Worth Discussing

Resurgent Roundup: Rising Pessimism on the Economy, Direction of the Country

Resurgent Republic | April 29, 2011

Recent public polls show the national electorate becoming increasingly sour on the state of the economy and the direction of the country, while the continued rise in gasoline prices is considered a financial hardship by 7 of 10 Americans. President Obama’s approval on the economy has dropped to a new low, and a majority of Independents believes President Obama does not share their priorities for the country.

Political Climate

70 percent of Americans now believe the country is on the wrong track, while only 26 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction. Among Independents the margin is 72 to 24 percent. (CBS/NYT, 4/15-20/11)

Pessimism regarding the economy is at a two year high, with 80 percent of Americans – including 83 percent of Independents – viewing the economy as fairly bad (44 percent) or very bad (36 percent). Only 19 percent of Americans view the economy as fairly good (17 percent) or very good (2 percent). (CBS/NYT, 4/15-20/11)

57 percent of Independents believe the country is currently in the midst of a recession or depression and an additional 18 percent believe the economy is slowing down. One-quarter of Independents (24 percent) says the economy is growing. (Gallup, 4/20-23/11)

A majority of voters (57 to 39 percent) believes the worst of the economic downturn is yet to come. Republicans (65 percent) and Independents (58 percent) hold this view, while Democrats (51 percent) believe the worst is behind us. (McClatchy-Marist, 4/10-14/11)

By 45 to 40 percent, Americans think that Republicans in Congress are taking a stronger leadership role in Washington rather than President Obama. (ABC/Post, 4/14-17/11)

A majority of Americans supports smaller government with fewer services (55 percent) rather than a larger government with more services (33 percent). Independents agree by 52 to 36 percent. (CBS/NYT, 4/15-20/11)

Obama Approval

By 57 to 40 percent, voters disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the economy. The 40 percent approval rating on the economy is the lowest level recorded for Obama in this survey since taking office. (McClatchy-Marist, 4/10-14/11)

A Washington Post/ABC News poll finds President Obama with a net-negative job approval rating on key policy areas, including the federal budget deficit (58 to 39 percent), the economy (57 to 42 percent), Libya (49 to 42 percent) and Afghanistan (49 to 44 percent). (ABC/Post, 4/14-17/11)

A CBS/New York Times poll finds President Obama upside down among Independents on his handling of specific policies, including the federal budget deficit (63 to 27 percent), the economy (58 to 36 percent), Libya (47 to 31 percent), and foreign policy (44 to 36 percent). (CBS/NYT, 4/15-20/11)

By 57 to 39 percent, Independents believe President Obama’s priorities for the country are different from their own priorities. (CBS/NYT, 4/15-20/11)

Gas Prices

71 percent of Americans consider the increase in gasoline prices to be a financial hardship on their household, including 43 percent who consider the price spike to be a serious hardship. (ABC/Post, 4/14-17/11)

Two-thirds of Americans who view the rise in gasoline prices as a “serious financial hardship” disapprove of President Obama’s job performance, 67 to 28 percent. (ABC/Post, 4/14-17/11)

72 percent of Americans say they are driving less due to the increase in gasoline prices. (ABC/Post, 4/14-17/11)

Fiscal Issues

By 46 to 42 percent, more Americans trust Republicans in Congress to deal with the national debt than President Obama. (ABC/Post, 4/14-17/11)

More Americans trust Republicans to make the right decisions about reducing the federal budget deficit (44 percent) than trust President Obama (39 percent). (CBS/NYT, 4/15-20/11)

By 47 to 30 percent, Independents prefer Republicans more than Democrats in handling the federal budget deficit. (Gallup, 4/20-23/11).

A CBS/New York Times poll finds that a majority of Americans (58 percent) prefers lowering government spending in order to reduce the federal budget deficit. Just 29 percent prefer paying higher taxes. (CBS/NYT, 4/15-20/11)

While Americans are split overall, pluralities of Americans ages 30 and above prefer Representative Paul Ryan’s budget plan to President Obama’s budget proposal in dealing with the federal budget deficit. Americans ages 30 to 49 prefer Ryan’s plan 45 to 39 percent; ages 50 to 64 prefer Ryan’s plan 47 to 41 percent; ages 65 and older prefer Ryan’s plan 48 to 42 percent. (Gallup, 4/20-23/11)


By 57 to 34 percent, Americans believe it will be necessary to make changes to Medicare in order to reduce the federal deficit. (CBS/NYT, 4/15-20/11)

By 47 to 41 percent, Americans approve of plans to change Medicare “from a program in which the government pays doctors and hospitals for treating seniors” to a plan where the “government helps seniors purchase private health insurance,” including 48 to 40 percent among Independents. (CBS/NYT, 4/15-20/11)

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Filed under: Energy And Environment, Health Care, Political Climate, Free Market Economy, Medicare, Resurgent Round Up, Social Security, Obama Approval Rating, Congressional Approval Rating, and News