CNN Poll: Country split on how things are going
January 20th, 2013
11:00 AM ET
2 years ago

CNN Poll: Country split on how things are going

Washington (CNN) - As President Barack Obama begins his second term in the White House, a new national poll indicates Americans are divided on how things are going in the country.

Forty-nine percent of people questioned in a CNN/ORC International survey released Sunday say things are going very or fairly well in the country, with 51% saying things are going pretty or very badly.

The 49% figure is up six points from last November and it's more than double the 21% who said the country was in good shape at the time of Obama's first inauguration in January 2009.

"That's the good news," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The bad news is that no president has faced a public in this sour a mood at the start of his second term since the question was first asked nearly 40 years ago. More than six in ten said the country was doing well when Presidents Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan had their second inaugurations, with 58% feeling that way when President George W. Bush started his second term in 2005."

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on Jan. 14-15, with 814 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: CNN/ORC poll • Inauguration • President Obama
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    Enough of the TeaParty led polls, CNN. America has had enough fake polling during the 2012 elections. And, oh by the way, President Obama was reelected. I know this doesn't yet fit into the GOP/Tea Party election agenda, but facts are facts. All the negative data against Obama was buried by the majority of voters on November 6, 2012. Why keep up on an agenda that didn't work for Romney, didn't work for the Grand Old Tea Party, and didn't work for CNN ratings?

    How about we try a new approach and try working with this President, not against him.

    January 20, 2013 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. trex

    ........Economy REBOUNDING...............USA LARGEST ...EXPORTER....of GASOLINE.....................Stock Market highest since W. Bush got THROWN OUT............101 Women Congressmen and Senators (BTW, 76 are DEM)...........but Exxon TILL PAYS ZERO TAXES...................Defense is STILL what the next 17 countries spend on Defense COMBINED.................crazed gun NUTZ are still KILLING OUR KIDS............gop is STILL OBSTRUCTING progress...............gop STILL DENOUNCES SCIENCE................Americans STILL go to bed HUNGRY...................

    January 20, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Hillcrester

    More than twice as many people say the country is in good shape now than did so when Bush-lite was leaving office.

    There's clearly a lot more work to be done, but "Thank you, Mr. President."

    January 20, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Michael

    What a god awful president we have. Plain and simple.

    January 20, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. TS

    Maybe the public is divided on how things are going because of the way are *actually* going. Half the people in the country are probably doing pretty well; solid jobs, enough income to be comfortable and have a positive outlook. The other half is living in less prosperous times of struggling through un(der) employment and costs that are rising beyond their means.

    January 20, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. davecu

    And still Barry got re-elected. That does NOT indicate a mandate to me but a simple and small (over all) majority.

    He's going to lose this "My way or the highway attitude" attitude if the government is EVER going to work together for the good of their country.
    His legacy will depend on that!

    January 20, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  7. DebtNation

    Mr. President and Congress,

    Please work together to lower the debt and reduce the perpetual annual deficits. Now is a good time to start.

    Source: From the Office and Management and Budget http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Historicals

    2000 Surplus $236,241,000,000
    2001 Surplus $128,236,000,000
    2002 Deficit ($157,758,000,000)
    2003 Deficit ($377,585,000,000)
    2004 Deficit ($412,727,000,000)
    2005 Deficit ($318,346,000,000)
    2006 Deficit ($248,181,000,000)
    2007 Deficit ($160,701,000,000)
    2008 Deficit ($458,553,000,000)
    2009 Deficit ($1,412,688,000,000)
    2010 Deficit ($1,293,489,000,000)
    2011 Deficit ($1,299,595,000,000)
    2012 Deficit ($1,326,948,000,000) (estimated)

    January 20, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  8. johnk

    Trex, where in the hell did you get your information? You are like the main stream media, completely off on 90% of your numbers and information. No, I ma not a Tea Party person or Republican, but facts are facts and you should look them up on your own and stop believing to the proganda spewed out by the slanted media.

    January 20, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Prophet Maximization

    Capitalism = Profit Maximization = Repentance = Maximize Gain while and by Minimizing Loss

    Forgot my Wednesday maintenance work
    This is an error, a loss.
    Correct the error and add gain/remove loss

    Writing legislation without referencing forecasts for the USA
    This is an error, increases exposure to future loss
    Correct the error and prevent future loss while increasing future gain

    Not preparing for Debt Ceiling bill payment
    This is an error, increases exposure to future loss
    Correct the error and prevent future loss while increasing future gain

    January 20, 2013 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. johnk

    Trex, where in the hell did you get your information? You are like the main stream media, completely off on 90% of your numbers and information. No, I am not a Tea Party person or Republican, but facts are facts and you should look them up on your own and stop believing to the propaganda spewed out by the slanted media. Look, I will Obama credit where it is due and yes there have been some good things done by this President, but we have a serious money and financial problem that is not going to go away and if nothing is really done in solutions, this problem will get very bad in the near future. I am talking abut growing debt, devalued dollar, no budget, excessive irresponsible spending. Yes, it is also in large part the Congress. Both the President and Congress need to negotiate together on solutions and stop the blaming and arguing. The word is NEGOTIATE to solve.

