the non-cooperation and do-nothing from the congressional [R]s did not destroy this country enough so it could be blamed on Obama.

    July 3, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  18. Mac

    Ruh Roh, Mitt.

    July 3, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  19. MIke

    Interesting poll. Yet an overwhelming majority of Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html . So the polls clearly contradict each other. The direction of the country poll all show a negativity toward the future . Since this question is asked by many polling organization and almost all are highly negative it might be the most accurate .

    July 3, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. ourjungle

    OBAMACARE BRIEFS:

    There are over 2000 pages in the Obamacare law,and about that many websites concerning this topic; each with their various self-interest interpretations. Here are a few of these websites that have fleshed out the pages of Obamacare (one does not have to be a laywer to understand these article):

    (1) "Health Care Law Mandate/Tax: How Many People Will It Affect?"
    (2) " Obamacare: Seven New Taxes On Citizens Earning Less Than $ 250,000".
    (3) " Romney, Obama Uphold Health care Falsehoods".
    (4) "Obamacare Tax Now Violates Obama's 2008 Tax Pledge"

    Briefly from above articles:

    (A) 75% of the Obamacare mandate penalty falls on Americans earning less than $120,000 a year. President Obama has imposed one oth the largest tax hikes in American history on the Middle class ".
    (B) The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the Obamacare will add 1.5 trillion dollars to our Nation's debt over a 10 year span (young workers will inherit this cost).

    July 3, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. hermes96

    Things would be so much better if we could get a fair bill though Congress...and the rich would stop making back room deals...

    Just like ENRON manipulated the National electrical power grid...Barclay's bank manipulated the Libor rates...So where is Dick Cheney and Halliburton..they must be behind this mess somewhere..

    Hmm G.W.Bush deregulated Texas energy in 1999..Then G.W. Bush, in the first two weeks in the oval office, created the Energy Task Force with Dick Cheney as head and Bush's largest campaign contributor Ken Lay as a member of the task force...and they created ENRON energy traders and began to take control of our national electrical power grid...and several Texas energy companies work to steal 67 billion from California..While Darrel Issa attacks Gray
    Davis for calling out ENRON and raising California Taxes...

    Notice Darrel Issa hires G.W.Bush's Florida Campaign manager..a direct line to G.W.Bush...

    And now Mitt Romney has signed on and been given the Bush family blessing...but Mitt will lose his main campaign fund raise..because he is mixed up in this scandal at Barclay's Bank...

    Hmm G.W.Bush and Dick Cheney are tired in somehow...remember Mitt Romney has already picked 17 of G.W. Bush's old administration for his administration...

    July 3, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  22. the_dude

    CNN I understand it is your job to support democratic candidates but you can't publish an opinion piece like this when earlier in the day you published a piece where the chief at the IMF indicated that the USA needs to start having a recovery. Obviously you polled the DNC headquarters and not the IMF for your skewed poll results.

    July 3, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  23. Jaun in El Paso

    That's because more people think Obama is out the door in Nov. Obamacare is now a tax and independents don't like being taxed. Don't like being lied to either, and Obama keeps saying "it's not a tax."

    July 3, 2012 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  24. ladyfon

    Not sure I can trust a poll that adds up to more than 100% on several line items.

    July 3, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Brainiac

    It is better. Despite partisan lying and bickering. Are you better off? Yes. We still have GM, jobs are coming back, the Dow is heathier, OBL is dead, fewer of our boys are dying overseas. Poor people have healthcare. Your taxes have not gone up (yea, yea Obamacare). If you are a woman congress and state governments have not made it better in regards to your liberty. If you are a business owner and say you can;t hire because of Abamacare, you are a poor manager.

    July 3, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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