CNN/ORC Poll: Jump in percentage of those saying things not going well
November 29th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
8 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. Randy, San Francisco

    The Republcian Tea Party economic obstruction plan is working welll. The income divide between the rich and middle/lower classes has never been greater. Their Wall Street fat cat friends have recovered from the great recession while middle America still suffers in the dodrums. Corporations are sitting on obscene amounts of cash while unemployment remains high.

    November 29, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  2. jimboe

    John
    The middle class in our country our working their lives away to support people who can't or won't work. The middle class are working for the rich, who are never happy unless they are getting richer, at middle class expense. The greedy rich, and the politicians work hand in hand to rig the game to ensure middle class slavery. Our country needs to rid itself of the rich, and the lazy by having a middle class president, congress, etc. who make the rules/laws that ensure middle class prosperity.

    November 29, 2013 11:09 am at 11:09 am |

    So good it had to be posted twice.

    November 29, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  3. lewcypher

    Those that say the country isn't doing well gain their "insight" from anonymously written urban legend emails and Faux News

    November 29, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. George

    When Americans wake up and realize how tied economic prosperity is tied to having a better equitable income equality (Gini Coefficient of 35, like we had in the 1950s and 1960s) then we will see action. The GOP today, the neo-cons are really only out for a very select few, and they use issues like guns and implicit racism to sell their product. In the end though, those nations with Gini Coefficients of 45 or above (like ours is now) how sluggish economic growth that only benefits the top 1%. The thing really rich people don't get is that they created their own inflation for the goods they want: Birkin bags at $20,000 a pop, houses on Nantucket at $4 million each, Park Ave apartments at $8 million and up, these products are scarce commodities that have had their prices escalate exponentially since the 1960s only because of the increased level of income of the top 1% of the top 1%. If they were taxed like they used to be, then the prices of the things they want (the 500CE Mercedes coup) would have to come down too, so they still would get all those things, just cheaper, and the middle class would get some relief from being taxed to support everything, and jobs could be created to help the lowest 20%, which would actually help the super rich. It may seem counter-intuitive to get richer by increasing the taxes on the rich, but it worked in the 1950s and 1960s and it works in many European countries. We can do it, yes we can.

    November 29, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. vinster76

    I woke up to scan the news headlines to see what is happening around the world.....Death, killings, crime, and yet once more, Black Friday atrocities.......For all you who thing mankind in a product of natural selection, making us progressively better and better......think again......I'm going back to bed....

    November 29, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  6. Marcus (from...?)

    Alan – Talk about revisionism!
    The worst recession? The dot-com bubble was bad, really bad indeed, but to compare it to the mess the subprimes did is like comparing a mild headache to a bullet to the head.
    A nation under attack? True, Osama bin Laden's plans were in full motion, Clinton warned him about it and he did... nothing. 9/11 happened AFTER his presidency started not before, and he got warned about it.
    As for the 'Carter like' policies, Puh-leeze! The whole big issue of the subprimes has been investigated and analyzed by person much more up to the job than you and me, and NOT a single one of them says that the Dem controlled congress could have avoided or aggravated the meltdown... They might have discussions about the size of each party's share of guilt in it, but to believe that 'six months of policies' could have created the recession is beyond naive!

    November 29, 2013 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  7. Investment Advisor

    @Randy, San Francisco...C'mon RSF...your guy and the Democratic Senate has been a failure...yet its the Republicans fault. Grow up and face the facts. He's the most liberal President we've ha in decades...maybe ever, and you expect the other side to roll over? BS! The ACA is just the tip of the iceberg on how he leads, Pitiful!! Big government does not work and this guy couldn't get out off his way if shown the way....and he has been shown the way. Remember this.."If you want to help the people, TELL THEM THE TRUTH. If you want to help yourself, LIE" Its very much apparent what path BO took.

    November 29, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. Graeme from Ottawa

    At least this president rescued the economy, he didn't almost kill it like the last president.

    November 29, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  9. vinster76

    I wonder how much more damage this "so-called" president is gonna do to this country in the next three years? I hang my head in shame as to how we elected this man to anything concerning power

    November 29, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Emma Morrow

    Impeach Obama and half the problems go away.

    November 29, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Gunderson

    U.S. Constutition gives you the right to go as far as you can with many Freedoms. Many people have done very well. However Liberal's no thing you smart enough to get out your own way so they pass big government programs, TO HELP YOU !! So, after 100 years of Big Liberal Programs why things still so bad. Why we still floundering in the 1930's?? Maybe you like LOGAN'S RUN. Nobody live past 30. If you still have brain, start using it !!

    November 29, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  12. cc

    Once the GOP take control oh the white house and both senates guess what?. THEY WILL UNDO WHAT THIS Inexperience liberal HAS DONE TO THIS COUNTRY. The webama site is taking the DEM to the end of liberalism

    November 29, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  13. Rick Patel

    Translation: Empty-Suit Obama takes USA down the drain.

