Pessimism overflowing in new poll
July 25th, 2011
01:39 PM ET
10 years ago

Pessimism overflowing in new poll

(CNN) - While most Americans are feeling a fiscal pinch, a new poll reveals a stunning amount of pessimism over the long-term outlook of the nation's economy.

According to a CNN/ORC poll released Monday, 84 percent of Americans feel the economy is in poor shape. While some expect economic conditions to improve, a majority-59 percent-believes the economy will still be in poor shape one year from now. It's the first time in the 14 years that CNN has asked the question that a majority has been pessimistic about the country's economic future.

Full results after the jump:

"That's a very significant, and very discouraging change in public attitudes toward the economy," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "It's unclear what caused this newfound pessimism. The length of the current economic downturn and concerns over the chances that the debt ceiling will go unresolved are probably contributing factors."

Full results [pdf]

Economic pessimism has hurt the re-election chances of some previous incumbents who presided over tough times. But that's not a guarantee that Obama will lose the general election next November. Despite the fact that Obama has been in the White House for nearly two and a half years, 57% of all Americans say they think that George W. Bush and the Republicans are more responsible than Obama and the Democrats for the country's current economic problems.

But when pollsters removed President Bush's name from the question, blame was spread evenly between the parties, with 38 percent blaming Democrats, 35 percent blaming Republicans and 22 percent blaming politicians on both sides of the aisle.

"That finding suggests that the Democrats need to pin the blame on George W. Bush, not the Republican party in general," says Holland. "Expect to hear Bush's name a lot in campaign ads next year."

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International on July 18-20, with 1,009 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: CNN poll • Economy
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. ConservaFASCISTS/Dutch, Bad Newz, VA

    "It's unclear what caused this newfound pessimism. The length of the current economic downturn and concerns over the chances that the debt ceiling will go unresolved are probably contributing factors."
    This pessimism came once republicans took over control over the House. Our economic outlook will remain looking grim for as long as we keep the fascist republican regime in power. They have not introduced any plans on creating JOBS in the 7 months they've been in power and they have no intention to do so. Their goal is to strictly obstruct and to make President Obama look bad. They're in for a rude awakening if they think people are turning a blind eye to what's going on in Washington.

    July 25, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Artifex

    Watching congressional idiots battle each other like spoiled 4 year olds will do that to you, especially while the greedy a**holes that caused the problem continue to get rewarded with million dollar bonuses for continuing to do the same stuff that ruined the economy. There's also the wealthy lobbyists continuing to control what the government does, pushing to send our middle class manufacturing strength overseas while the top 1% covetously control 90% of the wealth. Sure, that can cause some people to be pessimistic.

    July 25, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Please Use Your Brains

    The MEDIA is fueling American Pessimism. Ever story CNN runs is about the end of the American Dream. You Criticize the president non-stop while not examining the Boehner and Crew who are really the architect of this debt ceiling crisis. And you are 24/7 what Republicans think about the President, Without ever doing the opposite. What do Democrats think about the Tea Party crazies and the Rabid Right Wing, willing to destroy our credit rating to take down a sitting POTUS. CNN you have lost any ounce of credibility you have ever had. And Democrats can stop watching your station also. You are already FOX light.

    July 25, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. Doug

    Let me give you a hint. Pessimism stems from lack of hope and that all flows from the top. We elected a person so naive and unprepared that no one has any faith in him. If he worked hard on anything but re-election plans, golf, vacation and union give aways some of those folks might have hope.

    July 25, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. gt

    last time i ck george bush was not in office...if thats what the democrats are going to run .. good luck.. thats weak.. this country needs direction ... there is no leadership in washington...pathedic...

    July 25, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. John, PA

    84 percent of Americans feel the economy is in poor shape, the remalng 16% represent the unemployment rate.

    July 25, 2011 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  7. a little sad

    Of course everyone is more pessimistic that the economy will be any better next year. The government has become completely disfunctional, thanks to the teab@ggers and their "my way or the highway" attitude.

    They came into office on the promise of jobs and have since shown that they are more interested in regulating private behavior than in the economy.

    They have taken the gamble that the country can limp along until the 2012 election, so that they can blame it on Obama, rather than doing anything that would improve the economy. They see any good that come to America as a threat to their re-election.

    July 25, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Texas Doc

    I thought things were supposed to get better when you hire a bunch of inexperienced windbags (Tea Party) representatives. Goes to show you that GOTea Party runs on the premise that government doesn't work, then gets elected and proves it. Way to go guys you destroyed America. Remind me again how you are different from terrorists?

    July 25, 2011 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Mercker

    Why would anyone (other than the super rich) have a positive outlook for this country. Our leaders are all rich and try to pretend that they can about this country. But clearly they don't or something would have been done by now. Until the American public realizes that the millionaire politicians they keep electing to represent them, don't care about them; nothing will change. 80% of all our politicians running our country are millionaires. Could this be the reason nothing ever changes? These millionaires and billionaires have this country running exactly the way they want it. They then have to come out and pretend that they are trying their hardest to change things. yeah right! But all the Joe The Plumbers in this country lap it up and defend the ones hurting them the most. But it makes the Joe The Plumbers feel good, like they are a pert of the rich mans club. I see no hope

    July 25, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. rob

    I think if asked, the majority of people would prefer George Bush as president right now over Obama. The economy is stagnant, 9.2% unemployment and soaring deficits due mostly to his parties new programs and spending. He is showing a complete lack of leadership during this crisis. He won't put any concreate plan on the table, prefering to speak in vague terms of "Big Deals" while using poll tested class warfare rhetoric against republicans and then standing back while the the liberal media covers for him in polls like this story. He is on the verge of becoming irrelevant in these negotiations, Boehner said it friday: "Since the president won't lead, we will" President Obama was elected to lead the country. He should be held responsible for the condition of our economy 2 1/2 years into his administration. Does anyone with an ounce if fairness think that a republican president wouldn't be faced with an onslaught of bad news coverage and blame in all polls? The Dems and the liberal media are still blaming George Bush alone for everything.

