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. Independent

    I am frankly tired of my fellow republicans screaming that Obama wants to turn this country into a socialist entity. And claim that the tax cut he proposes is distribution of weatlh.

    First STOP saying Economy 101 means you give to big companies they create jobs and everyone is happy. That has not worked! Right now we need some advanced economics (258 or something 101 is not going to cut it)

    Second-We have tired the stupid trickle down philosphy and it has not worked! I hate to admit it but republicans seems to be the ones in power when the economy starts to tank.

    Third- Democrats have been screaming about this coming crisis for a long time...I remember many republicans including John McCain and myself saying the economy was not that bad. WELL I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT and my 401K does not like it

    I canot believe that with all this McCain still proposes the same philosophy and now even says that he wants to turn the page on the economy.

    Well Senator McCain allow mw to help you and completely turn the page on your candidacy...I will from now on make sure that I work as hard as I can to get Obama elected. ENOUGH!

    October 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  2. confused miami

    oh I guess somebody who can remember how many homes he owns doesn't have to worry do much about the economy and can still belief that the fundamentals are still good

    October 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. Ex-Republican for Obama

    And this is all due to practices initiated by the Keating Five (John McCain of course).

    Thanks for nothing McCain. With Politicians like McCain, who needs terrorists?

    Obama/Biden '08: Because we need to send McCain to prison for his treason!!

    October 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  4. Barack

    Barack will make it worse. Don't worry, he'll give you all a warm fuzzy speech on racism and then tell you to call him if you need him...

    Have you all put on your Nikes and are now eagerly awaiting the mother ship?

    October 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  5. Rodger

    Thanks to the GOP...Bush, Gramm, McCain and the deregulation they wanted...they got it! Put the Wall St. crooks in jail and take away ALL their money!

    October 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Republican Have Ruined the Economy

    You can all thank the Republican party for their trickle-down economics, which John McCain wants to continue. The failed policies of the Republican party would not only lead American into depression, but oblivion as an economic giant. Let's hear it for the boys (those Republican fat cats, with 7 homes and 13 cars), way to go. I hope you all have nightmares when you sleep.

    October 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. McHoover Would Destroy What's Left of America

    Republicans think Sarah can WINK us out of it

    October 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. Adam Habib Dallas, TX

    When the country is in it's worst economic crisis, Mr McCain and his gang of phonies are trying to divert attention from economy. Palin is not a joke but it is a mockery of American democratic system.

    October 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Rex

    We Americans need to question McCain Character and integrity about Keatin 5.

    October 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Baze

    The only depression is a vote for McCain

    October 6, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. big ed

    Naturally Kristol didn't mention that Obama wasn't present for the incendiary sermons by Wright, nor did he ask Palin why she didn't have the character to get up and walk out during this sermon by Thomas Muthee:

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. Lifelong Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    Palin's talking about Rev. Wright. McCain's talking about a year old, out-of-context quote from Obama about Afghanistan. Both Obama and Biden are talking about real economic problems and ways to fix the problems.

    I am angry at how Republicans are allowing McCain and Palin to ruin the brand further, and how Republicans are demonstrating each day they neither care about this great nation of ours, but have absolutely no interest in sustaining it for future generations. The extremist right-wing conservative branch of the Republican Party will be the death of America-a nation that I love dearly and that cannot be allowed to fall under the rule of old incompentent man and his idiot pitbull in heels.

    This is very serious, people...

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. KJ

    All of the uncertainty surrounding the economy is really frightening. It's even more so when the GOP candidates refuse to actually address any of the issues and spend more time smearing the other side. I am a "swing voter" in a "swing" state, and there is no question in my mind that a democratic administration is needed at this time.