    November 29, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. Mopery

    Of course America is in trouble. Reaganomics decimated the middle-class, then an unregulated banks in league with Wall Street plutocrats held the world's economy for ransom, again fleecing the middle-class. Class warfare started in the 1980's, and the rich have been winning ever since. We now have a new form of aristocratic oligarchy running the show, one that seems to have forgotten history. The rich seem to have forgotten their history. Revolutions start when the disparity of wealth grows too large, when those in power crush the poor under the iron boot of unfair laws and taxes, strip our liberties, then blame us for the mess we're all in. We need the U.S. military to invade the Cayman Islands and seize all assets of the Wall Street CEO's, return to the American people the trillions of dollars that have been stolen from us through shady deals and con-artist traps like sub-prime mortgages and the derivatives market. The time is coming when people will turn from the flashy gizmos currently hypnotizing them, rise up against the rich, and take back what is rightfully theirs.

    November 29, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. John

    Wall Street is a scam period. Anyone who buys stocks and think they are going to be rich is an idiot.

    November 29, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. vinster76

    to those of you who think the Stock market is a good indication of the stateof the economy, watch what happens when the FED stops pumping money into the pipeline.........

    November 29, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  17. Wynn Silence

    Everything is working perfectly according to Obama's plans. He said he was going to bring the USA down and he's halfway through his process. He is destroying our freedoms, healthcare, military,the list go's on..
    He's doing what he said he was going to do..

    November 29, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. JJ

    Odd, right after the November elections, where Republicans were smacked down rather soundly in VA, suddenly, overnight, the news was full of "reports" about how bad everything was. This is what Republicans are good at–fueling hate and insecurity and feeding receptive news people with all sorts of manufactured horror stories about the economy. Rational people need to stop buying their FauxNews lies and face the facts–the Obama administration has corrected the atrocities of G.W. and has brought the country back to its senses.

    November 29, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Matthew Grant

    @Jimboe

    Jimboe states (paraphrasing) that we as a nation needs to get rid of the rich and the lazy people(I guessing here you mean poor but if I am wrong, correct me) and get a middle class president and this would fix the problem. Frankly, I find this solution to be shortsighted. The rich and the poor are products of their environment just like the middle class. The greed and laziness is ingrain within the system. Your solution does not change the system itself. Even if all the rich and poor people just vanish tomorrow, within a short period of time there will be a new rich class and poor class that forms. If you really want to change the system you need to look at root causes and start question the core assumption that our society is built on.

    November 29, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  20. mjkoch

    I wonder how many of the 40% who say economic conditions are getting worse are shoving and pushing at stores today to spend money. It would seem as though if things were so bad people would be spending their money on food and housing instead of large televisions, iPads, iPhones, etc. If things are so bad why are people spending hundreds of dollars (and more) this Christmas on items that are most definitely things they need?

    November 29, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. james Pfeiffer

    Over the last few years, the Republican agenda has quickly begun to erode true democracy. The rich get richer, the poor poorer...and the middle class breaking just even year after year. Why would any person with even a tiny bit of common sense not see this? The Republicans have worked overtime to demonize the president, minimizing just about everything he has accomplished. They are anti-science, anti-woman, anti-immigration, anti-voter rights, pro gun, pro military, global warming doubters, anti-public school, anti-worker, anti-poor, anti-planned parenthood, while also promoting their selfish and aggressive form of fundamentalist Christianity. No folks, if people really think we are worse off, for goodness sake, do your research and some objective investigation and put the blame where it needs to be...the Republican obstructionist hatred of anything and everything which smacks of progressive and forward thinking. The best thing that these people have done is keep the hard working masses stupid by propagating "red herring" and divisive issues like, blaming the poor, demonizing welfare and portraying anyone who isn't in lockstep with them as the "bogeyman other".

    November 29, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. TBone

    The insane levels of greed at the tops of major U.S.corporations (aka:boards of directors and their inbred investment banker cousins) asto achieving their short term profits+golden parachutes are at the cost of U.S.manufacturing jobs. R @ D job dollars now are spent opening their third world "shack-tories" and that's way out of control.To call them out on this gets you labeled a "socialist". These major U.S. companies would still be massively profitable w/labor performed inside the U.S.at a decent wage,but of course the top dogs might have to settle for 5 million$ bonuses rather than the 12 million$ bonuses they award one another yearly for destroying long term U.S. economic prospects

    November 29, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. The other guy

    Sorry Mopery! This is on the left. It's in the Marxist playbook to decimate the middle class. After all, nobody embraces socialism on their own volition. And when it comes to revisionist history, or no history at all? Don't get me started.

    November 29, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  24. Wynn Silence

    Black Friday next year will be called Red friday until after the next war. Obamas healthacare plan will settle in and destroys the average americans savings and many will not have extra spending money on mindless shopping.

    When the entitlements end the riots begin !

    November 29, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. virgil kendrick

    The people would feel a lot better about things if the office holders would be more posative about our goverment and how they are trying to solve problems instead of causing them.

    November 29, 2013 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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