September 3rd, 2009
10:00 AM ET
13 years ago

CNN Poll: Americans say country still in recession

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Nearly nine in ten Americans say the country's still in a recession, according to a new national poll."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Nearly nine in ten Americans say the country's still in a recession, according to a new national poll.

Eighty-seven percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Thursday morning say the nation's in a serious, moderate or mild recession, and nearly seven in ten say things are going badly in the country today.

"Economists may be speculating that the recession is over, but don't tell that to the American public," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "The good news - if you can call it good news - is that the number who say things are going badly has been dropping steadily since last fall - from an all time high of 83 percent in November to 77 percent in April and 69 percent now."

The survey also suggests another positive sign: The number of Americans who say the country's in a serious recession has also dropped a bit, from 42 percent in May to 36 percent. And while the economy's still the top issue on the mind of Americans, the poll indicates its dropping in importance. Forty-one percent of those questioned say the economy's the most important issue, down ten points from June and a drop of 22 points from March.

The Republicans still get more blame than Democrats for the country's economic problems, but that figure's down from 53 percent in May to 41 percent now. Twenty-seven percent say the Democrats are more responsible for the economy, up six points from May.

According to the poll, 52 percent support President Barack Obama's economic plan, down from 65 percent in March. Fifty-five percent think the "Cash for Clunkers" program was a success, but less than four in ten say Obama's economic program has improved the economic conditions so far.

"Liberals and moderates tend to think that Obama's program has helped the economy," says Holland. "But most conservatives think it has made economic conditions worse."

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted August 28-31, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Read: The full poll results

Filed under: CNN poll • Economy
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Randolph Carter

    Jobs, baby, jobs. Until the jobs come back, we're truly screwed. And I ain't talking about some minimum wage Wal-Mart or TGI Fridays gig. Although, at least jobs like that can't be outsourced by ruthless capitalist profit chasers. Have a nice day!

    September 3, 2009 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  2. Dan, TX

    Where are the journalists who will gather all the facts, analyze the facts with intelligence and common sense, and then tell people they are liars or illogical when they distort the facts, use only a subset of the facts in their arguments, or misinterpret the facts.

    Where are the real journalists and newspeople? I can't find any on television or on the internet.

    September 3, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  3. Chris D.

    The efforts of Bush (TARP), and the stimulus of Obama, as well as his economic team, are bringing the economy back.........The negativity out there is awful.....We need way more optimism. We also need real facts.....Read the encyclopedia, listen to PBS, BBC, CNN is decent, but FOX and MSNBC should be viewed after getting solid facts, and then w/ a grain of salt........
    I for one will give the President, and his admin. full credit once the economy is really recovered......I give that another year for unemployment numbers to drop, and two years for GDP to consistently grow.

    September 3, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    If you really want to get growth going, we need healthcare reform with a public option. If we could offer any compromise, it should be this: tax-paying citizens who work at least 25-30 hours a week qualify for insurance. There are a lot of folks working part time jobs because employers don't offer health to that group. Let's offer insurance to the working poor in this country and that would be a benefit for the workers as well as businesses in this country.

    September 3, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. Annie

    Yes, we're still in a recession.

    Yes, the recession is easing up a bit.

    Yes, we may very well be on the uphill swing of the recession.

    No, it's not going away overnight. It takes years to undo the damage done by 8 years of economic stupidity.

    Yes, it's more the Republicans fault that we're in this mess because we had 8 years of utter incompetence in the White House that did nothing to curb the coming recession.

    Yes, the recession could be gone by this time next year.

    Yes, the recession could turn into a depression by this time next year.

    Yes, the economy is a crap shoot. It's a living thing that you can't always predict.

    September 3, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. jp,michigan

    What planet does the President and Tim Gietner live on? Apparently not on the same, as the rest of the American people. Ask the unemployeed that ran out of benefits.

    September 3, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  7. Sniffit

    We probably are, but I guarantee you that measuring whether we are or are not in a recession by tapping into the ubiquitous overall ignorance of the American public is not the way to prove it.

    September 3, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  8. RealityKing

    "Liberals and moderates" ?

    And just how does CNN's progressive poll director define a moderate??

    September 3, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. NJ

    "Twenty-seven percent say Democrats are more to blame." AAAHHH yes the good ole 28 percenters still live. These are same folks that have folks you've seen screeming and shouting and holding those rediculous signs at the town hall meetings.

    Here's a few other things they believe:

    – John Kerry lied about his war record
    – Sadam had WMD and the war was justified
    – Predient Obama was not born in the U.S.
    – The healthcare proposal has death panels

    Remember folks...nothing has changed. There are still 28%.

