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.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

“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)

    UTTERLY REDICULIOUS; those numbers are based on "new unemployment applications" this was started back in the 60's for the Demarcates to show good numbers. show the number of working age people minus the actual income producing employed people. and the unemployed rate is more like 20 some percent.

    a duck is a duck. America is gone. the prez with his supporters that control the media are dissolving our basic rights assured to us by the constitution. HELLO people in your house what happens when you spend more then you make. chaos right!!!!.
    WHEN!!!!! there is a financial collapse and the resources prices escalate 1000% (food, fuel etc) and the handouts stop because of [insert latest Dem/gov excuse] there WILL be riots along with the worst parts of the bible, then martial law.
    martial law= dictator, also; dissolve constitution, dissolve congress, DHC raids and people being put in "Family camps" (aka concentration camps) ALL resources (food, transportation, etc ) then belong to the king
    America was formed as a republic to insure equal rights for all.

    P.S. 1000 times more babies are killed by abortion then by all other forms of death COMBINED, including guns

    if you did your due diligence you would see what’s happening.

    April 12, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  2. Carmine Barone

    Also, young people may be getting jobs, but at what expense? You lay off a seasoned worker who has earned his salary with hard work and hire a fresh kid out of school for a fraction of the cost. Unemployment isn't affected – one fire=one hire. Thats Obama – metrics.

    April 12, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Tony

    @ the fake tony
    It seem to me that fox news, and all the ignant right wing radio shows is your only source of information loud and clear THANK YOU MR PRESIDENT.

    April 12, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. Michael

    These are lies. First of all not many corps are hiring because they, too are cautious. Alot of the people that were out of work are accepting less paid jobs and maybe even minimum wage jobs. Thats not progress. Corps say they hire you and they act like it and when it suites them and you fulfill their needs where they were lacking they let you go .
    The more money you make on your paycheck now , if you have not noticed already , you are taking less money home now cause they are taking more money out cause Gov raised the payroll tax.
    Nothing has changed its a false positive , gas cost more , food costs more and how does a family of four make ends meet? They dont and they cant.

    If this is progress then someone better take a closer look. It stinks

    April 12, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. liberal disease

    what about the Deficit, food stamps, high unemployment, gas prices, foreclosures,Obama care,North Korea, Middle east,gun violence ??????

    April 12, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Hewston

    CNN – this country is headed to total economic ruin – obviously you cannot fool people – lok at these posts. You've been cheerleading for this progressive agenda, protecting the president and deceiving Americans – I just hope when the suffering really gets bad you (CNN) are held accountable for your disgraceful, disgusting propaganda.

    April 12, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. Jack

    Must have polled democrats only. They are living in denial.

    April 12, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. jack

    Is this article from an episode of Candid Camera?

    April 12, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. MIke S

    CNN has gone to new lows in creating the image that the country is doing well under Obama.
    Let's see, we've had a series of bad economic numbers, from jobs to today's low retail sales and mortgage applications.
    So what's CNN to do to perpetuate the false image? Create a poll with dubious numbers to minimize the impact of the the real economic numbers.

    April 12, 2013 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  10. Diane

    I was on vacation in Feb. the planes were full, the area I went to,,,Sarasota, Fla/st Armand's Circle was PACKED!!!!! All the restaurants were full every night, I stood behind a women buying more than $2,000 worth of clothing and that same store was full of shoppers (small business!!!) ............,,.SOMEBODY IS HAPPY.

    April 12, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  11. bspurloc

    wah wah benghazi. how dare u try to change the subject off benghazi do u realize 2 or 3 people or maybe 4 died there???! wah wah benghazi.... 4 > 5000 dead 50,0000 injured from shock and awe wah wah benghazi
    where is the poll to see how many think we should start paying for shock and awe

    April 12, 2013 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  12. twotonemalone

    Is this a joke? I think people are too smart to believe is this BS.

    April 12, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. Texas Boy

    I've lived on my own since 17 and now I'm 27. Not once have I had a problem finding or keeping a job, let alone make more and more money every year! I wake up in the morning and I smell money, then I go out there and get it! People who don't know how to do that are excuse makers and rather play the blame game than go out there and make it happen...

    April 12, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  14. Mark


    COMPLETE LIES....the market will be back at 6500 again soon....just like the last bubble illusion

    The problem is I do not trust you, but I do trust my Bloomberg and Obama – like most administrations – is only a secondary and distant concern. But then again I am not blinded by hate either in fact I am moreorless indifferent to him – he was not the greatest of presidents but nor do I see him as bad either. Sorry we'll likely never agree.

    April 12, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. twotonemalone

    This is just red diaper baby propagnda.

    April 12, 2013 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. Ed

    I'm optimistic that CNN is serving their agenda and that nothing is better for economics or liberty. Wall street is simply able to so what they do because they keep their employee numbers low, their wages stagnant, and benefits non existent. Principles and ethics in business are non existant as is true in the media.

    April 12, 2013 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  17. rosethornne

    Things certainly are not all hugs and puppies, but things are not getting worse.
    The economy and job market are slowly inching up out of the ditch.
    Now if we could just get the Republicans to quit cutting the winch cable....

    April 12, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. iconoclast1

    77% of Republicans in the poll said things were going very badly or pretty badly. Not only is the country being dragged down by the GOP's obstruction in D.C., but their brainwashing of the GOP faithful is creating a drag too. The economy is built on confidence, so when a third of the electorate has been hoodwinked by right-wing propaganda to ignore the fact that Americans have now regained all of the $16 trillion in wealth they lost in the Great Recession, that the housing sector is rebounding, that deficits are declining and that more than 6.4 million private sector jobs have been created since the jobs recovery began, then the economic recovery will obviously be less vigorous than it would otherwise be.

    April 12, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  19. john the electrician

    It makes the haters physically sick to know that people are happy. The only news they belive is doom and gloom.

    April 12, 2013 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  20. Ted

    All MSN is only for the Low Information Voters.

    April 12, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  21. MattyB

    Right wing meltdown imminent!

    April 12, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. Dan G

    Amazing how the standards have been lowered during the Obama Administration.

    April 12, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. MattyB

    Right wing meltdown imminent! Take cover!

    April 12, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Dan G

    Since when has 50% been a passing grade, Oh I forgot, during the Obama Administration.

    April 12, 2013 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  25. Purplewidow

    Really? Maybe it won't be if they realized that the average healthcare is going to increase by 20-30% thanks to Obama care.. Over 16 trillion in debt.. List our AAA rating a few years back and we are doing little to get it back. We have a president hell bent on taxing not only massive multi billion dollar companies but your local corner store as well. We have a president hell bent on decreasing social security benefits while giving billions to his campaign contributors via his 7 trillion in stimulus with zero sustainability.. And somehow 50% of the American public think things are ok? Just shows the lack of political and economic knowledge the people have. As someone who is in contact with multi billion dollar corps and small and medium size businesses alike I can guarantee that things are not ok. Paying 50% tax for state fed and payroll then getting threats that taxes will go higher for all businesses is not going to improve the economy. Taking more money from the American people to support a government that misspends over a trillion a year is absolutely unacceptable. The lies have got to stop esp with healthcare. Promising rates wouldn't go up and now every major insurance provider is talking about a minimum 20-30% hike that we are forced to pay. Just like the dens made banks give out a certain % of high risk loans or face stiff penalties and what happened? The banks collapsed during a republican president so he gets blamed even though the bill and the signing of the bill was 100% democrat sponsored with republicans opposing it vehemently even the idiot bush was. It cost us trillions in home values lost. Go look it up frank/Dodd housing bill.

    April 12, 2013 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18