CNN Poll: Percentage who say economy's 'good' on the rise
August 1st, 2014
06:00 AM ET
3 months ago

CNN Poll: Percentage who say economy's 'good' on the rise

Washington (CNN) - Most Americans still say that the economy's in poor shape. But the percentage who describe economic conditions as good continue to slowly but steadily increase, and now stands at its highest level since before the last recession, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll indicates that 58% of those surveyed rates the nation's economic conditions as poor, with 41% saying they are good.

The percentage who say things are good is up from 29% last October to 32% in December, 36% in February, 38% in May and 41% now.

"The 41% is the largest number of Americans with a positive view of the economy since Barack Obama became President, and it represents the highest rating for the economy since the last recession officially began in December of 2007," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

CNN poll economic conditions graphic

The poll's Friday release preceded the Labor Department's report on July unemployment.

And it hits two days after new data showing that the economy bounced back in the spring, growing at a 4% annual pace in the second quarter. That's better than what economists had expected.

U.S. economy bounces back sharply

Revised numbers from that Commerce Department report also showed that the economy's winter contraction wasn't as bleak as first reported.

When it comes to perceptions about the economy, the CNN poll indicates a geographical divide.
"People in the Northeast, Midwest and West all appear to see some improvement in the economy. The number of Westerners who say the economy's in good shape has nearly doubled, and there are 15-to-18 point gains in the Midwest and Northeast.

"But it's a different story in the South, where the number of southerners who give a thumbs-up to the economy has remained stubbornly stuck at 34%, suggesting either that better times have yet to visit the South or that southerners have yet to perceive that things are getting better," Holland adds.

The poll also indicates a small gender difference as well, with economic optimism growing more rapidly among women than men.

Economy impacts midterms

Perceptions about economic conditions will be an important factor in November's midterm elections, as the economy remains the top issue on the mind of Americans.

According to CNN poll numbers released last week, 49% of those questioned said it was extremely important for the President and Congress to deal with the economy, higher than any other issue tested.

Key races to watch in 2014

More than a third of the Senate and the entire House are up for grabs in November.

Democrats have a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party). But in the midterms, the party is defending 21 of the 36 seats up for grabs, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states.

In the House, the Democrats would need to pick up an extremely challenging 17 Republican-held seats to win back the majority from the GOP.

Complete coverage of the 2014 midterm elections

Obama said Wednesday that "there are a lot of good reasons to be optimistic about America. We hold the best cards. Things are getting better."

But when it comes to the economy, the President and congressional Democrats blame the GOP in Congress for putting up roadblocks to measures that would help the middle class. Congressional Republicans return the fire, saying that Obama's economic policies are not working.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from July 18-20 with 1,012 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.


Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Economy
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. Getoverit

    According to liberals, the 58% who think the economy is poor are racists.

    August 1, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. TJ

    Of course more people are "saying" the economy is good! Well Duh folks, don't you all know how poll takers (not just liberal, but conservative also) can load questions in order to fulfill their agenda? Ask ANYONE who has studied statistical and analytical research in college for a year, and they'll back me here. I know because I was doing professional research for many years, and this was one of the areas I ran into where many numbers were fudged because of a desired agenda.

    Think people... THINK! CNN is notorious for being in the tank with the liberals and Obama... of course they want the economy to look good. After all, November is coming, and they know their party needs all the help it can get. Do NOT be sold a false bill of goods (aka BRIDGES).

    August 1, 2014 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. OBAMA - THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Its not good and its not poor its just mediocre. I would not like to be young with little work experience in this economy.

    August 1, 2014 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    @@just asking, does any one believe your bs says Federal government asked red states to keep off benefits when it clearly mandated Medicaid expansion which Red states declined hurting elderly and needed folks for healthcare, you show you venom, luckily it is internet age that let's people know what is going on, keep your venom to yourself, stop watching fox trash. Good luck.

    August 1, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. honest observation

    No quicker way to lose all credibility like quoting fox news, total horse hockey 24/7, I've found little to no actual truth to their stories, all bad, all the time, and everything, and I mean everything is Obama's fault, truth be damned!

    August 1, 2014 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    "Best sustained job growth since the 1990's lately its difficult to argue with that." But it can't be real, they will argue, because Obama and lamestream media and death panel benghazi pantsuits. They are what our British friends call "barking mad."
    "lets go down to the unemployment office and take a pole" You just know this guy has taken a LOT of poles and smoked every one.

    August 1, 2014 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  7. Democrat Junk

    Dig into the stats behind he numbers people. My favorite idea from the REALLY ignorant Obama supporters goes something like this, " Look at my 401k under President Obama" or " DJIA breaks through 17,000 ....thankyou Mr. President." This is the idiocy that people hang their hat on when it comes time to vote. Do the HOMEWORK people!