    September 3, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  10. gg

    as long as jobs keep going to mexico and china we will always be in a reccesion

    September 3, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I don't think we are in a recession anymore. We prevented the sky from falling on top of our heads. This is the beginning of a slow recovery.

    September 3, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. gg

    as long as jobs keep going to mexico and china we will always be in a reccesion reaganomics is like acloud hangging over america try to buy america in wal mart

    September 3, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. TCM

    yeah...but Obama's going to create millions of government jobs! He'll save us...right after he tells us how to raise our kids, what light bulbs to install...what car to drive....what doctor we can see...when we should give up and die......hahaha....hell yes we're still in a recession; the only spenders you'll see are the welfare entitlement recipients at addition, jobs are still going away...!!

    But, wait, with the introduction of Cap-n-Tax, the Healthcare bill, and having to pay for the stimulus pkg...we'll all be able to enjoy the recession much more knowing that we're about to get hit with the largest tax increases in history! Good job Obama! That's change alright!

    September 3, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  14. Randolph Carter, chairman of the death panel

    Most Americans only believe what their TV tells them to believe. Isn't that right, consumerbots? Have a nice day!

    September 3, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. Dale in Ohio

    Things will stay this way and then get worse. The administration is doing nothing to HOLD JOBS we have, let alone generate new ones.
    Where's the proposal to pentalize company's for taking jobs offshore?
    Whirlpool closing plant 1100 jobs to Mexico, Honeywell closing plant in Ill. jobs to Mexico. Let's stop this BS. time to make it un profitable for US companies to do this. Instead we want to work on Health care, something 85 % are ok with. Treat health insurance like utilities and restrict these high rate increases.

    September 3, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  16. dc but not from DC

    With so many people out of work, I am surprised there would be any speculation of the recession having ended. I guess if one has a job, it is perceived as not so bad of a recession.

    September 3, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Mississippi Mike

    Yeah when you are unemployed, deep in debt and owe more money on your mortgage than your house is worth, people are not optimistic about the economy. A recession is two or more quarters of negative ecomonic growth and it only takes one good quarter to pull out of a recession by the textbook term. To the lay person, the fact that the economy has shrunk and is nowhere close to growing back to it's old peak leads them to believe that we are still in a recession.

    Remember, it's not the facts that matter, it's what people believe that matters.

    September 3, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. Minnesotan and Proud of It

    We are coming out of it. I can't imagine where we'd be if John McCain had won. Instead of digging out of a recession, we'd be in a deep depression. Not only the country, but I would be in a depression thinking of four more years of republicans in the white house.

    September 3, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Four and The Door

    According to the poll, 52 percent support President Barack Obama's economic plan, down from 65 percent in March.
    I bet 52% of Americans would also say Chrysler and GM never went bankrupt and that the $50 billion the government spent on them saved jobs.

    September 3, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. L.B.

    Inflation is the beast ! 99 cent Stores now have less in containers for the same price. This is being done all over the country with billions of products.Tell me why gas is so high. The disruption in Nigeria has been taken care of for a month now. Why so high.It was $2.71 and then over night it becomes $2.89 and higher. Open the RESERVE.!

    September 3, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. bj,texas

    The country is still in a recession? Heck, just look at the clown that's running it - into the ground.

    September 3, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. smokey

    What do you mean Rep still get MORE BLAME..From where i stand they deserve ALL BLAME..How can anyone blame Pres Obama for any of the mess this country is in not only domestically bur foreign, because he has only been in office for 7 months ???? The state this country is in the direct result of the last 8 years of Bush-Cheney...It took them 8 years to screw everything thing up, and yet people expect Pres Obama to come in and change things overnight..Sorry thats not the way thing work, and it is going to take Pres Obama his whole full 8 years and them some to get us out of the mess they put us in.. So lets put the blame where is belongs..Squarely on the Republicans !!!!!

    September 3, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. Obama Victim

    well of course we are....and we will be until 2010 when the Dems are tossed and the people can have confidence again

    September 3, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Scott L

    Gee, ya think?

    September 3, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    Not only that we are deep in recession, but our Congress has little intention in saving our economy from special interests. These special interests are a major cause of today's disparity between the rich few and poor many. These betraying Congressional members need special interest's campaign donations to stay in power. We need to vote out those Congressional members who represent corporations' interest, not yours.

    Anybody that is worried about private insurers' competitiveness rather than their constituents' well-being has no place in Congress. They belong to the lobbying industry, instead.

    In this fiscal conservative's view, only the Public Plan can greatly save our suffering economy. If the public option is not passed, cash in your stocks over all spectrum. The worst has yet to come.

    September 3, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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