December 9th, 2010
09:55 AM ET
12 years ago

Poll: 51 percent say they're worse off now than 2 years ago

Washington (CNN) - A new survey suggests that just over half of Americans say they're worse off now than they were two years ago.

And a Bloomberg National Poll released Thursday also indicates that two-thirds of the public thinks the country's headed on the wrong track, slightly higher than in other recent surveys by other organizations.

According to the Bloomberg poll, 51 percent of the public says they're worse off now than they were two years ago, with 35 saying that they are better off now that when President Barack Obama took office. Fourteen percent, meanwhile, are not sure.

Only a quarter of Republicans questioned in the survey saying they're better off now than they were two years ago, with that number rising to 34 percent for independent voters and 44 percent for Democrats.

The question of whether you are better off now was popularized by Ronald Reagan, in his challenge to President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election.

Sixty-seven of people questioned in the poll say the nation's headed on the wrong track, with 27 percent saying the country's headed in the right direction. The Bloomberg poll indicates Democrats split over whether the country's headed in the right direction or wrong track, with two-thirds of independents and 85 percent of Republicans saying the country's on the wrong track. Sixty-eight percent of women and 63 percent of men say the country's on the wrong track.

The Bloomberg National Poll was conducted December 4-7, with 1,000 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

–Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn

Filed under: Polls
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. Emile Zola

    I want a second opinion. How can Obama be worse, when Bush caused a second great depression. Obama is another Bush, but worse than Bush, I don't think so. Avis is always second and in this case, Obama will be a perennial second to Bush, the worst of the worst. When an arsonist-Bush-starts a fire, you place the blame for the fire on the fire department for not extinguishing the fire faster than people would like. It's only when the fire gets extinguished that you can start to blame the fire department, but not one minute sooner. Of course, who can believe the public? If people vote for the same bunch of losers and then expect miracles, isn't that the public's fault? If people wanted to fix our laws, bring the Constitution back, then people should look to the Mike Gravels, the Dennis Kucinichs, the Bernie Sanders, Michael Moore and even Cindy Sheehan would do, I'm 1,000% sure than Obama or Bush, but as Phil Graham put it:"We are a nation of whiners" and love to whine more than we want to actually fix our enourmous problems: Moral and economical.

    December 9, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. Lolo

    Thanks to the Republicans.

    December 9, 2010 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Orlando Patriot

    So how is that whole "Hopey-Changey" thing working out for you now?

    December 9, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  4. Rsprings

    I'm not worse off. I just have not made any progress. Hmmmm maybe hat makes me worse off.

    December 9, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. Patrick Lewis

    The hangover is always worse than the party, and GWB and the GOP threw a hell of a shindig since 2000. It takes longer than two years to get over the greatest disruption in the global economy since the great depression. Unfortunately most Americans are too stupid and short sighted to understand and appreciate that fact. It would have been so much worse under McCain, he of the Keeting 5 scandal.

    December 9, 2010 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. lcasey

    When I read polls like this, I have to pause and wonder.
    I wonder why is it that every time I turn on the TV to watch a baseball, football, or basketball game, the stadiums and arenas are full. Now a baseball ticket is a bit cheaper than a football ticket and I admit, I don't know what a basketball ticket costs.............but these are hundreds of thousands of folks that are paying big $$$'s.
    Guess the 67 questioned for this poll aren't sports fans.

    December 9, 2010 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. once upon a horse

    meanwhile 2 years ago Sarah Palin wasn't a millionaire and the upper 2% of the nation was reaping even more profits with their tax cuts and NOT creating new jobs. Yet Americans want to follow folks like herand defend the GOP siniking millions upon millions of dollars into ads to help them regain the House. If that 51% that was polled voted Republican and think it's gonna get better soon..........

    December 9, 2010 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  8. John Boehner is the dumbest person to become speaker

    I wonder how the 75% who are worse off than they were 4 years ago responded. Those on social security and medicare have not been affected as much as those who are out of work, and the wealthiest seem to be doing well.

    December 9, 2010 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Linda

    W orse off? I'm wondering who are these losers and whiners they're polling that are still complaining? People the economy is getting better.

    December 9, 2010 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. jules sand-perkins

    Good that they say it, because that's the truth.
    It's not that "our first intelligent president's" policies take "a little time to work."
    It's that Obama's policies will never work.

    December 9, 2010 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Vic

    This poll is misleading. The article should read 51% say they're worse off now than 10 years ago.

    December 9, 2010 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  12. Tom from Canonsburg

    I have seen this statement many times, but I will say it here. If it takes a moron 8 years to screw up a surplus, how you people possibly believe that our government can get this fixed in 2 years or even 4. When Reagan took our deficit to 4 trillion for the star wars projects, it took Clinton 6 years to get us back in the black. Americans have short term memory issues. We are so spoiled to having things right now, that we forget what occurred to get us there. Obama and his team did stabilize the economy. STABILIZE. I would venture to bet that if the deregulation that Reagan accomplished followed by the W that it is entirely possible that the drop in our econmy would not have occurred.

    December 9, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. DIANA

    WHAT?! Republicans say they're worse off than they were before? How shocking!

    If that's true maybe they should look into thier own party for answers. The only thing they seemed to say was "No' to everything except if it helped their rich friends. Now that we have more in office they'll really know what it feels like to be worse off. In the meantime, the rest of us will enjoy our lower taxes under Obama, ( I don't mean athe Bush era tax cuts), being able to see a doctor without fear of being rejected for pre-existing conditions, ect., ect.

    December 9, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
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