    July 25, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Four and The Door

    According to a CNN/ORC poll released Monday, 84 percent of Americans feel the economy is in poor shape.
    It will get worse before it gets better. It will get better in 15 months when 2010's shellacking is completed. Then businesses will know they have leadership in Washington to help grow the economy instead of sucking the life out of it.

    July 25, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Grizzled

    Pessimism overflowing in new poll... the Mitch McConnell plan is working!

    July 25, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    George W. Bush pulled off the greatest scam in history when he called McCain & Obama in off the campaign trail for his national photo op for the Wall Street bailout knowing full well that wasn't the only economic problem and neither McCain nor Obama needed to be present because they weren't on any finance committee. 2 months later GWB left office and the whole bottom fell out of the economy. THINK ABOUT IT AMERICA, WE CAN'T POSSIBLY BE STUPID ENOUGH TO BELIEVE GEORGE W. BUSH DIDN'T KNOW AND PULLED A FAST ONE 2 MONTHS BEFORE LEAVING OFFICE.

    July 25, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Despite the fact that Obama has been in the White House for nearly two and a half years, 57% of all Americans say they think that George W. Bush and the Republicans are more responsible than Obama and the Democrats for the country's current economic problems.
    Republicans believe that indicates that the American people are not listening or hearing what GOTP politicians are saying. They just don't accept the fact that their ideology is being viewed through new insights. In other words, more and more Americans are waking up to the lies and distortions that Republican politicians push on the American people. And the more Republicans try to push their social agenda on people, the more people are going to push back in 2012.

    July 25, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. sonny chapman

    Lil W. Always made a mess & left it for someone else to clean up after him.

    July 25, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Lucullus

    We are done, stick a fork in us. Between the corruption in the government, the stupidity and gullability or the average American and the belief that we are the bestest, shiniest, country in the world we'll never make the changes necessary to get back on the right track. Just look at Obama and the Democrats. Obama still believes he can work with the Republicans even though they openly admitted they want him to fail. The rest of the Democratic party is filled with hacks and cowards who are terrified at the thought of standing up for the people who put them in office.

    Look at the current crop of Republican Presidential wanna be's. Most of them live in an alternate reality that has no basis in fact. They are all wholly owned subsidiaries of corporate America and their only reasons for existence is to line their pockets and make their corporate owners richer.

    Then there are the American people themselves. the jackboot right keeps telling them that the tax and spend liberals have bankrupted American when it's been the borrow and spend conservatives and these yokels believe it. We've had 40 years or Reagononmics and it's bankrupted us. Daddy Bush was the one who correctly labeled it "voodoo economics" but he was willing to forget that for the second slot on the ticket. If I could emigrate I truly would. I love my country but this isn't the America I grew up in. This is some corporate feudel society and I'm sick of it

    July 25, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. obama victim

    until Barry and his regime are removed...things will go down hill.....guess that "hope and change" just didn't work out

    July 25, 2011 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. terry,va

    Obummie has "transformed the nation" Welcome to welfare and food stamps. Obummie doesn't want jobs. He wants dependant drones to stand around with their hand out.

    July 25, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. Sank

    It's easy to assume. But the real reason is as long as Obama is in the oval Office things will never be better. Think different if you wish but you're wrong. And you can't fix wrong with a moron in place,

    July 25, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  20. Mark L.

    That's what happens when you have a "Demopublican" Congress (i.e. – Republican controlled House + Democratic controlled Senate). It's just as I had predicted after the mid-term elections – Rebuplicans and Democrats CANNOT see eye-to-eye on ANYTHING !! End Result = Nothing gets accomplished !! Just another DO-NOTHING Congress administration !!

    July 25, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. bill

    Still amazes me how quickly the current administration has destroyed this country.

    July 25, 2011 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. solmarie

    I say we should stop pointing fingers as to who's fault it is and start making some sound decisions. Right now we know the economy is bad and with this Debt talk it's gotten worse. My father cannot understand it. He says I have been working since I was 15 waiting for my retirement now they have no money to pay us are you kidding. I think we need to get in new ideas from outside the government loop hole (community Leaders, college student even everyday dad and moms) I know that getting a pole out to what the People who like to see get down would help very much as to the decisions needed to be made.

    July 25, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. Name pierre

    Regardless what the poll said ,president Obama will have to deal with the criticism?

    July 25, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  24. rs

    Whats to feel good about? The minority radicals are holding the economy (ours and the world's apparently) hostage until they have the opportunity to give yet more to the corporate and wealthy classes off of the backs of the elderly, poor and our children.
    Yeah, I find that very uplifting. The Democrats have to start playing hardball and put these kooks in their place.

    July 25, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. conoclast

    "It's unclear what caused this newfound pessimism' - WHAT??! Unclear to whom, fer godsake?!!
    We watched idly as $2 trillion in purchasing power vanished from the economy literally overnight in The Crash of '08; now we're expected to sit passively again as congress blithely bickers-at-the-brink? The "informed electorate" has been in a depressed state for an entire generation and is now finally getting angry; our 'pessimism' has been a long time in coming!!

    July 25, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
1 2