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. Steve

    Here in Los Angeles things look deeper and darker than ever.

    July 3, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. Paul Williamson

    The econonomy IS getting better, at least in California. Three years ago,after Bush TARPED and nearly sent us spiralling into the great depression, immediately over 50% of the small manufacturing businesses in the industrial park we are in went under, it was like a ghost town. no one was buying products and no banks would lend money,and unemployment jumped from about 7.6% to over 14% in three months. After 3 1/2 years of Obama, all the shops are full and profitable, unemployment has gradually dropped to 8 % , and I have hired 4 new employees plus giving good raises to the others.The economy is much, much better in Southern california than when Bush was running the show, and it continues to improve.

    July 3, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. BobJones

    CNN executives drink Obama's bath water and beg for seconds. This level of groveling and boot-licking is sickening and explains a lot as to why CNN is dying. CNN, stop pretending to be journalists and get back to doing what you do best: convicting white-Hispanics of racism.

    July 3, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. Jacqueline

    When Americas economy was strong... immigration was kept in check. You want 4% unemployment.....end illegal immigration and put a hold on legal immigration for 3 years. As of right now.... over 2 million new people enter America every year. That is killing the American dream. To many people applying for the same job. And these same people being paid under the table or low wages. It under cuts the great American people. I curse both parties.... over decades.... who have sold all of us out! To be elected... politicians promise the world to a few and screw over the masses.

    We need this issue on every ballot across America. Give us our voices back and our great country! And by the way....I don't care if your Republican or Democrat...if you can't create a strong economy in 1 term...then GET OUT!! We need new ideas... not old tired ones to put America back on track.

    July 3, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  5. Indyswimmer66

    Forget the partisanship...IF you REALLY pay attention to the numbers... the U.S. economy is indeed picking up steam. Not bad for less than four years... climbing out of the gigantic black hole the Iraq War plunged us into!

    July 3, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. LiberaLIowan

    Poor baggers. Just can't catch a break these days.

    July 3, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  7. Investment Advisor

    @ Claudia....was referring your 4:13pm blog....Next.

    July 3, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. scranton

    Is this the same poll that showed Walker being recalled in Wisconsin?

    July 3, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  9. Jacqueline

    I hear LA is on its way to bankrp.

    July 3, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Trust me people, if Romney wins this election, our economy will tank and take the rest of the World with us and yes, it's a fear statement of truth. The market will prove me to be correct.

    July 3, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. rep

    Oh no. this can't be good for the GOP. They need pessimism, negativity, and fear for people to vote for them.

    July 3, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  12. cobra129

    I guess when you continually poll obama's cabinet or the CNN staff, you would get economic optimism.......try polling real and working America

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

    This is complete BS. Who did they poll? Obama supporters? Must be exclusive obama supporters that are heavily political, because I work in a big corporation and the friends I have there and people I associate with, not ONE of them is optimistic about the future of this country. And judging by other posts, it seems like most people are sick of the leadership in this country and are concerned about the conditions and long term future of this country.

    July 3, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Myviewis

    I can see why Obama grabs the votes of lower-income Americans, women and younger voters, they feel more at ease, less intimidated by a person who worked as a community organizer, was mainly a Junior Associate Lawyer ( he didn't persue a law career, his legal license has been inactive since 2002), was a part-time Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School and wrote a book. Romney on the other hand was a businessman, has a law degree, master degree and was a governor, handled the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, is rich, famous father,etc.... and those that favor Romney are the higher income Americans which includes middle class, men, older voters, small business owners. The difference here is that the economy is at stake and we need jobs and in comparing both men it is obvious that as much as lower income Americans don't like Romney, Romney is the one that has what it takes to create jobs that even lower income Americans need to find. Obama is obviously great at Community work but that does not give Obama the upper hand in knowing how to create jobs.

    July 3, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Jill-IN

    Indiana is picking up steam – things are moving here. You wouldn't know there was a recession. 31 States have an unemployment rate of 7.1% or lower. Of that 31 states about half have an unemployment rate of 6 percent or less. It has been this way for quite some time. Everyone knows it except the radical right crepe hangers.

    July 3, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  16. Jacqueline

    Obama has had 4 years...time is up! Give Romney a chance. In 4 years...if you don't like what he has done....kick him to the curb. Why would anyone pound their head against the same wall another 4??

    July 3, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. Larry L

    @Jacqueline

    When Americas economy was strong... immigration was kept in check. You want 4% unemployment.....end illegal immigration and put a hold on legal immigration for 3 years. As of right now.... over 2 million new people enter America every year. That is killing the American dream. To many people applying for the same job.
    -------------------------------------------------
    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.

    July 3, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. John

    DOW close 1/20/09–7949.09

    DOW close 7/3/12–12943.82

    I'm smiling!

    July 3, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  19. WKT1186

    Where does CNN come up with these polls, whiile on all fours and taking up the rear from Obama's spin doctors? If anything, since last Thursday's Obamacare debacle hiring will slow to nothing and people are already in fear fthat the IRS will take the last few pennies they have left. The manufacturing reports are tanking just like GM's stock. People on the street are TERRIFIED and just waiting for the next shoe to drop!

    July 3, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. WKT1186

    If anything, since last Thursday's Obamacare debacle hiring will slow to nothing and people are already in fear fthat the IRS will take the last few pennies they have left. The manufacturing reports are tanking just like GM's stock. People on the street are TERRIFIED and just waiting for the next shoe to drop!

    July 3, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. PTBarnumboy

    On Obama's inauguration day the dow jones average closed at 7949 and the S&P closed at 805. Today's closing numbers are 12,943 for the Dow and 1374 for the S&P. Now I ask you, are we better off than we were 3 years and 5 months ago?

    July 3, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "CNN executives drink Obama's bath water and beg for seconds. This level of groveling and boot-licking is sickening and explains a lot as to why CNN is dying. CNN, stop pretending to be journalists and get back to doing what you do best: convicting white-Hispanics of racism."

    Wow. Well, clearly you're the guy to hire then, right Grand Dragon? CNN does the GOP/Teatrolls favors every day all day with their false equivalancy reporting and focus on generating controversy that can be sensationalized for ad revenue. Their failure to focus on the facts and experts and basic math...informing the public rather than entertaining them...is a giant blessing for the GOP/Tetrolls every day, all day, 24/7. They provide an uncritical, unchallenging platform for the GOP/Teatrolls to launch their messaging without fear of anyone ever asking a tough question or presenting proof that they're full of macaca. You conservative crybabies should be thanking them...every day, all day.

    July 3, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. WKT1186

    The only people who are optomistic are government workers. The rest of us are being crushed by this incompetent administration.

    July 3, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Why would anyone pound their head against the same wall another 4??"

    Right...clearly the wall we were using for the previous 8 years was much better, so we should return to that one....which is preciselky what Deputy Doublethink would do.

    July 3, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. SafeJourney

    Silicon Vally and SF housing markets are going thru the roof. Bidding wars are back.

    My 401k is going up UP UP. Thank you President Obama.

    Obama 2012

    July 3, 2012 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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