October 6th, 2008
12:00 PM ET
9 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. Molly

    Obama is an Arrogant, Radical Fraud – we need to learn the
    Truth/Facts about this guy and all his questionable "friends"
    Acorn, Raines, Ayres, Wright – let's follow the money trail!

    October 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  2. S. Boatman

    Im Going To Donate Another 50 Dollars To Obama While I Still Have A Few Bucks Left! Please Donate With Me! Even If It Is Just 20 Dollars! If Mccain Gets Into The White House We Will Be Standing In Soup Lines With Our Children Before Long!

    October 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Eric-29-m-PA

    Electing Obama will bring us there. Google ACORN+Obama and you'll see what I mean.

    October 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. We Value The Wrong Things.

    Years and Years of deregulation by politicians too stupid to understand the detials behind finance and technology are at fault.

    Stop sending lawyers and former POWs to Washington .... no moose shooting, ignorant hockey moms either....

    Send engineers and MBA's ... they're smart enough to understand and they design and build stuff that is useful to society. They've got the right DNA for leadership in the Congress.

    October 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Andy from Michigan

    Obama wants to raise taxes on business owners (the people that drive the economy), and force them to provide health care. People wonder why companies go overseas. It's cheaper for them, duh!

    A McCain/Palin vote is the only chance to avoid this economic apocalypse. Otherwise get ready for Obama to lead us to the greatest depression. One we will not recover from.

    October 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. 1urelius

    How many soccermoms pull down $168,000 ?"
    When you own, what was that? 6 or was that 7 homes?
    You can afford to turn the page as the next line is " Don't cha think its just a rough spot? Don't you guys and gals out thar"

    October 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Cory

    While we are in the midst of a very bad economic downturn, I feel it is too much to think we are headed for another Great Depression and it is downright disrespectful to those who went through that disaster to suggest we are going through the same. Because the US is now is service-based economy, it is far more adaptable than it was in the 1920's and can pull through easier. Also the economy is far more global now so there will be lots of international dollars pumped into the country if stocks fall to the point that they will be good deals. Let's not also forget that in less than 30 days we'll have a new president (always signals an uptick in the economy after a poor president) and hopefully if that president is Obama, regulation will return which eases the fears of the average investor who will be more open with their money. Yes we're at a tough juncture people, but our attitude about it will have a lot to say about what direction we go.

    October 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. senja

    Mccain /Palin terrify this 45 year old white, soccer mom, registered nurse, past PTA president. Palin insults our nation.

    October 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Bruce

    It took a DEMOCRAT to get us out of the last depression.

    Lies will not help anyone get a job. Lies will not prevent a bank failure. LIES only make those that tell them look STUPID. LIERS can't be trusted we do not need 4 more years of LIESRS in the WHITE HOUSE

    October 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. I Invented the McMuffin... and fire

    McCain/Palin... Depressing at best, absolutely ruinous in all probability.
    let's rebuild our economy as well as our standing in the world with Obama/biden!

    October 6, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Abby

    CNN – do you only post pro-obama comments?????

    Obama is not qualified to lead our country – his friends scare me!

    October 6, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Marco

    The Fundamentals of the Economy are Strong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Watch the McCain campaign try to change the major topic of this election. Like Palin did at the debates. Sarah Palin does not get it, and neither does George Bush and John McSame.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 6, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. Jim

    Sounds like more fear mongering from Washington.
    Give it a rest and if at all possible, stop supporting their shady agendas with the your media machine.
    Americans are so tired of the bad spin on everything. Tell us the good news about the economy. if there isn't any then make some up like youve done before.

    October 6, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Nancie

    And people think the old Geezer and Gidget are going to pull them thru all this!! We are stupid.


    October 6, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Dutch-VA

    We will be in a depression if McCain gets elected.


    October 6, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. John McCain JUST DOESN'T GET IT

    ...............Headed for Depression? Obviously those people who are not there yet............are John McCain, George W. Bush, and Sarah Palin. They all belive that the economy is strong. Talk about a day late............. John McCain Just Doesn't GET IT.

    October 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  17. Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    I do not think that the U.S. is headed for another depression, but I do think that we are heading toward a very serious and very real economic downturn that warrants a serious, even-handed, and practical plan to solve it. This is why I think Obama-Biden are the right team (together with a Democratic majority in the House and Senate) for the next 4 to 8 years-to get America's economy under control.

    The empire is falling, and Americans need to wake up and realize this! I still have faith that our economy can rebound, but only when the citizens of this great nation think straight and vote smart-vote your purses and wallets!

    October 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  18. Jim

    So that the repubs don't rig this election, there has to be a way for Obama supporters to be able too stand up and be counted. any suggestions.

    October 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. Praetorian

    Both political parties–have done us wrong since Reagan was elected. Between log-jams, stalemates, corruption, and manipulation from their richest supporters–the needs of average Americans have been, and likely will continue to be ignored.

    The best thing we could do is refuse to vote for ANYONE–and let the electoral college do the job (hell they will anyway).

    My vote___none of the above.

    October 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. Shari, NY

    Depression? This does not interest Palin/McCain – they are interested in transgression. I had visions of Palin redeeming herself after that debate but after this nonsensical tirade emanating from her snout, she has converted herself from a pig to something else. Go away Broom Hilda aka Jezebel!

    October 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |

    Well..... Cnn did not post my comment but thats okay!!!
    I agree with the comments that CNN posted and the polls that indicate how people really feel!!!! No more smears, fears, and more of the same!!!!!!!

    October 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. Mike in Jacksonville

    No Duh and you want four more years of Bush poliices. Wake up America No to Mcain No to Palin
    Barack 08

    October 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Missouri

    Whine, whine, whine... That is what McCain financial adviser said of the American public while John McCain was says the fundamentals of the economy are sound.

    McCain is a failure just like Bush. He voted for his issues 90% of the time.

    Failed student!
    Failed pilot!
    Failed politician!

    Now whining "Life isn't fair" – ask middle America if Bush and the xeroxed Republicans have been fair to them!

    Enough is enough!

    October 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Abby

    With our economy so bad – God help us all if obama should steal this election!
    May God Bless America – we need McCain to help us!

    October 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. Shawn - GA

    I hope you are just making comments even though you know they are not the truth. Because if there is really this many people who think it is true that the GOP and only the GOP are responsible for this, then the education system is in worse trouble than I thought.

    Come on people stop following blindly. George W. made a lot of mistakes, no doubt. but to pin everything and anything on him is just plain ignorance.

    I keep hearing that Obama will turn things around, he will save us all, so on and so forth. Ok, tell me how please. I am serious I am asking for a real answer, help me to make my mind up that he is the guy we need. Don’t answer me with hate filled words about anyone just answer the question I asked.

    October 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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