Economic Gloom Still Pervasive

President Obama's lowest rating yet on economy

Oct 26, 2010, 07:02 ET from Harris Interactive

NEW YORK, Oct. 26, /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The latest Harris Poll on the economy finds that public gloom is still pervasive and that President Obama's rating on the economy has fallen to its lowest level yet.  The new data contains nothing but bad news for the Democrats as we approach the November 2nd elections.

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The President's rating on the economy is now 73% negative, compared to 71% in September, 68% in August and 64% in May. Only 30% of the public expects that the economy will improve in the next year, and only 22% believe that their own household's finances will be better in six months time.  

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 3,084 adults surveyed online between October 11 and 18, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

Other interesting findings include:

  • In addition to the large majorities of Republicans (92%) and Independents (78%) who give the President negative ratings on the economy, fully 51% of Democrats do so, as well;
  • At least seven in ten of all generations give the President negative ratings on the economy, including 70% of people aged 65 and over, the generation that usually has the highest turnout in mid-term elections. Almost three-quarters (72%) of Echo Boomers (those aged 18-34) also give the President negative ratings (and these were some of his strongest supporters during his presidential campaign);
  • While most people have very negative views on the economy, only 30% think it will get worse -- the same number as think it will get better --in the next year. Two in five Americans (40%) believe that the economy will stay the same in the coming year;
  • Few people accept the official view that, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession ended in June 2009.  Indeed, only 6% of all adults believe that the recession is over. A slender majority (54%) believes that the "recovery has started but the recession is not over" and 33% believe that the "recovery has not started."

So What?

These poll results show that the public is as pessimistic, or more pessimistic, than ever about the economy, strengthening the belief that that the Democrats will suffer very badly in the elections. The concern for the White House may be in looking past this November towards November of 2012 and what that may portend for President Obama's re-election.

TABLE 1

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING ON THE ECONOMY - TREND

"Now, turning to something different, how would you rate the overall job that President Barack Obama is doing on the economy?"

Base: All adults


2009

March

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Nov

Dec

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

47

49

46

43

39

40

34

36

     Excellent

13

13

10

3

9

7

6

6

     Pretty good

34

36

36

34

31

33

27

30

NEGATIVE (NET)

53

51

54

57

61

60

66

64

     Only fair

30

27

30

27

25

27

30

30

     Poor

23

24

24

30

36

33

37

34






2010

Jan

March

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

31

32

33

36

32

32

29

27

     Excellent

5

5

6

6

5

6

5

5

     Pretty good

25

27

27

30

27

26

24

22

NEGATIVE (NET)

69

68

67

64

68

68

71

73

     Only fair

31

30

31

29

32

29

31

33

     Poor

39

37

36

34

37

39

40

39

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.



TABLE 2

PRESIDENT OBAMA'S JOB RATING ON THE ECONOMY – BY GENERATION AND POLITICAL PARTY

"Now, turning to something different, how would you rate the overall job that President Barack Obama is doing on the economy?"

Base: All adults


Total

Generation

Political Party

Echo

Boomers

(18-33)

Gen X

(34-45)

Baby

Boomers

(46-64)

Matures

(65+)

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

27

28

25

28

30

8

49

22

     Excellent

5

5

5

3

7

3

9

2

     Pretty good

22

23

19

24

23

5

40

20

NEGATIVE (NET)

73

72

75

72

70

92

51

78

     Only fair

33

39

39

31

22

21

39

34

     Poor

39

33

36

42

48

70

12

44

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.



TABLE 3

EXPECTATIONS FOR THE ECONOMY IN THE COMING YEAR - TREND

"In the coming year, do you expect the economy to…?"

Base: All adults


2009

2010

April

May

Aug

Sept

Oct

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Improve

39

38

46

40

34

38

30

29

28

30

Stay the same

35

35

32

36

37

34

42

39

40

40

Get worse

26

27

22

24

29

28

28

32

32

30

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding



TABLE 4

PERSONAL FINANCIAL EXPECTATIONS FOR THE NEXT 6 MONTHS - TREND

"Thinking about your household's financial condition, do you expect it to be better or worse in the next 6 months?"

Base: All adults


2008

2009


Feb

Mar

June

Nov

Jan

Mar

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec


%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

BETTER (NET)

39

33

40

24

20

20

23

25

21

24

23

23

18

19

Will remain the same

28

28

25

43

48

46

46

45

45

48

48

45

47

48

WORSE (NET)

34

39

36

33

32

35

31

30

33

28

29

31

35

33






2010

Jan

Mar

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

BETTER (NET)

21

21

22

25

21

22

22

22

Will remain the same

49

47

50

47

52

52

50

49

WORSE (NET)

30

32

29

28

27

26

28

29

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.



TABLE 5

PERSONAL FINANCIAL EXPECTATIONS FOR THE NEXT 6 MONTHS – BY GENERATION AND POLITICAL PARTY

"Thinking about your household's financial condition, do you expect it to be better or worse in the next 6 months?"

Base: All adults


Total

Generation

Political Party

Echo

Boomers

(18-33)

Gen X

(34-45)

Baby

Boomers

(46-64)

Matures

(65+)

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

BETTER (NET)

22

29

26

22

9

18

29

21

 Will be much better

4

5

8

3

1

5

5

3

 Will be somewhat better

18

24

18

19

8

13

23

18

Will remain the same

49

54

45

47

52

48

51

47

WORSE (NET)

29

18

30

32

39

34

20

32

 Will be somewhat worse

22

14

20

25

31

27

15

25

 Will be much worse

7

4

10

7

8

7

5

7

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.



TABLE 6

RECESSION FEELINGS

"Do you think we are still in a recession, or do you think the recession is over and the recovery has started?"

Base: All adults (Random half of sample)


Total

Political Party

Region

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

East

Midwest

South

West

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Recession is over

6

5

7

5

7

3

4

10

Recovery has started but recession is not over

54

43

66

50

56

58

50

53

Recovery has not started

33

44

22

36

31

33

35

31

Not at all sure

8

8

5

9

7

6

11

6

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding.



TABLE 7

RECESSION IS OVER OPINIONS

"The National Bureau of Economic Research, the organization that names the official start and end dates for economic trends, stated recently that the economic recession in the United States ended officially in June 2009, and the recovery began.  How much do you agree or disagree with that statement?"

Base: All adults (Random half of sample)


Total

Political Party

Generation

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Echo

Boomers

(18-33)

Gen X

(34-45)

Baby

Boomers

(46-64)

Matures

(65+)

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Agree (NET)

30

18

42

29

35

36

24

29

   Strongly agree

6

6

6

7

9

7

3

5

   Somewhat agree

24

12

36

22

27

29

20

23

Disagree (NET)

64

80

52

66

53

60

71

70

   Somewhat disagree

28

32

31

22

29

30

28

24

   Strongly disagree

36

48

21

44

25

30

43

46

Not at all sure

6

2

6

5

11

4

5

2

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding



Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between October 11 to 18, 2010 among 3,084 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

J38848

Q705, 710, 715, 737, 738

The Harris Poll® #128, October 26, 2010

By Humphrey Taylor, Chairman, The Harris Poll

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers expertise in a wide range of industries including healthcare, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Serving clients in over 215 countries and territories through our North American, European, and Asian offices and a network of independent market research firms, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

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Harris Interactive
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press@harrisinteractive.net



SOURCE Harris Interactive



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