CNN/ORC Poll: Jump in percentage of those saying things not going well
November 29th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
11 months ago

CNN/ORC Poll: Jump in percentage of those saying things not going well

Washington (CNN) – Americans views on the state of the nation are turning increasingly sour, according to a new national poll.

And a CNN/ORC International survey released Friday also indicates that less than a quarter of the public says that economic conditions are improving, while nearly four in ten say the nation's economy is getting worse.

Forty-one percent of those questioned in the poll say things are going well in the country today, down nine percentage points from April, and the lowest that number has been in CNN polling since February 2012. Fifty-nine percent say things are going badly, up nine points from April.

Besides an obvious partisan divide, which contributes to a urban-rural gap, the survey also indicates a difference of opinion between younger and older Americans.

"There's a slight generational divide, with 46% of those under age 50 saying things are going well. That number drops to 36% for those 50 and older," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Looking specifically at the economy, 39% feel that the economy is still in a downturn, up six points from April. Only 24% believe that an economic recovery is under way. Thirty-six percent are in the middle - they don't think we're in a recovery but they believe conditions have stabilized.

Again, the survey indicates partisan and geographic divides, as well as a generational gap, with 45% of those age 50 and older, but only 34% of those under age 50 saying the economy's still in a downturn.

The poll was conducted November 18-20 for CNN by ORC International, with 843 adult Americans 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: Economy
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. McBob79

    That's because it's not. I'm under 50 but my head isn't buried in the sand.

    November 29, 2013 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  2. Tampa Tim

    I wonder if republican induced government shutdowns, near defaults, attacks on women's rights, threats of future republican government shutdowns, more defaults, republican obstructionism on jobs bills, and the endless lies about ACA, may have anything to do with it.

    November 29, 2013 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  3. Richard Long

    But liberals and Democrats have been claiming the economy is all flowers, puppies, and unicorns for the past 4 years... You mean they have been lying?

    November 29, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  4. nuclear rmike

    WOW...and this is a surprise to whom????

    The Federal lies can only last so long before the "pitch" cannot be sustained by the reality of the economy of the average American Family to just even feed themselves, much less pay for ObamaCare!

    November 29, 2013 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  5. James70094

    And yet these people continue to vote for the same people that got us where we are today. Until people realize that Democrats and Republicans are the problem, the course will continue.

    November 29, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  6. McBob79

    Largest debt in history, more people on food stamps than any other time in history, lowest work force participation since 80s, Obamacare, NSA spying on US citizens and allies, Failure to protect Americans in Benghazi. Yes, I'm certain people believe things are worse because they are. One of the most divisive ineffective presidents in history.

    November 29, 2013 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  7. rla

    How about a community organizer who leads from behind, delegates anything because he landed a job he was not qualified for and blames everyone in sight for all the poor decisions.
    Most poverty, most food stamps, most part time jobs, most extended unemployment ever, divided country promoted by the white house and the biggest thing– DEBT THAT IS UNSUSTAINABLE.. It all lands on the progressive, Obama doorstep after % YEARS OF SELF ATTENTION AND POWER GRABBING>

    November 29, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  8. Don Johnson

    So the stock market has more than doubled, the unemployment rate is down, I see tons more trucks hauling stuff on pretty much any freeway I travel on, and interest rates are still at historic lows for folks to purchase houses, invest in business, etc. I guess we want to go back to when Bush II was in there and the lack of financial regulation led to the 2nd biggest financial crisis in history (1929 stock market crash was the worst.) and people lost 75% or more of their 401Ks, etc. The extreme right has their mouthpieces like Limbaugh, Rand Paul, and rocket scientist Sara Palin that spew B.S. round the clock that the sky is falling when in reality is the opposite of that. I hate conservatism...

    November 29, 2013 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  9. Johnny DC

    As always, people polled answer an entirely different question than the one being asked.

    41% said that "yes, the country is doing well", but what they really meant was "yes, I still support Obama for president over Romney".

    Both the left and right in America need to grow a spine and learn how to deservingly criticize their leaders and themselves for voting in those leaders, without fear of weakening said incumbents for future elections.

    Anyone who thinks America is "going well" right now is either intentionally misleading poll takers as above, or ignorant to our weakened position in global politics and our incredibly fragile domestic economic position, given our devalued currency, massive welfare population, and increasing true unemployment.

    November 29, 2013 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  10. Rick McDaniel

    The state of the union is a horrendous mess.

    November 29, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  11. liberal disease

    Obama is right where he wants us to be

    November 29, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  12. Dan

    Obama is about to find out what it is like to be a lame duck. He will try to pivot to the Iran Nuke thing, or back to jobs (again for like the 8th time), maybe to immigration, or to some bogus attempt at gun control but he will simply have no support to get anything done. His base has started to run away from him, Dems in Congress are FURIOUS at him, and he lost Independents like me years ago

    He is toast

    November 29, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  13. Wondering

    Is there any doubt why people stay on long lines to get Deals during this time of year? People don't have money and any savings is huge. They don't talk about that when they bring up the shopping. Too much difference between wealthy and poor and it's getting worse.

