CNN Poll: Shift on describing economy doesn't help president's numbers
January 16th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
11 years ago

CNN Poll: Shift on describing economy doesn't help president's numbers

Washington (CNN) - The number of Americans who say economic conditions in the country are "very poor" has dropped dramatically, according to a new national survey.

But according to a CNN/ORC International poll released Monday, most of those people switched from describing the economy as "very poor" to "somewhat poor." The survey also indicates there's been little change in President Barack Obama's approval rating.

See full results (pdf)

Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate hosted by John King and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the South Carolina primary, go to and on the CNN apps for iPhone, iPad, Android or other phones.

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

Thirty-eight percent of people questioned say the economy is in "very poor" shape, down 13 points from November. But the number of Americans who describe the economy as "somewhat poor" has risen eight points, from 34% in November to 42% now. As a result, eight in ten continue to say the economy's in poor shape. According to the survey, just 18% rate the economy as "good."

"The change was most dramatic in the suburbs, where most elections are won or lost,'" says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "In November, 63% of suburbanites said the economy was very poor. Now that number has dropped 23 points."

According to the survey, 47% now approve of how Obama is handling his job, essentially unchanged since mid-December, when it was 49%. Fifty-one percent disapprove, up three points from last month.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from January 11-12, with 1,021 adult Americans, including 928 registered voters, conducted by telephone on January 11-12, 2012. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Also see:

Paul scores sought after endorsement in South Carolina

DeMint: I will not endorse

Romney nabs Florida endorsement

FIRST ON CNN: Huntsman to drop out

Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Economy • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (114 Responses)
  1. Iamnotfooled

    Polls---does anyone believe them? Really a thousand people? President Obama will win by a landslide. The Repubs have nothing and their vote is too divided.

    January 16, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  2. seriously???

    As if a President has anything to do with the economy... I know, someone has to be the scapegoat, but it's one of the most absurd ideas we apply to an elected official.

    January 16, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. Mars Attacks

    Polls in January regarding an election in November are worthless. Utterly meaningless.

    January 16, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  4. jimmie b.

    And with the GOP front runner as good as selected, the media begins to create controversy.

    January 16, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. Larry L

    @AFSOC 1st Sgt

    "I think about 40% of Americans woud vote for Obama even if grew horns, turned red, and sprouted a pointed tail. Another 40% would vote against him if he walked on water and unemployment was zero. The election, therefore, will be decided by the 20% who put party affiliation, religion, race, etc. aside, turn off Fox and MSNBC, and actually use their brains, learn the issues, study the candidates ideas, and think."
    Very wise comment!

    January 16, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Evan

    I know the media wont's to push this narrative but the fact is that THE PRESIDENT DOES NOT CONTROL THE ECONOMY!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 16, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |

    It's Bush's fault – right BHO?

    January 16, 2012 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  8. Madero

    Obama is the most dangerous President in history. 4 more years of his antics is extremely scary b/c he won't worry about getting re-elected.

    January 16, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. fretlessbass

    Just because economists find ways to spin numbers doesn't mean that the economy is in good shape. It is in the same state of disrepair that it has been in since 2007.

    January 16, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  10. amber

    Poor little man. He is so far in over his head, which is turning grayer with each passing day.

    January 16, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  11. Rachel Madcow

    This is not good he should be ahead by 30 points. Normally most presidents are. The left will go real looney now.

    January 16, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  12. Mike

    Did you think the housing prices before the economic mess were going to last? It was outrageously getting out of hand as was the who financial picture that no one heeded the warning signs!

    The economic mess was caused by GREED and we are all paying for it for now and many years to come!

    January 16, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  13. Byron

    The simple majority of Americans are gonna vote for the "other" candidate unless things get better. They won't think about "what ifs", like what if the "other" candidate makes things worse. They'll just vote.

    January 16, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. Frank from Gilroy

    People cannot be so stupid to believe it woundn't have been catostrophic to have had McCain/Palin trying to fix W's mess. GOP solution is to do exactly again what got us into this situation in the first place. If you are voting GOP and you are not in the top 2% you are either stupid or a racist!

    January 16, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
1 2 3 4 5