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. Charles

    CNN will do ANYTHING to prop up Obama!!!

    April 12, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. sabri

    Too many Pessimists?
    Obama is concerned about the unemployed and the poor, his enemies wishes that things get worse for both.

    April 12, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. Dan G

    Must be the 50% of people who don't pay any Federal tax.

    April 12, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Robert

    I'm sure this poll is as accurate as CNN's "90% of people support Obama's background checks" poll.... I graduated from college recently and no one I know can get a job. I had to get my master's degree, because there weren't any jobs for people with undergraduate degrees.

    April 12, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  5. John

    As long as they keep getting that welfare, food stamps, section 8 housing, obamacare...50% of takers will always be happy. Oh, lets start adding all those people Obama claims stopped looking for work and now are scamming Social scuirty (Though most never put in a dime) The real unemplyment would be 14%. As it stands now, 24% unemployment for blacks...I guess they are OK with that too.

    April 12, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. mk

    Violent crime in the U.S. reached a 40-YEAR LOW in 2010. Teenage pregnancy is at an all-time low. Divorce rates are down 30%. We also rated the "most generous country in the world" in 2011 in a survey of personal charitable giving and volunteerism–giving more time and money on a per capita basis than any other nation on the planet. People should be more optimistic! But the media has convinced people to be scared and manipulated and skewered their ability to determine the truth. We are just not good at determining reality amidst a media onslaught of doom and gloom stories.

    April 12, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  7. calamity jane

    I personally don't think anything is better because the GOP does not want anything to get better under Obama and will do whatever they can to reverse any uphill trend at the expense of the working class. I voted for Obama because I couldn't handle the thought of how much worse this could get under Republican rule, well, at least for struggling middle class families – it's understood that under Repubilcan rule, the wealthy wouldn't have to fight so hard to get more tax breaks. Tax breaks would be handed to them on a silver platter and probably even spoon fed to them. The middle class, now a myth, would suffer even more under the Republicans and I just can't imagine the devastation that would follow.

    April 12, 2013 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  8. John

    We all believe the CNN polls right/

    April 12, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. David

    So-CNN has sentiment up on the same day that Market Watch and Fox have sentiment down-what gives?

    April 12, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. CTConservative

    Optimism is in a 6 year high, huh ? Really ?!? On what planet is that ? The only POSSIBLE explanation (beyond the obvious "hokum" explanation) is that more people than ever believe that it couldn't possibly get any WORSE. Of course ....even that would be a horrendous miscalculation on their part.

    April 12, 2013 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    God bless now and always!!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!

    April 12, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  12. Ferathka

    Imagine what the mood of the country would be like if Congress actually did something instead of playing politics since 2010. Wow....things could be good.

    April 12, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Tony

    Let me see blame CNN for this, when right wingers have no answers, just blame somebody. It was your party who got us into this mess, and it is the same party that is trying their darndest to keep us in it with obstruction after obstruction and lie after lie. i will blame someone for this good news, and that is my beloved President of these USA.

    April 12, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Birdogmp

    Iconoclast1-I'm not sure where you get your information it has not been the fault of the Republicans but the fault of both parties. Your president hasn't passed a budget since he's been in ofice. You say its built on confidence, well when you have a supposed leader who cares more about partying and being cool than actually running this country, then there is not a lot of confidence in anything coming out of Washington. You need to pull your head out of the sand and stop drinking the kool-aid Obama has been giving you for over 5 years now. You say the Republicans are brainwashed, go look in the mirror and slap yourself. I am very aware of what is going on and I dont just listen to one station to get my information. I would love to see you explain to all of us, how we have regained the 16 Trillion that was lost under the Bush Administrraton. We are deeper in debt by huge numbers than we were with President Bush. Obama has spent more money than all of the Presidents combined. Get off the Kool-Aid and pull your head out of Obama's ass before you break your neck.

    April 12, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Darkslicer

    I'm pessimistic about this poll.

    April 12, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. FCUK cnn

    CNN is a full blown propaganda machine of the liberals and Obama.

    April 12, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Moonbase Alpha

    GOP supporters can't stand any reports of optimism or signs of economic recovery. Their hope is that the US goes into a deep depression under Obama, like it did under Bush, so that their GOP candidate has a chance in 2016. Good luck, you're going to need it.

    April 12, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Bruce in VA

    Six year high? Where was the poll taken? Washington and Colorado?

    April 12, 2013 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. W.G.

    Sure America is feeling better ! We´re at a point where real Americans , the 99% of us
    that make under a $100.000 a year see daylight . The republicans are a dying breed and
    we´re just a couple of years of being able to vote these VILE , RACISTS , WAR MONGERING
    Bigots OUT !!! Overall it makes me wake up with a smile on my face !!

    April 12, 2013 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  20. Truth

    CNN, lying again, trying to make it seem as though we actually wanted obama a second time, let alone the first time.
    It's not working, CNN. The economy is still in the toilet, blacks are still running amok with no consequences, while the kenyan worries about how to raise all of our taxes, again (as he promised not to), and to let gays marry. Shows where the kenyan muslim's priorities really are.

    April 12, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Richard Hode

    I don't believe a word of it! Optimism about what? Everything is outsourced and now even the so-called Democrat Obama wants to cut Social Security. This is a lie, pure media propaganda.

    April 12, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  22. conchytonker

    "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." Actually, CNN is under reporting (surprise surprise) was 633,000 quit looking for employment. Democrats have to love this news though. The 47%er's and tax consumers will continue to rely on big government for their livelihood! The low information voter will thake this poll as gospel. That's the only way Democrats can stay viable...thru continued failure of over half this country. PS...CNN and Turner polled 1033 participants....liberal media....go figure.

    April 12, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  23. Moonbase Alpha

    no news is good news

    April 12, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Moonbase Alpha

    keep uip the good work CNN

    April 12, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  25. Give mw a break

    You have got to be kidding me. Are people that numb to believe this total BS? I guess they are.
    CNN is in the tank for Obama with this lie!

    April 12, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
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