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. ColdWarVet

    This is because they are all paying with Credit Cards. Things are not gettng better. More and more local businesses are shutting down, prices are up. Maybe they should ask the people paying the bills and not the 20 somethings still living with their parents for free.

    April 12, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    "I wish this website could be a bit fairer with it's new stories, but unfortunately like so many news and media outlets, they cater to their own agenda."

    If you don't like CNN polls, perhaps you should keep counting on Gallup and FOX polling to get you through the day. Those polls worked well for Mitt Romney. Well, up until election day anyway. My guess is many of you still believe Romney is gonna win in a landslide.

    April 12, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. KBW

    It's easy to think life is grand when you don't think about history.

    April 12, 2013 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Wheres the Luv Republicans

    The Sky is falliing... LOL! WHere are the repubs and tea pot fanatics never happy?

    OB AMA! The right choice.

    April 12, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  5. lexgreen

    50 % of the country says things are 'going well'. That's not necessarily good news. That's a staggering level of disengagement.

    April 12, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  6. Neltah

    Anyone with an IQ over 85 knows this article is just more CNN propaganda BS. I just come here to get a good laugh.

    April 12, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. rla

    Thes kids are out of touch and the result of their foolishness will be paid by them in the future... Thanks progressives.- great job again!

    April 12, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. Steve Banny

    They are optimist because they just don't understand. The stuff that is FREE now, they will pay for all their adult lives.

    April 12, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. Anonymous

    GOP/POTUS hater/right wingers – ha ha ha........

    April 12, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. lexgreen

    50 % of the country says things are 'going well'? That's not necessarily good news. That's a staggering level of "situational unawareness".

    April 12, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. suckthis

    I expect this from CNN, the world is burning around us while mainstream media is telling us we are doing great. what a joke.

    April 12, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. The_dude

    Don't worry CNN your not in danger of anyone believing your manufactured poll numbers.

    April 12, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  13. Jim

    Survey was taken in states that had recently passed liberal marijuana laws?

    April 12, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  14. George Dixon

    Optimism is growing, led by selective coverage of news and facts by CNN and others...

    April 12, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  15. rad666

    "Optimism is growing, led by young people'

    Just wait until they get punished for not having health insurance.

    April 12, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    The GOP said that God would choose our President in 2008.
    God chose President Obama both in 2008 and 2012.
    Thank you God, and thank you President Barack Hussein Obama the right President for one of our country's most troubled times.
    (Lol!).

    April 12, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  17. JayB

    Lots of youth bashing going on here. Another story, more friendly american on american hatred. Maybe if you "adults" were facing the school loans these kids are facing, you would think twice about your comments. We are all human beings. We are all equal. Stop the hate.

    April 12, 2013 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Mike Mongo

    Soooooo...that says despite all the evidence to the contrary, American's either still don't get it or are sticking their heads into the sand. The CNN photo with the arrow saying, "Time To Shop" implies/conditions us to believe our national mood is tied to our misguided priorities on consumption, makes me want to puke.

    April 12, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  19. Rick

    What were these pollsters smoking when they put this story on the drum? It's going to be a long time before I or anyone I know feel confident about the way the market and the world are going.

    April 12, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  20. julnor

    I guess it hasn't dawned on the younger people that the older generations have left them debt to the tune of over $50k per person.

    April 12, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  21. Ram

    Nic

    His first term: undo the damage done by the reps
    His second term: make real progress.
    Way to go, Obama!
    -----------------------–

    We're all waiting for the "real progress", Nik.

    April 12, 2013 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  22. Dale

    CNN is like the Russian Propoganda news during communism, they actually pass this off with a straight face. We can see through the lies – they just want to prop up Obama and make it appear as though he's fixing things and doing such a marvelous job. We can see through the B.S. CNN

    April 12, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  23. GLK20c

    CNN polls show what ever CNN's policy initiatives happen to be at the time.

    April 12, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  24. scott

    lmfao as our once great country goes down the drain and people applaud.

    April 12, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  25. jkane sfl the gop national disgrace party will be swept out like the trash they are in2014 ?

    Just shows the gop and lyin Ryan and romney the tax cheat were lyin to everybody during the 2012 election although the will try to take credit for the improving economic while doing everything in their power to keep it in the toilet to get back the white house . The gop has 0 credibility with 90% of American voters and who cares about the other 10% of gop stupid conservative garbage !!!!!!

    April 12, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
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