    Moreover, I notice all of the smears that are being reported by CNN against Mr. Obama. Why not cover some of the lesser-reported McCain and Palin scandals? For McCain, the Keaton 5, for instance. For Ms. Palin, the list is many – failing to report taxable income (her per diems for night spent at home), her religious views and how they would shape her work in the White House (Obama was skewered on this, but the media seems gun-shy of Ms. Palin's pentecostal roots), her ethical shortfalls (Troopergate), and Mr. Palin's apparent ties to a secessionist movement (recall, Mrs. Obama was slammed for allegedly unpatriotic comments).

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  14. Paul Robinson

    I'm sure that we won't be in a depression or, indeed, a recession so long as the statistics tell us that there isn't one.

    However, this is the first time I have been in real fear of my future. And my fear is especially magnified at the thought of a McCain/Palin administration.

    The economy and McCain's ideas on Health Insurance are truly frightening.

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. Beverly Williams

    I don't know about a depression, but we ARE headed for a long-term recession. The $700 billion dollar give-away will not stem the tide and was the stupidest thing I've seen the US Congress do in some time. It won't matter who is president . . . Congress makes laws that make NO sense and the rest of us have to pay for it. There is no justice . . . Just Us.

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. Susie in Oregon

    Sarah Palin appeals to uneducated people who can't think beyond the moment.

    I can't stand to watch her. I have been watching alot of other programming lately not related to politics. Even the shopping channels are a relief!

    Obama Supporters: Just be sure to vote. Here in Oregon we will be getting our mail-in ballots in a week or so. So the debates will be a moot point for many of us.

    I have seen enough debates for a lifetime.

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. ANGIE

    WHO CARES ABOUT THE ECONOMY WHO CARES ABOUT THEIR 401KS the fundamentals of the economy are strong, no need to talk about this stuff its not important but doggone gollygee i will tell you what is WRIGHT AYERS now dogone it you betcha by talking about them we will save this economy save jobs now lets get back to the real issuses the people that obama pal around with. now thats whats important WINK WINK BLOWING KISSES!

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. AEK

    On the odd chance that the dolts that George W, Dick, Karl and the "boys" have running as their replacements will understand this any more than anything else that's going on in our country, I'll attempt to dumb this down to a level that my old third graders could even understand...IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID!

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  19. Confident in who I'm voting for, Seattle, WA

    If people elect the so called "Maverick" and his dummy in then we all will be dirt poor!

    Make the right decision people based on who really cares about people and not by the color of his/her skin.

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |

    I'M moving if Palin gets elected.

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  21. ET

    I though we were there already. why can't the gov. do something about the rich ceo's that get rid of the out of mind severance pay and bonus's. It sounds like an organized gov. run mofia, except they do not go th jail, and thats where they belong, with their congress buddys.
    This country is turning into a communist country for the rich and poor, with nothing in between. Its getting worse ererday, with no end in sight,all it boiles down to is GREED-GREED-GREED-GREED

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Chad

    What we are not hearing from Democrats and Republicans is that most Americans are dumb. If you took on a variable mortgage rate, and did not secure a fixed rate during the housing boom a few years back, then you are stupid. If you bought a house you could not afford, you are at fault. If you dont save your money and live beyond your means you are dumb. It is not the American way to over extend your means. Do you buy thinigs from shady people when they approach you in any major city? The majority of American are stupid and htose of us who are responsible with our money are paying for it. Obama is a liberal who will tax us and probably allow another terrorist attack from lack of acion. McCain wil lat least keep up safe from jihad.

    October 6, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. irony

    $10 billion a month in Iraq X seven years or more of wars = Greatest Depression Ever!

    October 6, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Days from becoming the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, Lehman Brothers steered millions to departing executives even while pleading for a federal rescue, Congress was told Monday.

    George H. Walker, President Bush's cousin and a Lehman executive who oversaw some Neuberger Berman employees, as responding with a dismissive tone to the idea of going without bonuses.


    October 6, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  25. New Day

    Why are we talking about economy and checkbook topics when we haven't finished the "Keating 5 – William Ayres" reality tv show?

    C'mon America, stick to what really matters!!! Who cares if we go to hell in a hand basket as long as we are entertained on the way down?

    October 6, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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