Mood of the nation: Six-year high in optimism, CNN poll shows
April 12th, 2013
09:01 AM ET
2 years ago

Mood of the nation: Six-year high in optimism, CNN poll shows

(CNN) – As the stock market continues to show record highs, the number of Americans who say things are going well in the country has reached 50% for the first time in more than six years, according to a new national survey.

But that doesn’t mean the country is entirely out of the woods yet. The CNN/ORC International poll released Friday indicates that an equal 50% say the country is in bad shape.

“The number continues an upward pattern since the summer of last year, when only 35% were optimistic about the country’s conditions,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

While Wall Street shows positive growth, last month's unemployment numbers showed hiring slowed sharply in March, with the economy adding only 88,000 jobs, the lowest monthly gain since last June.

The unemployment rate still slipped to 7.6%, according to a Labor Department report released last week, but that's because nearly 500,000 people dropped out of the labor market.

Nevertheless, Americans haven’t been this optimistic since January 2007, when 57% felt the country was in good shape. That quickly fell to 48% by April of that same year. For more of the next four years, the figure hovered in the 20’s and 30’s, and stayed mostly in the 30’s and 40’s last year.

Breaking down the new 50% number further, senior citizens and rural Americans are those least likely to give a thumbs-up to current conditions. Those between 18 and 34 are the most likely to be optimistic, with 60% things are going well.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, from April 5-7, with 1,012 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

– CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK: How happy are you? Add your opinion below.


Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Economy
soundoff (428 Responses)
  1. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    The economy is ready to take off thanks to president Obama with no help from the gop. If you lost your job in the last few years ,blame the gop who has done every thing they can to keep you unemployed . It's their turn to be unemployed in 2014 mid terms

    April 12, 2013 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ah, yes. The glass half full or the glass half empty scenario ... yes, CNN?

    April 12, 2013 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  3. Jinx9to88

    No help from the GOP!!!

    April 12, 2013 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  4. Hopey Changey

    It appears we need more sequestration. The market is up, people are feeling good. Time to cut more government.

    April 12, 2013 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  5. fuzzback

    More bad news for the cranky old GOP. The dinosaur is staggering.

    April 12, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. Doug

    Good luck and please hold your breath!

    April 12, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Jimmy

    what a bunch of fools... It's going well based on what? What is the engine of this revived economy?

    April 12, 2013 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  8. BillInTexas

    Only CNN would publish a headline like this...You guys are so funny...

    April 12, 2013 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  9. Milagros

    I must live in one of the little pockets of growing poverty not dicsussed in the 'story'. We have people in parking lots and highway medians holding signs asking for $Help$. I was approached by people begging for any help I could give 3 times in the last week. Maybe I should move to a happier area?

    April 12, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  10. faboge

    very nice to know that we dont need republicans for anything! Lets relegate them to the backwoods of the confederate where they belong!

    April 12, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  11. Jc

    Basically the people with bills, kids, mortgages, and investments say the country is still in the crapper. The people who are young, single, and no real responsibility say that things are great. Things must be great then. Lol

    April 12, 2013 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  12. shawn l

    Funny how Obama was going to end the world, yet the market rebound, jobs have improved and everything else seems to be getting better.

    April 12, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  13. The Real Tom Paine

    -Jimmy

    what a bunch of fools... It's going well based on what? What is the engine of this revived economy?
    ***********
    The sort of people Mitt Romney likes to fire and disparage. That's the engine.

    April 12, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  14. gj2001

    truth in advertising?

    April 12, 2013 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  15. Real american

    The funny thing is that if the gop was in charge cnn would label this, half of people think ountry is in bad shape. Just more media bias....

    April 12, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  16. Nelson

    Naturally, it has taken six years to even start to undo some of the Bush/Cheney junta's big fat mess on unnecessary invasions and wars. But hey, we are supposed to forget that , right? It's not patriotic to hate wars that have no reason.

    April 12, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  17. jnpa

    Of course, if you are a republican with a democratic president you will naturally think that things are not improving. I cannot imagine any repub saying that Obama is doing a good job and things are really improving. It is ALL negative coming from their mouths!

    April 12, 2013 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  18. PaganScorp

    I blame Obama...wait, ya I blame Obama.

    April 12, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  19. rl

    Since it has been solely President Obama and the Democratic party that has done this, just think how much could have been done if the traitorous gop would have tried to be part of the solution instead of being all of the problem. It is too bad they are so upset about having a Black President that they are willing to destroy this great country in order to bring him down. How did that work out for you guys?

    April 12, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. DCBuck

    This is still a jobless recovery; ergo, the economy is still in the toilet, despite CNN's cheerleading for Obama.

    April 12, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. wade

    Poves how stupid the young are and how the press has lied to them and miss lead them. The economy is worse than ever, unemployment is rising again and the country is 17 trillion in debt with no sign of relief.

    April 12, 2013 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. NDresearch

    Teh ennige of this revived economy is a fiat currency that can be printed at will. The demand for money is still low compared to supply, interst is low, very low. Things will have to change if we truly recover.

    April 12, 2013 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. Mickey

    ...and the band played on.

    April 12, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  24. Jerry

    These optimistic people need to wait until all Obama' taxes kick in and then let's get their opinion..

    April 12, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  25. WouldYouLookAtThat

    They must've only surveyed those new college grads that got a job... since 52% of new college grads are unemployed or significantly underemployed.

    April 12, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
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