November 1st, 2010
05:00 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: Americans gloomy about economy, state of the U.S.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The number of Americans who say things are going badly in the country, at 75 percent, is higher than it has been on the eve of any midterm election since the question was first asked in the mid-1970s, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates that the economy remains, by far, the top issue on the minds of Americans. Fifty-two percent of people questioned say the economy's the most important
issue facing the country.

Full results (pdf)

"That's more than the deficit, education, health care, terrorism, energy, illegal immigration and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "No other issue was named as the country's top problem by more than eight percent."

The economy has been the issue most on the mind of Americans in CNN polling since the end of 2007.

The top concern remains unemployment, with 58 percent saying it's the most important economic issue facing the country today, followed by the deficit at 20 percent, and taxes and mortgages tied at eight percent each.

Just one in four polled Americans say things are going well in the country today, with three-quarters saying things are going poorly.

"Even in 1994, when the Republicans last took control, and in 2006, when control flipped back to the Democrats, roughly half the public was satisfied with the state of the nation," adds Holland. "Only 25 percent say that things are going well in the country today, and voters appear poised to take it out on the Democrats on Tuesday."

Despite the current gloom, 55 percent say that things will be going well in the country a year from now, and 78 percent believe that things are going well in their own personal lives.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted October 27-30, with 1,006 adult Americans - including 921 registered voters and 542 likely voters - questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story

Filed under: 2010 • CNN poll • issues • Polls
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    This is ground breaking information.

    November 1, 2010 05:06 am at 5:06 am |
  2. jules sand-perkins

    Of course, it's the economy–it always is.
    What really matters to you: getting your way about somebody else's right to an abortion, or your wallet? Tell the truth, now.
    Money or a stem cell?
    How much does it matter to you where gays deposit their precious bodily fluids?
    BUT, at the foundation of the money issue, it's all about Obama.
    Obama and "spreading the wealth around."
    YOUR wealth, and giving it to presidential voters who refuse to work for a living.

    November 1, 2010 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  3. frag

    Isn't it ironic that the richest nation in the world is more concerned about the economy than anything else. Can I rewrite an old American saying? As the wallet goes, so goes the nation. America has forgotten its roots, and it has nothing to do with the Constitution, it's all about the money. America fought a Civil War because the majority of its citizens thought slavery was immoral, not because of the money. Now we fight over health care. Why? Some of us do not want to do what is morally right, to take care of our sick. They do not want to pay for it. All the Republican arguments against health care were based on money, money, money. Mr. Beck and his followers could easily restore honor to this nation. All they have to do is fulfill their moral responsibility to insure adequate medical care for their own sick countrymen.

    November 1, 2010 05:23 am at 5:23 am |
  4. Four and The Door

    Things will certainly improve. Starting in 2 days. Obama will have a tough time ignoring what Americans are saying on Tuesday, but hopefully he will be smart enough to figure out why.

    November 1, 2010 05:31 am at 5:31 am |
  5. keepstuffingthis

    No hope. No change. Just lies, corruption, incompetence, ineptness, bullying and unions.

    November 1, 2010 06:59 am at 6:59 am |
  6. rdepontb

    "Things going badly"-thanks in large part to CNN's over-amplification of the fringe groups' activities. Why would you do in the national mood this way? Why the inordinate proportion of coverage to the weird ones, those so out of step with Amrerica as to make them noticeable? What is wrong with CNN these days?

    November 1, 2010 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  7. jules sand-perkins

    The 75% who think things are going badly in our country may not realize that it is not the government's fault.
    Not Obama's fault.
    Not Bush's 8-year fault.
    It is our fault. We have accepted brainwashing by socialists and advocates for "the workers"–who don't work much–since the early 20th century, and we have developed a mentality of dependency on the government for survival and for leadership in thinking.
    By accepting the blame and responsibility for ourselves, we could empower ourselves to restore America to its lost glory.
    We as a people would have to rethink this whole problem.
    Each citizen would have to think out what he can do to help himself.

    November 1, 2010 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  8. William Jefferson

    If the polls going into this election are even partly correct we will have a whole lot more to be gloomy about by next summer when we are standing in bread lines and hoping that the hyper-rich will give out some change.

    November 1, 2010 07:45 am at 7:45 am |