CNN Poll: Percentage who say economy's 'good' on the rise
August 1st, 2014
06:00 AM ET
8 years ago

CNN Poll: Percentage who say economy's 'good' on the rise

Washington (CNN) - Most Americans still say that the economy's in poor shape. But the percentage who describe economic conditions as good continue to slowly but steadily increase, and now stands at its highest level since before the last recession, according to a new national survey.

A CNN/ORC International poll indicates that 58% of those surveyed rates the nation's economic conditions as poor, with 41% saying they are good.

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The percentage who say things are good is up from 29% last October to 32% in December, 36% in February, 38% in May and 41% now.

"The 41% is the largest number of Americans with a positive view of the economy since Barack Obama became President, and it represents the highest rating for the economy since the last recession officially began in December of 2007," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

CNN poll economic conditions graphic

The poll's Friday release preceded the Labor Department's report on July unemployment.

And it hits two days after new data showing that the economy bounced back in the spring, growing at a 4% annual pace in the second quarter. That's better than what economists had expected.

U.S. economy bounces back sharply

Revised numbers from that Commerce Department report also showed that the economy's winter contraction wasn't as bleak as first reported.

When it comes to perceptions about the economy, the CNN poll indicates a geographical divide.
"People in the Northeast, Midwest and West all appear to see some improvement in the economy. The number of Westerners who say the economy's in good shape has nearly doubled, and there are 15-to-18 point gains in the Midwest and Northeast.

"But it's a different story in the South, where the number of southerners who give a thumbs-up to the economy has remained stubbornly stuck at 34%, suggesting either that better times have yet to visit the South or that southerners have yet to perceive that things are getting better," Holland adds.

The poll also indicates a small gender difference as well, with economic optimism growing more rapidly among women than men.

Economy impacts midterms

Perceptions about economic conditions will be an important factor in November's midterm elections, as the economy remains the top issue on the mind of Americans.

According to CNN poll numbers released last week, 49% of those questioned said it was extremely important for the President and Congress to deal with the economy, higher than any other issue tested.

Key races to watch in 2014

More than a third of the Senate and the entire House are up for grabs in November.

Democrats have a 55-45 majority in the Senate (53 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party). But in the midterms, the party is defending 21 of the 36 seats up for grabs, with half of those Democratic-held seats in red or purple states.

In the House, the Democrats would need to pick up an extremely challenging 17 Republican-held seats to win back the majority from the GOP.

Complete coverage of the 2014 midterm elections

Obama said Wednesday that "there are a lot of good reasons to be optimistic about America. We hold the best cards. Things are getting better."

But when it comes to the economy, the President and congressional Democrats blame the GOP in Congress for putting up roadblocks to measures that would help the middle class. Congressional Republicans return the fire, saying that Obama's economic policies are not working.

The poll was conducted for CNN by ORC International from July 18-20 with 1,012 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

Filed under: CNN/ORC International poll • Economy
soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. One other person is typing...

    I wonder how many in that poll realize the entire recovery is from a printing press ran 24/7 by the FED.

    August 1, 2014 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  2. berticode

    What Bush destroyed, Obama fixed (gradually). But don't let the neocons and Fox news absorb the facts. They just wants to sue the good man after blocking every good thing he did.

    August 1, 2014 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  3. NavyVet

    Another poll taken by the failed presidents peeps. Yawn.

    August 1, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  4. krj9

    As the economy slowly improves, people recognize thing are slowly getting better despite the teapotty republicans trying to sabotage it. Everything would have happened faster if they had just worked together, but their hate wouldn't allow them to.

    August 1, 2014 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. clusterpuck

    More positive Obama spin propaganda...the Economy basically sux and not much of any kind of quality product is made in the US anymore. Look at all the vehicle recalls! This is outstanding pride in workmanship??? I doubt it!

    August 1, 2014 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  6. Here we go again

    Republican spin in 5....4....3....2....1

    August 1, 2014 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  7. jack

    Obama could tell them the sky is green and a cnn poll would say that 50% of Americans now believe the sky is green.

    August 1, 2014 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  8. Stephen

    I'm glad public opinion is a reliable indicator of the health of the economy. I feel better now...

    August 1, 2014 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  9. David


    Yet somehow Tea Partiers are going to say it's all lies and that the economy is really collapsing. Oh remember the days when it was just the GOP that was the problem, now they have a lacky.

    August 1, 2014 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. Mega-Loser

    Can't Obama find a 17 trillion hole golf course to play?

    August 1, 2014 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  11. Stuffitu

    Saw the dismal jobs report this morning, wonder whatever happened to the trillions of dollars the most corrupt, incompetent, inept president gave to the corrupt unions, dope smokers and welfare frauds.

    August 1, 2014 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  12. keith

    Hey wait a minute that's not a FOX Poll !!!!!!

    August 1, 2014 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  13. Eric

    It's Obama's fault. He's not doing enough! Granted, he's signed every piece of economic legislation that's come to his desk (none) and if he actually tries to do anything on his own, we'll sue him.

    August 1, 2014 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  14. selective headline

    Alternate Headline: Most Americans still say that the economy's in poor shape

    August 1, 2014 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  15. Enough is Enough

    As soon as 50% say it's's time to head for the exits......

    August 1, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  16. jpmichigan

    just on the TV unemployment rate reported 6.2% , the actual unemployment rate 12.2%. Spin and disception over and over again.

    August 1, 2014 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  17. texasnotea

    There you go! One more good reason to vote for the Democrats. Just imagine where we would be if the republicons would just work and contribute a little

    August 1, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  18. Joe Hates Government

    Lies perpetrated by a leftist media outlet. The economy is in a shambles. Gas pushing 5 dollars a gallon, milk pushing 5 bucks a gallon. No one shopping in the hard goods area of stores. Pay checks down, housing market is stagnant. Yeah. More people that were polled live in the DC area. Lies.

    August 1, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  19. Bud

    Democrats have always been good for the Economy. Republicans....not so much. Repubs. always push for top down tax cuts. Which is a proven failure.

    August 1, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  20. KKK

    Good 4 those having jobs.

    August 1, 2014 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  21. Chris

    Numbers on the economy are still upside down yet CNN headline touts fewer people rating economy as poor. It's not news, it's carrying water for the Obama administration.

    August 1, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. fedupwithamericanpolitics

    60% saying the economy is bad is so awesome. Good job.

    August 1, 2014 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  23. TAJ

    Lots of stupid Americans out there. Ask the 9 million or so who have stopped looking for work.

    August 1, 2014 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  24. Christina

    Our Government shut down unemployment benefits for anyone collecting for six months or longer – the percentages of people collecting unemployment benefits are down because they aren't ABLE to collect – they're still struggling, unemployed, or working jobs that don't mirror their degree or professional experience . This doesn't mean the economy is "better". It's just another example of how the lower middle class is overlooked.

    August 1, 2014 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  25. old age voter

    Stop polling low information voters and economic morons; this administration has:
    50 million plus people on food stamps.
    the June job number; 674,000 people fall off the job rolls.
    the economy shrank 3 percent in the first quarter of 2014.
    this administrations domestic policies cost us trillions of dollars in debt.
    an invasion at our southern border that will add billion to the debt.

    August 1, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
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