Mood of the nation: Six-year high in optimism, CNN poll shows
April 12th, 2013
09:01 AM ET
10 years ago

Mood of the nation: Six-year high in optimism, CNN poll shows

(CNN) – As the stock market continues to show record highs, the number of Americans who say things are going well in the country has reached 50% for the first time in more than six years, according to a new national survey.

But that doesn’t mean the country is entirely out of the woods yet. The CNN/ORC International poll released Friday indicates that an equal 50% say the country is in bad shape.

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“The number continues an upward pattern since the summer of last year, when only 35% were optimistic about the country’s conditions,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

While Wall Street shows positive growth, last month's unemployment numbers showed hiring slowed sharply in March, with the economy adding only 88,000 jobs, the lowest monthly gain since last June.

The unemployment rate still slipped to 7.6%, according to a Labor Department report released last week, but that's because nearly 500,000 people dropped out of the labor market.

Nevertheless, Americans haven’t been this optimistic since January 2007, when 57% felt the country was in good shape. That quickly fell to 48% by April of that same year. For more of the next four years, the figure hovered in the 20’s and 30’s, and stayed mostly in the 30’s and 40’s last year.

Breaking down the new 50% number further, senior citizens and rural Americans are those least likely to give a thumbs-up to current conditions. Those between 18 and 34 are the most likely to be optimistic, with 60% things are going well.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, from April 5-7, with 1,012 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

- CNN’s Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK: How happy are you? Add your opinion below.

Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Economy
soundoff (428 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    Rob Jones

    Wow, proof positive that half the nation are idiots. CNN proves over and over again that it is totally in the bag for Obama–more than ever under Zucker as it turns out.

    Hey, Rob. I'm going to use your comment to suggest that the whole re-branding thingy the GOP is trying to resurrect and sell to the "idiots" just isn't working to well. Don't feel I've signaled you out for any specific reason other than you don't like President Obama. They are so very many insults on this thread, one simply chooses the first one that comes to mind.

    April 12, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. pat thompson

    We're supposed to trust a CNN poll? Oh, I get it, this poll was taken outside a welfare office.

    April 12, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. naive much

    ship of fools.

    April 12, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Jeff

    1012 people is not enough of a sampling for this type of question. Out of the 1012 people, how many were employed, full-time, part time? Were these the "Young" people that bought homes they could not afford? Far too many varibles.. Just go to the local supermaket and ask folks at the check outs while they are paying for food items that have gone up 10-20% in the last year or 2... Bet the number looks a tad bit different..

    April 12, 2013 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. mike r

    The only thongs I got going for me is the fish finally seem to be bitin. No ones spendin money, I cant, so I go fishin. Dont lie and say the economy is boomin, I havent seen so many unused buildings and closings in my life the only ones living in this fantasy world are the ones who "think their jobs are safe.

    April 12, 2013 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. chuck

    More BAD news for the republicans..they have been counting on a poor mood and poor performance etc so might still have something to blame on Obama...McConnel and company would come right out and say the primary function of congress is to unseat the president in 2012 remember? Well they pulled out all the stops for sure..voter intimidation voter suppression name it ..cheat in any and every way imaginable..and still lost..when will they realize that you cant be on the wrong side of the world on nearly every single issue AND be in just not gonna happen..ever again..count on it.

    April 12, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  7. dollyflopper82

    It's the job of the media to try and put a positive spin on things. Many are foolish enough to believe anything they read.

    However, it's clear to anyone here in the real world that the economy is continuing a slow downward spiral. For those of us that work for a living, we know how the cost of EVERYTHING just keeps going up and how it's becoming harder and harder to try and raise a family and stay ahead. Unemployment is now a chronic problem and the use of temporary workers is hardly the answer to it.

    The youth of this country are in for a big disappointment. It scares me to think of the kind of world MY kids will have to live in when they become old enough to try and make their own way.

    April 12, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  8. Fred Phred

    How shameful it is that a large number of Americans want this country to fail just so they can say "I told you so".

