May 22nd, 2009
03:48 PM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: 7 out of 10 say things going badly in country

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new national poll suggests Americans are becoming slightly more positive about the condition of the country, but the vast majority still say things in the nation are going badly.

Twenty-eight percent of people questioned in the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Friday think things are going well in the country today, up 12 points from November. Still, more than seven in 10 Americans think things are currently going badly in the country.

"This poll question has a record of being a good political indicator," said CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider. "When the number of Americans who say things are going well is this low, bad things happen to people in power. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter was thrown out of office. In 1992, the same thing happened to the first President Bush. And last year the Republican got wiped out."

The poll also indicates that 42 percent of people questioned think the country's in a serious recession, up 10 points from last October. Another 35 percent said the nation's suffering from a moderate recession and 12 percent labeled it a mild recession. One out of 10 said there's no recession.

Will things get better in time for next year's midterm elections?

Many economists believe the recession will end later this year. But Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned on May 18 that "even as growth starts to turn positive, which will happen, unemployment is going to keep increasing for a while and it's not going to feel better for a long time for millions of Americans."

"The last major recession ended in March 1991," Schneider said. "But unemployment kept going up for more than year. So what happened? In 1992 we got angry voters and a president was thrown out of office."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted May 14-17, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: CNN Polls
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Dwayne

    Hell yes things are going badly. It won't get any better until corporate business and the government "get's their hands out of our pockets."

    ...and the beat goes on. 🙂

    May 22, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. ILoveLiberals

    Diane P...I bet you werent saying anything when McCains daughter was being featured everyday on this site because she was going against the republican grain...youre pathetic, move to chicago and become a crook...hey, our president did it!!!!!

    May 22, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. The Broker.

    How Absurd. Badly is not the Word. Instread of the Cheese, your left with the Curd.

    May 22, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. Independent in Virginia

    To No Incumbents 2010 –

    Anything is better than the last 8 years? Do you realize how well 95% of the country was doing economically until the last 2 years of Bush's term, which ironically, were the 2 years Dems took power in Congress?

    Maybe you're a pacifist and don't like war – that's rational. But to me, I was sitting pretty and was living a good life; could afford things and wasn't worried about my job. Now you can nix all of that.

    May 22, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Pepou

    And who do we thank for this mess ? Bush, Dickie Cheney, Rice and the rest of the gang.

    May 22, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. Willy Brown

    Recall the last presidential election and that will boost the public's confidences

    May 22, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. Marie in Texas

    anyone on here take this poll ? I dont know anyone that did ! I also dont think its all that bad, took 8 years to get this bad, takes TIME to clean it up too..!

    May 22, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  8. Alicia

    The price of gas is a good gauge of how Americans are going to be feeling at the time.

    When gas prices were at an all time high, Americans were outraged and struggling to get food on the table.

    Once gas prices went down, a sense of relief and hope came over everyone.

    Well gas prices are going back up and Americans are not happy about it and if prices reach $4.00 a gallon, then you can almost be guaranteed that the anger Americans feel will be felt nationwide during the 2010 elections if not sooner.

    May 22, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  9. Judy

    The economy is not going to get any better until someone somewhere stands up for what is right. Friends should not ask friends to help hide $15K of income from the IRS. This was the same Republican friend how said horrible things about Obamas presidential run and is now being sued by their bank for unpaid credit card bills. Come on; you either believe in truth, justice and the American Way, or you don't.

    May 22, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Republicans are the American Taliban

    Hey need to change your name to TNN...Taliban News Network....

    May 22, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Simmy

    CNN's director of the Political Ticker has begun to monitor the amount of pro-President and anti-Republican comments.......Any topic aimed at President Obama and the economy lingers for comments, while articles about Cheney and the like are immediately placed in 'permalink' or closed with very few comments.......We have noticed the change and the censoring.......Watch your ratings drop........

    May 22, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. Hammer

    Honest question for an honest answer ----- Are you better off economically than you were Nov.15? Do you feel that the country is more safe than Nov. 15? Don't expect an honest answer in these blogs but at least be honest with your self ,if you can.

    May 22, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
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