    November 29, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  14. jw

    Only a blind person or a political hack would say the country is doing well!

    November 29, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  15. jw

    "So the stock market has more than doubled, the unemployment rate is down, I see tons more trucks hauling stuff on pretty much any freeway I travel on, and interest rates are still at historic lows for folks to purchase houses, invest in business, etc"
    Don Johnson you live in never never land!

    November 29, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  16. Mike in Texas

    @ Don,

    Suppressing the rich? That's a hoot. the Dow and S&P are at record highs. Companies are setting record profits. Taxes are at some of there lowest rates ever. The wealthiest 1% own 39% of the world's wealth. The wealth of millionaires is expected to grown at twice the rate as the world average. So please, enough with the rich being victims. the non wealthy in America have seen their wages stagnate over the past 30 years while the wealthy keep getting wealthier. The rich aren't job creators, they are wealth creators. I've heard people say I've never seen a poor person give someone a job. Well I've seen a poor millionaire and I've never seen a person give a job because they got a tax break.

    November 29, 2013 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  17. Grace

    Economy not doing well, huh? Yet thousands went shopping and buying the same thing every time; bigger, and bigger TVs, toys and more. Wish Americans can see what's happening in other parts of the world; where families have to walk miles just for drinking water.

    Please, give Thanks for being in a nation with free worship, great education system and democracy strives. GIVE THANKS.

    November 29, 2013 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  18. Robert N. constant

    Pope Francis has just issued an "Exhortation" telling Catholics that the Republican positions on social issues are not in the spirit of the Catholic Church. This will make a difference.

    November 29, 2013 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  19. Jeff

    I knew the democrats would find a way to blame this on Bush, and I wasn't disappointed. Took about 2 responses to get to that post. Must be nice to belong to a party that accepts zero blame and can lay it all at the feet of a man who hasn't made an important decision in about 5 years.

    November 29, 2013 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  20. Jenny

    ...and CNN's top headline is one reason why. This nation is populated by materialistic robots. The fake 'holiday' of Black Friday trumps even the fake holiday of Christmess now. Good going, CNN and all of you lemmings!

    November 29, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  21. Steve

    Of course the country is in a downward spiral. It doesn't matter if you are a Bush-hating liberal or an Obama-hating conservative. The root cause – caused by both administrations – is massive federal spending and a federal government that is so large it is choking us death with programs and regulations that are onerous and unnecessary. We (the people) need to cut the size and control of the federal octopus and give power back to our state and local governments, where We (the people) can exercise more control of our lives and liberties. Want our country to be America again? Get involved and get the size of this monstrous federal government under control.

    November 29, 2013 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  22. ConsultNot

    In other words, as more and more people begin to think for themselves and get their head out of the sand, there is an increased realization that Obama has never been capable of leading the country into economic health, better race relations, a streamlined tax code, an efficient healthcare system, increased national security, better international relations, etc., etc.

    November 29, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  23. Mary

    What does it matter that more people say the nation is not doing well? No one in positions of authority or wealth cares? They just took Thanksgiving away from us, didn't they? Rich people don't care if America's economy collapses or if more and more American citizens are giving up hope, they just go and invest their money somewhere else. May they live in a mansion with 100 bedrooms, and may their be malaria in every bed.

    November 29, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  24. dconcitizen

    CNN presents these kinds of inane surveys as news, it is pathetic! Don Johnson here got it right. There has been significant progress in terms of women's rights, sensible financial regulation, and robust diplomacy that has managed to turn this country around from the rut it was in after two conservative terms. I guess the majority in this country, who have been doing well in the past don't care much to contribute toward the betterment of the lower 5% bracket who are struggling to make ends meet, and the polls reflect that! They are unhappy with sensible policies by this administration that try to pull all of us up, instead of relying on the tricke-down, patronizing nonsense spewed by moronic conservative spokespersons like Limbaugh and Palin, who should be herded and shipped to Mars on a one-way trip...This country will be much better off without them!!!

    November 29, 2013 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  25. mdaneker

    40 years ago my father made $8:50 / hr. and 40 years later minimum wage is 7.25. You want to know why things aren't going well, there's your answer. The average employee would have to make between $15 – $25 / hr to life like we did 40 – 60 years ago. They make closer to $10. YET CEO's make 400X what the average employee in there company makes, compared to 10X back then.

    It's a wage war, we are loosing. Blame the Republicans for refusing to allow minimum wage to be raised and trend with inflation and/or gdp. Blame the rich, the one's you watch on TV, they are sucking your dry.

    November 29, 2013 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
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