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. Abby

    Where is FDR when we need him? Oh, I forgot we have Obama/Biden!!

    October 6, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  2. irony

    hard times.

    October 6, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  3. Independent in Bandon, Oregon

    Where is all the money?

    Where is all the money people have invested in 401K's, the stock market, savings at banks, etc.?

    That was real money, folks, and it had to go somewhere!

    I am prepared for Depression: I live in a paid-for RV at very low rent. My rig is totally self contained, I don't need much for food, and if it comes to it, I will take care of my personal needs before I pay off my consumer debt. What can they do about it? The banks will have closed down.

    October 6, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  4. Beth

    We woke up way too late. After 8 years, it's taken it's toll.

    VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN for a new direction.

    October 6, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. tennisguypitt

    Well, if this economic situation gets worse, it'll help Obama. So I wouldn't worry.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 6, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Maria Holder

    I became an american citizen not long ago. I do not belong to any parties. I read and I watch CNN, actually I was a fan of CNN. Then I started to realize that I want an accurate information and started to compare you guys with other news chanels. I do not think that I want a President that like the countries that do not like USA. I have been in this country for 12 years and I love it very much. In Latin America we have suffered for years with Presidents that do not deserve a place to be the boss like Castros brothers from Cuba and Chavez from Venezuela, I got so angry when I heard that Senator Obama is willing to talk with him. I can see he has no idea what is to be born in Latin America, he does not even bother to find out and he still wants my vote?

    October 6, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  7. Tony



    October 6, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. undecided

    This is becoming a self fulfilled proficy.

    The economy was doing good, even after the MEDIA said that we were in a recession.

    Confidance in the economy was at a 28 year high, even while the MEDIA was pushing that we were headed for recession

    The MEDIA has hammered home the recession idea so hard and for so long that it is actually starting to happen.

    This recession is the MEDIA's FAULT.

    October 6, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |

    These are the real issues McCain and Palin are trying to avoid by
    calling Obama names.They have no clue how to solve the economic
    crisis.Unfortunately not this time change is indeed coming to Washington.Also McCain was the biggest supprter of deregulatiom.

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. TRUTH

    Haven't we had enough of a DIC* and a BUS* in office?

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  11. Tennessee Mike

    Neither of the major parties' candidates are fit to be president.

    You've got an septuagenarian who has been in the Senate too long to have any true grasp of reality, and one who believes the government is the answer to all the problems.

    You've got a socialist who wants to redistribute wealth, i.e. steal my money and give it to crackheads.

    There is a major dearth of LEADERSHIP in this country, apparently now it exists in the private sector in addition the public sector, which has been lacking in "nuts and guts" since Ronald Reagan.

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  12. katiec

    How scary.
    And it will be worse than the great depression as, although
    it was very bad, we manufactured almost everything in this
    country, we did not depend on foreign oil and we did not
    owe humongous debts to other countries.
    Thanks republicans. You have done a real number on
    us and our country and the world.

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  13. Jim

    We.ve been lied to by Washington so many times, we've become numb to it. If there is a real problem coming our way, we don't believe your wolf cries anymore.
    No credibility.....stop with the fear mongering and fix the problem That's what we're paying you for.

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Carolyn

    If McCain is elected, a crash will be coming. . . . .

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  15. Gilboagirl

    I thought you weren't allowed to use the "D" word on TV to describe the economy. I thought you were only allowed to use the "R" word with a capital "R" if the economy was really bad. I guess our situation is worse than I thought.

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. confused miami

    Well not reporting to MCain remember the fundamental of our economy are good. I am getting really confused on one hand McCain says he has the expierence and on the other hand he has no experierence regarding the economy and needs to educate himself. Now he is been in politics for solong by now shouldn't he have down at least the basics ? or is that not importent anymore? by the way during the debate last thursday Palin said she would built an american embasy in Jersualem did I hear that right?

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  17. TexicoFrom Mexico

    Yet Shara Palin and John McCOMUNIST want to talk about Obama...thats all they want to do! They do not want to talk about issues..in fact Palin did not give on CLEAR CONCISE answer about what here or her running mate (yes Im giving her top billing as she is carrying this ticket) are going to do! They are obsessed with Obama! Why? Because they are scared and they see the real genuine article! They are in the presence of the next JFK and they have no answer for it! All they can do now is mudsling...but you know what, the American people are sick of it! We have real problems and want REAL ANSWERS! Not someone who was involved with the KEATING 5 savings and loan scandal!

    Veterans for Obama

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  18. cevans, tx

    Dave in Houston,

    WHAT? Exactly what is it you are trying to say? And, exactly how is it that Barack Obama sucks? You appear to be clueless...The very person who has the country's well being and best interest at heart...McCain has voted with Bush 90% of the time and look at the state our country is in...That's what sucks....I wondering when the S&L scandal was going to emerge....It should have when GW Bush was selected....


    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  19. Independent for McCain

    This is obviously the Democrats fault. They have been in control of Congress and look at how they have sat back and done nothing as our economy continues to sink lower and lower. We must elect McCain in order to turn things around. WE MUST!

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. LB

    ....and the funny thing is you idiots still blame the current administration. Clinton was extremely culpable in all this....why do you think he is staying quiet and saying "we can't be blaming anyone?". Obama is not the answer for this nation, not now, not ever. I will scream long and loud if, God forbid, he wins because I and my family are the part of America who will pay for his give-away programs and tax increases. I am also suspicious of the increased Democrat voters registration.....just like Capone and later the Daley-Machine group.....crooked till the end.....how many are fake, duplicate or the registration of deceased voters?

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  21. No - Way

    Wow.........only a depression............Maybe another 4 years of Bush politics from John McCain and Sarah Palin maybe we can REALLY see the bottom drop out of the ecomony. 4 more years is all they are asking for. After all what damage can it do?????????????????

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. Michael

    Wake up America, the economy needs leadership now more than ever.... America needs leadership that will focus on the people that matter most. McCain/Palin don't care about the little guy/gal because they're already wealthy enough to weather this storm. They are desperate and desperate people will do anything in times like these. Barack Obama and Joe Biden are now America's only hope to get the ball rolling again. Think Americans!! THINK THINK THINK!! If you let their personal attacks on Obama help you decide to vote for them, then you are truly lost. Good luck Mr. Obama, good luck America, your task is great indeed!!

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. Kat

    The question I would ask the people who are planning to vote for McCain/Palin is:

    If McCain and Palin are not talking about the issues that affect your lives now, what makes you think they will address them if elected? That's right, it is just more of the same....... please, I urge you to see it for what it is.

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. HillaryIn2012

    Obama isn't going to make a single difference in this. Fortunately, he is going to take all the heat for the next 4 years so he can be dumped by the wayside also.

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. Missouri

    McCain and his partner Bush give Herbert Hoover back his good name!

    Bush/McCain/Palin = FAILURE.

    October 6, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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