Mood of the nation: Six-year high in optimism, CNN poll shows
April 12th, 2013
09:01 AM ET
1 year 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. RepubWars_LOL

    We are soon to be 20 trillion in debt and someone thinks things are good? Obama is an idiot and can't balance a budget if his own life depended on it. Kids these days? They shoot up schools and play video games! But we're going to base that the country is doing great because they think it is???????????? Anyone that puts any faith in that is an idiot. Just like the kids that will have to live through the chaos that this regime is bringing us. I'm going to smile as I watch you fall!!!!! :-P

    April 12, 2013 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  2. MeNotYou

    This is the dumbest article I've seen yet.. jeez doesn't anyone look for the truth anymore or only their truth..

    April 12, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  3. Frank L W

    Optimistic? Says the individuals with a job and money in their pockets!

    April 12, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. ddimon

    "Paranoia runs deep, into your life it will creep." Why would the GOP roll out their campaign song so early?

    April 12, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  5. Darkseider

    LOL! 500k drop out of the labor force and that's what reduces the overall unemployment rate to 7.6%. Employment is slowing and retail sales are flogging showing a decline in consumer confidence. Yup everything is just peachy! Oh and this is an opinion poll where the high results are due to young people being happy. Wait until they have to actually find a job, feed themselves and/or a family and pay their own bills. I would be willing to bet they won't be so optimistic anymore.

    April 12, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  6. Poodlepuff

    Funny seeing all the right wing neo con Tea Party Express ding dongs on this blog. They hate anything that shows that a black Democratic President is doing the job right. They hate how the Republican party is falling apart, alienating women, gays, seniors, immigrants, minorities, the young and the educated. They hate how their chosen ones (Romney, Bush, Cheney) have all failed. And yet they comment on CNN! Why? Because Fox News and other conservative media refuse to allow comments on their websites. Even these conservative bloggers are victims of the Right Wing hatred of giving the common man (even their own) an outlet to express themselves. Sad and pathetic.

    April 12, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  7. CR

    I simply do not believe this. I am a hard working mid 30 yr old American and after being taxed more this year from payroll and continuous rise in health premiums, I totally disagree. Where are these numbers coming from?

    April 12, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. TFR

    'Mood of the the nation at a 6 year high'... so... 'Time to shop'? Thats one of the most depressing headlines I've ever read.

    April 12, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. Donnie the Lion

    Things aren't going as well as many people would like? LOL, they never are. People love to complain because accepting the status quo makes them feel like uninformed sheep. At some point, people start complaining just to complain.

    There are real existing problems in our country....but there always have been. The 1950's are not coming back, people......they are not going to "cycle" back in, either. Embrace change, move forward, or get out of the way. It is the core nature of civilization and nothing you can do will stop it.

    April 12, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  10. Mike in SA

    "Those between 18 and 34 are the most likely to be optimistic, with 60% things are going well."

    Of course things are going well! Got no jobs, no responsibilities, get to spend all day on facebook and pintrest and all night hanging with friends, all while living at home with the folks paying for food, mortgage, car, family plan cell service...

    What could be better????

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

    Oh, who do you think you're kidding, CNN?

    April 12, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  12. betterdays

    I stay optimistic by going to work, staying home often in the evenings, enjoying my wife's company, ignoring most of what is occurring in our popular culture, and avoiding places where I would be exposed to the less-educated, tasteless, classless, lowest-common-demonintor, ignorant lunkheads comprising the majority in my rust belt has-been city. See how optimistic I am?

    April 12, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. As-if

    Wow, CNN is so in the tank for Obama. You mean a whopping 50% of kids with daddy's credit card thinks things are ok? Who care what kids think? Do they own businesses? Pay Taxes? Worried about retirement? Only the liberal true believers will sop up this drivel.

    April 12, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. bmurdoc

    Young people are too stupid to see how screwed they are.

    April 12, 2013 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. Firstname Lastname

    what a bunch of nonsense... the young people in my area are BROKE!

    April 12, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. ReaganisGod

    Sorry CNN, but every other right track/wrong track poll is in the low 30s.

    April 12, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  17. Bob

    The only thing worse than a lie is a lie that gives people false hope and digs the hole deeper

    April 12, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  18. Keel Hauler

    Young people today have the work ethic of a dead tree sloth. Their main concern is how to pay for their next cell phone.

    April 12, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. Brian from DC

    This is dreadful news for the Republicans who have banked heavily on America and Americans failing.

    April 12, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. Get Real

    $17T in debt and climbing....... there's plenty to be optimistic about!!

    April 12, 2013 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Danimal

    Yes, Things are seriously getting better where I am. My 401 K has been restored and after crunching and cutting costs I've paid off all my debt, plus have a savings account for the first time in 10 years. Of course I'm speaking for myself just like all of you. I agree I am one of the fortunate ones, but I've also worked extremely hard to accomplish this.

    April 12, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  22. Bluesky001

    This says it all. ... 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.

    So 1,012 adults make 50% of USA population? yea right.

    April 12, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. Farlessoptomistic

    Why don't you take a poll of small business people and ask them the same questions! Will not be the answer the white house wants!!!!!!!!!!

    April 12, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. bmurdoc

    Wow, young people are stupid if they actually think things are getting better. As a man who just turned 40, I apologize for my thieving public union brethren, for they have destroyed our futures.

    April 12, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. jaron kadek

    You are out of your minds. One in ten of us is out of work and you celebrate an upswing in "mood"? Out of Touch, that is what CNN is.

    April 12, 2013 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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