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. socalpimp

    Oh yeah? 4 dollar gas? Prices are sky high....Furloughs for FEDS...

    April 12, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  2. Yup!

    At this point in the Liberal press playbook it says,"Now that Obama has been in office 5 years, we will make it sound good." Idiots!

    April 12, 2013 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. dave

    Come to Florida and try to find a decent paying job. Words are cheap. Just not seeing a lot of optimism. Folks down here, myself included, waiting for 2014 to clean Tea Party out of here, including Rick Scott, who has been incompetent and wears the mantle of most disliked governor of all time.

    April 12, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. That's just crazy talk

    jkane says "The economy is ready to take off thanks to president Obama", oh you are in for such a ruse awakening, the things that needed to be corrected after the crash never were, nothing was truly fixed about what got us in trouble in the first place. We are more vulnerable than ever before, when the next shoe drops the government is out of bullets and that crash will make the last one look like happy moment.

    April 12, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. Cameronl

    This story is hilarious.

    April 12, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Anonymous

    If its said by CNN and on the Internet it must be true

    April 12, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. taxedmore

    One article says young people are buried in school debt and cannot get jobs. Another article says they are optimistic. Any of these writers have a clue as to what is going on?

    April 12, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  8. Candlewycke

    So we should celebrate because half the country think we are not doing terrible? And of the half who think this way most of them are young college students who have just been told that they don't have to pay for health care (their parents will and their children will), They can get free condoms, and their school debt is being lowered and extended to ensure that they don't really have to pay for anything until long after they graduate. Sorry, but A homeless man thinks things are looking when a stranger gives him a coat. He is still homeless and hungry, he just has a free coat.

    April 12, 2013 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  9. Chicago

    I can't help but notice the least experienced and most likely to be naive is the group with the most optimism! Unemployment is dropping only because people are giving up in record numbers. The question is how long the administration and some media outlets try to hide this ugly truth?

    April 12, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. Jerry

    These young people today are the ones who have to pick up the tab the Dems are making today. hope they make a lot of money between now and then. Retirement, FORGET IT!

    April 12, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. Bryanska

    People, it's folly to believe one party has that much control... There are many other factors at play: the Congress, special interests, the American culture, everyday opinion of 320 million people, human psychology, the REST OF THE WORLD.

    April 12, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  12. Jim

    This is such slanted journalism. The US and North Korea are on the verge of nuclear war, jobs are in the toilet, the economy is tanking and the country has only been more divided during the civil war. Just because profiteers on Wall Street are trading like crazy doesn't meen the US is a happy place. But I'll just ignore that and smile because government tells me to? I don't need skewed statistics and phony polls to see what is going on in the world. We'll all be happier when our government gets off it's butt (BOTH Democrats & Republicans) and works on the things that matter most like getting the USA on track with the economy, jobs, immagration, social security and everything else that matters.

    April 12, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  13. libs-suck

    Why are you cry baby libs always blaming the GOP for everything??? How many years does your Daddy Obama have to be in office before you look at his poor policy...Stop spending your time pointing the finger at people who put their best foot forward and DID something with their lives...CRY BABIES!!!!!!

    April 12, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. Kevin

    If I and my loved ones have jobs,, then the economy is great as that is all that matters. I dont care about if strangers are working or not 🙂

    April 12, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  15. Anonymous

    This is definitely going to have Speaker of the House Tan Man crying in his wine glass.

    April 12, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  16. CJ

    Well this tells us one thing, half of the country is delusional. The question were left with is what half?

    April 12, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. Floyd from Illinois

    Any corresponding sign of increased despair amongst Republcans?

    April 12, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  18. jonnyg

    Foolish spending of parents money...led by young people. If you are optimistic under Obamanomics you are clueless. Nearly 600,000 Americans leave the workforce every week, yet the regime touts the 83,000 jobs produced. The unemployment number is bogus, we have a 17 trillion dollar deficit, poverty and food stamp use has doubled in four years, 20 million Americans are unemployed yet democrats what to increase immigration and grant amnesty to 12 million illegals.
    Obamacare is costing jobs and many small businesses have dropped their employee coverage. There is a projected doctor shortage of 40,000 due to physicians retiring and stopping their practice ahead of the planned cuts in Medicare.

    April 12, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  19. Juan Carlos de Burbon

    Hasn't the GOP has Congress for the past four years? Life is better thanks to the GOP. They are keeping that psycho Obama in line.

    April 12, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  20. Natch

    So the number of clueless people, who think everything is hunky-dory, is at an all time high? Why not just say that, CNN??

    Oh, that's're too busy pushing the liberal propaganda!!

    April 12, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  21. Rob

    What a joke.
    First off Young People are dumb people. What do college aged kids know about anything? And it is a known fact you do not base the health of the economy on Wall Street, who just 2 years ago, the young people wanted hung at the gallows.

    Second this is a nation of 300 Million people, just over 1000 were polled and I would love to know who those thousand were.

    I would say, Don't go wasting your money yet on CNN and Government Propaganda, because if you do, you will pay for it when all the glue on Obama's band aids disappears.

    April 12, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  22. Get Real

    I guess we are heading into our 5th "summer of recovery"....there is a plenty to be optimistic about.
    What a joke!!! Thanks for the "news" CNN. or should i say DNN....because you only exist to prop up the democratic party.

    April 12, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  23. SB1790

    One thousand twelve people were polled. It would be nice if CNN showed us the areas they call when they conduct such polls.

    April 12, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  24. not perfect yet

    RL Has hit it spot on. obama comes off as calm, steady, reasonable on Every issue. and the republicans look like frantic, whiney, selfish idiots. Every one of them!

    April 12, 2013 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  25. sandy

    Last saturday waited a hour and a half to get into a fine dining restaurant and expensive one to eat. Homes selling like crazy here. This tells me people are doing ok in pa.

    April 12, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
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