    January 20, 2013 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. McBob79

    Lol... 49% really? Must be many of the 1 percenters and those getting government assistance.

    January 20, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. Terry

    Like how when the polls don't go a certain way then its either tea party propaganda (which I find laughable since CNN is a mostly liberal news org) or else its a left wing conspiracy (says Fox). This whole entire situation is hilarious since the only ones we can blame are ourselves since we voted them back in this last election. I come to these boards just for the sad humorous statements made by people so please keep it up as laughter really is the best medicine!

    January 20, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. JaWill

    I really wish these polls would stop misleading the readers. I don't see how 814 people can constitute what the entire nation is feeling. Who knows what critera ORC International used to pick these individuals. A more accurate title would be "CNN Poll: 814 adults questioned nationwide split on how things are going." Not every liberal nor conservative thinks and agrees with their peers. But both sides will use these incorrectly titled polls to their advantages.

    January 20, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. david

    Every one in my family was better off 4 yrs ago then we have been since the worst pres in history took office. We're just hunkering down 4 more years hoping the US isn't taken to the no return point! I challenage any supporter of this presendent to name one thing that this pres has done to help the country. And you can't say ecomony or jobs because the numbers now arn't better than any 12 yrs prior (full year) prior to his term.
    And as far as polls go, CNN needs to take a true poll that not just a few thousand and include all states. Frankly when if I were asked by CNN I would hang up, any news company that has Morgan on their staff is nothing but scum anyway.

    January 20, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    Things are going from bad to worse........and there is no visible way around that.

    The fiscal mess is getting worse, as Obama prints money, to pay for his hand outs.

    January 20, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. fedup

    thank you mr president who raised our national debt from 6 trillion to 16 trillion. thank you for the 2% payroll tax when you swore up and down no new taxes on the middle class. 4 years ago today unemployment was 4.5 almost doubled. Fours years ago our GDP was 3.5 today it is less than 1. In it all, you managed to blame everybody but yourself for your own short comings till we have a new name called Oblamanomics. Oh almost forgot, thanks for putting an additional 14 million on food stamps when you know as well as everybody else most of them can work, but just do not want to. Gee , I wonder how they are going to say the country is going as long as they are getting welfare checks the answer is good,

    January 20, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    The country is going bankrupt. If things are going so great then why are they still printing so much money and running $1 Trillion plus in deficits every years. $17 Trillion in debt with no end in sight. Socialism from this moment forward and for the rest of our lives is going to be all about subtraction and robbing Peter to pay Paul. Rising interest rates (good luck with housing). Less growth. And a lot of very unhappy people. Get your house in order because its going to be a very bumpy ride down.

    January 20, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. fayray11

    polls don't mean anything, just ask the GOP drones and Fox that said the polls indicated Mitt would/could win.

    January 20, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. tobygdry

    @hillcrester – apparently you didnt read the same article that the rest of us have. The current president's approval rating is at 49% – up 6 points. where as President Bush's apporval rating at teh start of his 2nd term was 58%

    January 20, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. steve

    As the tea party implodes and hostage-held Republicans rally in relief, Obama will move this country forward on a scale that would make FDR stand up and applaud.

    January 20, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  21. Doodlebug2222

    I work for the government and have not had a raise since about 2005. I watch as my bills go up and I can spend money on less and less. I've not used credit cards, and only buy what I can, when I can. < This lifestyle, while I can adjust to it – I then ask, can the retailers and other persons that need my purchases to survive... how long till this affects them? It proably already has.

    I do not blame one person, I blame many for the short sightedness, and the "let's cut back people that work for federal and state so the tax payers do not feet it".. Read up ^ in what I said before.. because they do.

    Sometimes the best way to fix something so far gone arwy, is to knock it off the table, and rebuild from lessons learned and listening to those whose ideas might seem -out there- but are solid and DO consider the future, into decisions.

    January 20, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. ChrisK

    Johnk- you can't just dismiss someone's posted facts without showing where they are wrong. I looked up each of Trex's facts and they are all correct. So before you disavow a fact please be prepared to refute it with facts not just your opinion.

    January 20, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. Patriot

    I always wonder how many people that respond to polls have done the homework and how many are listening to spin

    January 20, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Jagdonald

    Facts are facts. After 4 years in office, we are over double what we were in debt in 2008. People talk about the wars that Bush started, yet Obama has not stopped anything. He sent them from Iraq to Afghanistan after promising he would bring them home. Obama has never had a budget but spends like money grows on trees. Sad, pitiful, and destructive. How long are you going to blame Bush? Four years down the road, when no one has a pension plan, and only government health insurance is available, and you are suffering beyond belief, are you still going to blame Bush? Come on. This man bought his votes by suddenly supporting gay marriage, supporting ILLEGALS which is against the constitution he claims to abide by, and having more people on food stamps than any other time in history......HMMMMM. I guess I would have voted for him a second time if I were one of those groups too!

    January 20, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. ChrisK

    Fedup- Do your homework. The 2% payroll tax cut was first put in by Obama 2 years ago. He got it renewed last year and tried again this year but GOP congress said no. So go thank the GOP for the 2% payroll tax increase.

    January 20, 2013 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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