October 6th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN POLL: Majority think country headed for depression


A new poll shows Americans think the country is headed for a depression. (AP Photo)

(CNN) - A new national poll suggests that six in ten Americans think another depression is likely.

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Monday afternoon, 59 percent of those questioned say that its very or somewhat likely that another depression could occur in the United States. Four in ten Americans say it not likely another depression will occur.

Watch: Poll: Economic depression is likely

The country went through a decade long depression following the stock market crash of 1929, in which roughly one out of four workers were unemployed, banks failed across the country, and millions of ordinary Americans were temporarily homeless or unable to feed their families.

Eight in ten of those polled say things are going badly in the country today and 84 percent rate the economic conditions as poor.

"The question on how things are going in the country is the longest trend on the public's mood in polling history, and in 34 years, Americans have never had such a negative view," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "That 20% mark is an all-time low the makes the mood of the country worse today than it was during Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis, or the aftermath of 9/11."

Thirty six percent of those polled think the financial crisis will affect them immediately, with 19 percent saying within a year or so. Thirty seven percent say they'll eventually be affected by the financial crisis, with 8 percent saying they'll never be affected by the downturn.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, with 1,006 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for some questions and 4.5 percentage points for others.

Filed under: Economy
soundoff (268 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    Thank McCain's campaign economic advisor Phil Gramm for this mess. Seems like it might be impossible for McCain to "turn the page" on his crisis.

    October 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. proud army and navy mom

    to all the people like mccain and palin who's stuck on stupid:

    please admit that you are the same idiots that like bush's character and vote for him not once but twice to destroy our economy and wage an illegal war that continues to kill our troops and innocent people.

    October 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  3. Ryan Troy, MI

    This country has been in a recession for nearly 2 years now. We are probably in a Depression right now but too ignorant to admit it. It is appauling that our government has taken this long to figure it out. I have no confidence in any of our leadership. I know a lot of you are going to take a jab at the candidates, but BOTH parties are responsible for this mess. Pelosi, Bush, Obama, Clinton and McCain have done nothing to help the American citizens.

    It's up to our business leaders to step up, take action and do what's right for their entire work force and not just their pampered CEO's.

    October 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  4. Arlene, Roselle Il.

    Sarah Palin will give another " wink" and off to the
    Land of Oz we go. Come on Todd, stop this before it gets

    October 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. Russ

    Obama '08. Quit fooling around with the status quo and make a real change for the better!

    October 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. A New Beginning

    Wake up America, there are parts of our society that are already in a Depression. Of course we are goign to race through a recession and fall head first into a depression. Tell George Bush instead of giving the Banks 700 Billion, give every American over the age of 18 years of age of $500,000 an stimulate economy from the botton up.

    The government can take their 38% off the top, and guess what all those folks are going to do with all that money? Pay bills, pay the banks their money for credit cards and past due mortgage payments, buy new items, cars, furniture, home repairs, applicances, travel, you name it. Everybody wins, but the greedy. I like that rather than giving to folks who still will deny credit to people who it need it to move ahead in life.

    October 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. McAncient

    The DOW fell below 10,000 today.. Waht are we hearing from Republicans??? William Ayers and Rev. Wright. Is that their proposed solution to the economic problems, is this an indication of how they will address crisis in America by not addressing it at all? ...

    After effectively costing the American taxpayer 124 billion in the Keating scandal I would have thought that McCain would acquaint himself with the science of economics..Guess it was beyond his mental capacity.
    John McCain has cost the American taxpayer more than Ayers or Wright.
    124Biliion is 500% of what has been spent in Afghanistan since 2001 in war and rebuilding costs
    John McCain has cost taxpayers more money than it cost to build the Twin Towers
    If we calculate the rate of inflation on that 124 billion from the time of the Keating scandal to now we may have enough money to employ every one in America including illegal immigrants for this fiscal year.

    John McCain....BAD FOR AMERICA. (Wouldn't it have been better if he never made it back???) Real American Hero??

    Vote Obama/Biden 08 for this country's sake

    October 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. jm for sc

    It is sad that some people would rather struggle like hell than see a black man as president of the US. One blogger mentioned Hannity on Hannity's America. First of all, Sean Hannity is the most racist people on television. He hates the idea that Obama is leading in the polls. This resurrecting of Rev. Wright is not going to work. However, I don't blame Palin because she just recently started reading the news. It maybe new to her, but history to the American public. It didn't work back then and it won't work now.

    For all who think CNN is supporting Obama, look at the fact that they are not reporting on the events of the Keating Five in which McCain was directly involved with. If that was Obama, it would be played to death on Fox News.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  9. Michael

    We are headed for a depression.. John McCain is out of touch,and thinks he can just turn the page and all this will go away. Sara Palin is a Airhead,and unqualified to be VP, must less god forbid President..Wake up People Enough Is Enough. Vote Obama/Biden for real CHANGE...

    October 6, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Dana from NY

    You hear that McCain?????
    If you can't talk the Economy- and if you have no plans to help Americans- then maybe you should let Americans know- put your country first- and let Obama win the Presidency!!
    God Help Us All if McCain/Palin win in November... if they win then we haven't seen anything yet!
    thank you Repugs with your slime and your greed-thank you for flushing our economy down the toilet as you sail off into the sunset on your yachts.... truly disgusting! There is a special place in hell for these people!

    Obama/Biden 08- The Leadership We So Desperately Need!!

    October 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  11. ber6964

    Yep and McCrook's picked a flighty Beauty Mongrol to bring her expertise to the American people. Poor Judgment McCrook that's what they said when you ripped off many people in the Keating 5 Scandel. For you repugs that keep saying that there were 4 democrats that were also involved, I don't think any of them are running for President...

    October 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. Ryan, Florida

    Herbert Hoover 2008!

    October 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Susan in Colorado

    Americans are easily fooled and more easily led.
    GO OBAMA!!

    October 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    McCain is the one candidate who actually care about this, he stopped his campaign to try and help solve this crisis. obama and bidin would only hurt us more, taxing more people and small business' will hurt everyone. the business' will go bankrupt and more people will lose their jobs. and if that happened then most likely we WOULD be going into a depression. don't tax us, cut gov. funding.

    McCain/Palin 08!!!

    October 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  15. Think About It

    Hmmm.. the economy is headed in the crapper and the McCain/ Palin camp can smear Obama... no real ideas, just fear... typical Republicans.

    October 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  16. Tired Elephant

    This is what McCain and Palins should be talking about, but all we hear is a bunch of garbage. There need not be a depression if the G-8 acts in unison to restore confidence by increasing liquidity and lowering the prime rate. The credit markets are on life support with a stratospheric LIBOR rate, no commercial paper market, car loans, home loans even for credit worthy borrowers.

    "Fiddling While Rome Burns" is no answer. It's past time for Bush and Paulson to get on the phone. You want to know how Hitler and the Nazis got started? Look no further than hyperinflation followed by a depression. Thankfully we don't have the former, but I wonder about the latter.

    October 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Kathy

    We do not need a Republican in the White House during a depression.

    October 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. Rich

    But McCain doesn't want to talk about the economy. He is so out of touch!

    October 6, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
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