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.

hundred-dollar bills


Click Here for Complete August 12th, 2011 USA McClatchy-Marist Poll Release and Tables

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.

Key points:

  • 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.

Table: U.S. Economy – Will It Get Worse?

Table: U.S. Economy – Will It Get Worse? (Over Time)

Trend Graph: Will U.S. economy get worse?

Click on the graph to enlarge the image.

Table: Current Economic Conditions Inherited

Table: Current Economic Conditions Inherited Over Time

Trend graph: Current economic conditions inherited?

Click on the graph to enlarge the image.

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.

Key points:

  • 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.

Table: Your Personal Family Finances – Better, Worse, or the Same?

Table: Your Personal Family Finances – Better, Worse, or the Same? (Over Time)

Trend Graph: Your personal family finances.

Click on the graph to enlarge the image.

Table: Financial Expectations for Future Generations

McClatchy-Marist Poll Methodology