August 12, 2011
8/12: Americans Dismal About Economy’s Future…Obama Not Faulted for Financial Picture
Americans have become significantly more pessimistic about the U.S. economy. According to this national McClatchy-Marist Poll, nearly seven in ten adults nationwide — 68% — believe the worst of the country’s economic conditions are yet to come. 27% say the worst is behind us, and 6% are unsure.
There has been a 15 percentage point increase in the proportion of Americans who believe there is more bad economic news in the country’s future. In McClatchy-Marist’s July survey, 53% believed this to be true while 42% reported the worst of the nation’s economic problems were behind us. Six percent, at the time, were unsure.
- Among registered voters, about two-thirds — 66% — have a negative view of the future of the economy. 28% have a more positive outlook, and 5% are unsure.
- Republican voters — 75% — and independent voters — 71% — think the U.S. economy will get worse. This compares with 57% of Democrats.
- Regardless of region, there is an increased sense of pessimism. However, the largest change has occurred in those living in the West. 68% of these Americans now say the worst is yet to come, a 23 percentage point change from the 45% who reported the same last month. 72% of those in the South, 65% of residents in the Midwest, and 62% of Americans in the Northeast think the economy will decline. In July, those proportions stood at 58%, 59%, and 45%, respectively.
However, nearly six in ten registered voters — 59% — still don’t blame President Barack Obama for the nation’s current economic conditions. About one-third — 33% — believe today’s tentative economic conditions are a result of the president’s policies, and 8% are unsure.
In McClatchy-Marist’s June survey, 61% thought the president inherited the country’s economic conditions, and 31% said they stemmed from the president’s initiatives. Nine percent, at the time, were unsure.
Few Expect Improvements in Finances…Many Think Future Gen’s Will Be Worse Off
Only one in four Americans — 25% — believe their personal family finances will get better in the coming year while 26% say they will get worse. Nearly half — 49% — report they will stay about the same. Little has changed on this question since McClatchy-Marist’s July survey when 28% said their financial picture would improve, 20% said it would get worse, and 52% thought it would remain the same.
And, many Americans are pessimistic about the financial situation of future generations. 61% say they will be worse off while 16% believe they will be better off. 23% think they will have a similar financial situation to people today.
- Registered voters have similar views. 64% say future generations will be worse off, 14% think they will be better off, and 23% think they will be about the same as the present.
- Republican voters — 73% — and independent voters — 67% — are more likely to be pessimistic about the finances of future generations than Democrats — 54%.
- While 68% of those 60 or older, 63% of Americans 45 to 59, and 63% of residents 30 to 44 years old expect tougher times for generations to come, only 42% of those under 30 say the same.