    I hated to see what happened to this country during the Bush administration. But I never once wished it would happen. I hoped that Bush would be a smart president, but it just wasn't so, i hoped his staff would keep the country moving in the right direction, but they didn't.

    And for 8 years people never said a word about the defecit. The same people are now concerned about their kids and their grandchildren. Where was this concern during the 2 wars where the accounting was kept off the books?

    April 12, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  9. john

    who ever they polled must be stupid...

    April 12, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  10. Steve

    Why shouldn't the age group from 18-34 be happy. If you look at the statistics, this age group is the largest population that is out of work and unemployed. Hence, mommy and daddy are paying their way. They party all day and night rent free and no bills to speak of.

    April 12, 2013 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Abaltive Discent

    This is just a George Soros paid propaganda piece to make Obama look better then his real job preformance dictates form empiricle evidence that the Obama campaigh on the destruction of Ameirca is working acording ot Illuminatsti plans .

    April 12, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  12. mk

    It's all in how you look at things. There is so much opportunity in this country. We were poor when we graduated from college, my husband already had two kids, a large college loan bill and we both had $8.00/hr. jobs. Twenty years later, we're both white collar professionals, two more kids, 4 br. house paid off, no debt, newer cars. It wasn't luck, we worked HARD to get here. I was laid off THREE times. You can sit around and mope and stew all you want, but bitter, complaining people never get anywhere. I hope all those young people stay optimistic.

    April 12, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Penny Wright

    Thanks, President Obama.

    April 12, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  14. ricke1949

    Another report showed consumer sentiment fell to a nine-month low in early April amid gloom about the long-term health prospects for the U.S. economy. This was on the Yahoo finance site.
    One site is wrong.

    April 12, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Fred Phred

    And I love it when people on a sinking ship (the GOP) laugh at others and call them a ship of fools.

    Oblivious to their own situation.

    April 12, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. parvo00

    Well at least *something* is at a 6-year high.

    April 12, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Name

    WAKE UP! Our dollar is the "reserve currency" for the world. As such, the U.S. Can print money to pay off debt. Once the dollar stops being the "reserve currency" and we can no longer print money, it's over. The dollar will be worthless... Ask yourselves why is gold so high? Research it for yourselves. Optimistic? I wish I could be...

    April 12, 2013 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  18. Miller

    Meanwhile, C-N-B-C is reporting that consumer sentiment is going down and the stock market opened in the red today.

    April 12, 2013 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. Jeb

    Optimism and the belief in the American dream is what built this country.

    The GOP are selling doom, gloom, and hate.

    Which one do you want?

    April 12, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Kelly

    Do you people know nothing about polling? It's not like they just called a bunch of young people, it's a demographically diverse sample statistic...

    And saying that young people are optimistic while they are ruining our country is laughable...

    April 12, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. mikemc58

    CNN you are so full of BS
    18-34 don't have any money.
    a poll of 1000 people out of a country of 330 million . . . REALLY!
    What BS
    When will you (CNN) factually report that the Unemployment rate is really about 12-15 %

    April 12, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. walter

    Yikes. Even on a libby site like this the comments are stating what most of us think – the poll is garbage.

    April 12, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. Joseph

    As an old guy, I have to say it is funny, how the youth see promise today, while the old old rich republicans see nothing going right. Obviously, the humor is that, like this old guy, it is the rich old republicians that are getting richer with the stock market's results yet....whining all the way to the bank. I am sad to say that my old white generation must be the most selfish generation of all time.

    April 12, 2013 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. your nuts

    April consumer sentiment hits nine-month low

    April 12, 2013 9:59 AM ET.




    NEW YORK (Reuters) – Consumer sentiment tumbled to a nine-month low in April, with Americans especially gloomy about the long-term health of the economy, a survey released on Friday showed.

    The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on the overall index of consumer sentiment fell to 72.3 in April, a level last seen in July, 2012, and below economists' forecasts of 78.5. The index stood at 78.6 last month.

    April 12, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. JD

    Lol a CNN poll, nothing but left of left liberals on this site. Would liberals give false information?

    April 12, 2013 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
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