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. clusterpuck

    To say the economy in the US is good and including a country 17+ trillion dollars in MERE STUPIDITY and FOOLISHNESS!!!

    August 1, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  2. sonny chapman

    But Repubs, NEED folks to think that things are bad. What would S. Reagan call these same folks ? "Doom & Gloom Gang".

    August 1, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  3. Mike Brooks

    I wonder what people think "economy" or "economic conditions" mean. Jobs market? Gas prices? Stock market?

    August 1, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  4. Tampa Tim

    Evidently the minimum wage posters for Fox have not felt the recovery.

    August 1, 2014 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Paulocaesar

    O yeah?....not on our watch (say the TPGOP) we'll put paid to that nonsense!

    August 1, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  6. bobo

    Things are NOT good..... we should be getting job reports of 500,000........ like under Reagan. We need a booming economy.... not one that is being restricted by government!

    August 1, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. The other guy

    Rah Barak! Rah Obama! Rah, Rah Barak Obama!

    August 1, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. g

    thank the job shippers of America and the politicians they own

    August 1, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  9. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    The conservatives keep describing a world that doesn't exist, where the economy has failed and a Kenyan dictator rules over a barren wasteland of slaves. This is known as "psychotic." Maybe we could get them some medication for that?

    August 1, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  10. g

    lets go down to the unemployment office and take a pole

    August 1, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    --John Doe, this nation is just recuperating from Train Wreck, and "Illegal Wars", stop watching Fox bs, yes, this economy is improving–you are right, we need to raise minimum wage, stop illegal/even legal immigration for a while. Ask congress for this.

    August 1, 2014 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Tell it like it is

    I would not say it's good, I would say it sucks less!

    August 1, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Raoul Duke, Doctor of Journalism

    "Those who say the economy is doing well are probably recieving government handouts."

    More psychotic jabber. Do you actually believe this or do you just enjoy malice? And we told you over and over it's I Before E Except After What now? You are never going to get out of high school at this rate.

    August 1, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. woodlander2

    Getting a little tired of the crutch that this administration is given that they were faced with an incredibly large task and this is the best that could be done. That is mostly BS. The economic recovery, what little there has been is mostly driven by the Fed and not by industry expansion. The administration's policies have been slanted against private investment and business. Regulations, rhetoric and demonization of haves to stoke up the have not base have all contributed to a less than favorable corporate environment to stimulate growth.

    August 1, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  15. sayer

    But I thought Obama was destroying this country.

    August 1, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  16. John

    And everyone in america see's HOW Little republicans can get done... Like yesterday when the acted like a bunch of clowns for the Border releif package...

    August 1, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  17. eric

    Let's see how they feel when BRICKS Nations begin to issue currency.

    August 1, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. angela

    Who the heck are they polling? People on Wall Street, banks, CEO's of large corps? Sorry, but I'm still not buy this crap. I know for fact what is working and not working as I AM LIVING in reality and on Main Street America. NO JOBS, not good wages for those jobs that are out there, no full time jobs, no money to spend on anything other than necessities.....

    August 1, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  19. lucy jing

    I personally know at least 20 skilled tradesmen who were electricians, carpenters, plumbers and cement finishers, who all were working making decent living wages with health insurance until the end of 2011. Today they all have one of these min wage economic recovery unskilled part time no health benefit jobs, their unemployment has run out.. Yep the labor market is firming alright, the cheap labor unskilled part time McDonalds, Taco Bell, Wall Mart shelve stocking, auto parts driver jobs are booming. The problem is they can't afford to buy gasoline and food let alone pay their rent today.

    I, myself, have been struggling. I’m employed (temp work) but can’t afford health insurance. I don’t drive much either cause I can’t afford gas. My bare minimum $19 car insurance from Insurance Panda (god bless it) might not be the best coverage. I cut cable and internet and I haven’t been out to eat or to the movies in god knows how long.

    We need to seriously re-think America and our economy. Excessive regulation, lawsuits, billion dollar fines by the government, gigantic health care payments, no growth policies like no keystone pipeline, and millions of illegal immigrants aren’t going to be the answer.

    August 1, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. sly

    Record 401k.
    Record housing prices.
    Record federal deficit reduction.
    Record stock markets.
    8 year low in unemployment.

    These are good times for America.
    Thank you President Obama!

    August 1, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. sonny chapman

    bobo- you "forgot" to mention Bill Clinton. 22 MILLION New Jobs created. Or, George W., 9 Million Jobs LOST.

    August 1, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  22. Steve Allard

    Republicans appear to dislike reports of improvements in the economy. Sad.

    August 1, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  23. Denverdriver

    The economy continues to improve despite Republican attempts for six years now to sabotage the economy in hopes of blaming it on Obama and using it for their own selfish interests.

    August 1, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  24. milenkovic milan

    THREE domestic issue, I believe are important for USA future: immigration reform, gun control and “Economic Patriotism”( job creation + it’s so important to encourage US Corporations to bring back around $ 1,5 – 2 trillion from overseas, and to create jobs in USA; but Corporate taxes should be 25% + also, fix tax code deductions, exemptions and loopholes)…

    August 1, 2014 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. it must be said

    One thing to consider is that as more and more Americans get on the government dole, the economy to them is their monthly food stamps and government check. That is not the economy. Opinion polls about the economy are totally worthless since they are not fact based by intelligent people.

    There was another poll taken that showed 40% of Americans didn't know who controlled Congress and the government. Sadly, the country has a very large group of uninformed, disengaged idiots and that is the perfect environment for Democrats to spin their lies about all of their imaginary wars and the true condition of the economy.

    August 1, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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