CNN Poll: Are you better off than four years ago?
September 13th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
10 years ago

CNN Poll: Are you better off than four years ago?

Washington (CNN) - It was the question that Mitt Romney presidential campaign and Republican Party officials kept asking earlier this month: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?"

After some initial stumbling, the response from President Obama's campaign and other top Democrats was "yes."

So what do you think?

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A new national survey indicates that a plurality of registered voters say they're not better off. But a majority continue to blame former President George W. Bush and Republicans for the country's economic problems.

According to a CNN/ORC International poll (PDF) released Thursday, 37% of registered voters say compared to four years ago, their financial situation is now better, with 44% saying they're now financially worse off, and nearly one in five saying that their situation is the same. Among crucial independent voters, one in three say they're better off, with nearly half saying they're worse off and 17% saying they're in the same financial situation.

As for the country as a whole, nearly seven in ten say that current economic conditions are somewhat poor or very poor, with 32% saying conditions are very or somewhat good. Two-thirds say conditions will be very or somewhat good a year from now, with just over three in ten predicting they will be very or somewhat poor.

"That's a major switch from last year, when six in ten were pessimistic about the economy," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

INTERACTIVE: Are you better off?

As for who gets the blame for the current state of the economy, fingers are still being pointed at the former president.

"Since President Barack Obama's first year in office, a majority of Americans have said that former President Bush's policies were more responsible for current economic problems than Obama's policies were. That figure is at 57% today, with 35% saying the current president and Democrats are mostly to blame for economic problems," adds Holland.

As for which candidate would do a better job handling the economy, according to numbers released earlier this week, likely voters are divided between Obama and Romney, the GOP presidential nominee.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International from September 7-9 (entirely after last week's Democratic National Convention), with 875 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

BY THE NUMBERS: Are you better off?

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: 2012 • Economy • Mitt Romney • Polls • President Obama
soundoff (228 Responses)
  1. Jenben

    How many are worse off?

    September 13, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. durundal

    Lets see, took the time to grab a masters during the recession because of the artificial cheapening of the cost of education and loans, got hired and got a raise- Id say definitely. The government cannot create jobs, however it can ease the transition by offering temporary opportunities as the economy re-configures itself and re organizes more efficiently. Has it been a perfect transition? Absolutely not- but then again, what about any of this has been in the norm? Partisan rhetoric and gamesmanship has served to make our recovery a longer and more painful task than it should have been. Political discourse has been continually regressing until now they interact with the sophistication and vocabulary of middle-schoolers.

    September 13, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  3. Julia

    The recession hit me hard in 2008, but now, in 2012, I am worse off than ever before. I literally have no hope that it's going to get better any time soon, so it doesn't matter who is in the WH. Neither party gives a hoot about us, in my opinion, because neither has skin in the game.

    September 13, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
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