    August 1, 2014 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  8. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    "Well Duh folks, don't you all know how poll takers (not just liberal, but conservative also) can load questions" Wow, someone finally read LYING WITH STATISTICS by Huff. Now explain why you were so excited about the conservapoll saying Obama was the worst president? The economy has been improving for a long time, and conservatives have been crying and saying it wasn't and if it was it was nothing to do with the president for a long time too. Now they are beginning to admit the sky isn't falling, and THAT is the big news, not that the poll has anything to do with the economy. Now, you were only in college for a year, and yet you claim to have worked professionally for years? Mmm, I bet not. You are a college kid, probably an intern or something. You argue like a teenager, all name-calling and bluster.

    August 1, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. sonny chapman

    This CAN'T be. It doesn't Repubs Narrative of the State of THEIR World !!!

    August 1, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  10. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    "Repubs Narrative of the State of THEIR World " The whole GOP is having some kind of racist psychotic break with reality, screaming this can't be happening and hiding like ostriches. This is why we are afraid to vote for even their moderates until they have sobered up from this bad trip.

    August 1, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Interesting poll question. You're given two choices, good or poor. There's no middle ground.

    August 1, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Lizzie

    g
    thank the job shippers of America and the politicians they own
    -might want to start with Heinz foods, who shipped most of their jobs to Mexico, or GM to Canada, or GE to China. All of them associated with DEMOCRATS.

    August 1, 2014 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. CALIFORNIA

    The majority also believed Obama when he said you could keep your doctor.

    August 1, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. Dave

    I guess it is a trend, but I still don't see 41% being "good". Maybe more like Strong Majority polled still feel economy is doing poorly, but the numbers with this opinion is shrinking.

    August 1, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  15. Stuffitu

    Through his corruption, ineptness and incopetence Obama has managed to add 11.5 million people to the unemployed. The democrat liberals have reared havoc on our country and they are not done yet.

    August 1, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    The news isn't that the economy is improving(we knew that already) but that some of the sheep are getting away from the FOX. Better scare 'em back into the fold before they go feral and start googling for facts!

    August 1, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Marie MD

    It felt better until yesterday and today but still better than in 2008 during the shrub's 43 puppet show.

    August 1, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. Gurgyl

    --republican trash, yes, in September 2008, when this nation saw huge drop plunging stocks to 800 points, s n p to low level–crashing entire USA market, of course world market–where are you, be glad, stocks are strong–listen in capitalist markets stocks reflect Economy growth. Nonetheless yesterday's Argentina Bank plunge–USA did not suffer much comparing to other markets. Learn the truth. Don't watch fox garbage, spew venom.

    August 1, 2014 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  19. BC

    The liberals are desperate...they know there time as come to an end. I can't wait to vote for a real president that loves his country.

    August 1, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. BC

    The liberals are desperate...they know there time as come to an end. I can't wait to vote for a real president ....

    August 1, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Fair is Fair

    Gurgyl

    –republican trash, yes, in September 2008, when this nation saw huge drop plunging stocks to 800 points, s n p to low level–crashing entire USA market, of course world market–where are you, be glad, stocks are strong–listen in capitalist markets stocks reflect Economy growth. Nonetheless yesterday's Argentina Bank plunge–USA did not suffer much comparing to other markets. Learn the truth. Don't watch fox garbage, spew venom.
    --------
    For Christ's sake, someone such as yourself with 4 university degrees sure has no comprehension of the English language. Where did you get those degrees? University of Sears Roebuck? Dude, it's painful to read. It burns... it burns...

    August 1, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    BC says:
    August 1, 2014 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm
    The liberals are desperate…they know there time as come to an end. I can’t wait to vote for a real president ….

    I don't know about you but I think we have a real President who cares about his country despite many hating him for no reason.

    It's the GOP that's desperate, they know "their" time has come to an end.

    Gotta love those red state educations. You may be dumb as dirt when it comes to proper English but you can castrate hogs and shoot a can from 50 ft away. Yee haw!!

    August 1, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    Dave

    I guess it is a trend, but I still don't see 41% being "good". Maybe more like Strong Majority polled still feel economy is doing poorly, but the numbers with this opinion is shrinking.
    ------------------------------–
    Seeing how that number was probably in the single digits on Jan. 21. 2009, that makes 41% an excellent improvement.

    August 1, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    Gurgyl

    –republican trash, yes, in September 2008, when this nation saw huge drop plunging stocks to 800 points, s n p to low level–crashing entire USA market, of course world market–where are you, be glad, stocks are strong–listen in capitalist markets stocks reflect Economy growth. Nonetheless yesterday's Argentina Bank plunge–USA did not suffer much comparing to other markets. Learn the truth. Don't watch fox garbage, spew venom.
    --–
    For Christ's sake, someone such as yourself with 4 university degrees sure has no comprehension of the English language. Where did you get those degrees? University of Sears Roebuck? Dude, it's painful to read. It burns... it burns...
    ===========================================================
    So, why do you keep sticking your hand back into the fire? Because it burns ... it burns.

    August 1, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. Mr. C

    Wow there sure is a lot of Republican Communist Party loyalist out there complaining about Obama Why don't all of you go and join Snowden in Russia , he's waiting for you to come and play with him.

    August 1, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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