CNN Poll: Opinions on the state of the country have improved slightly, but Americans’ concerns about the economy remain | Bot To News


Americans’ views on the state of the country have improved slightly since the start of this year, a new CNN poll by SSRS finds, but public perceptions of the economy remain bleak. Nearly half of Americans say they are worse off financially than they were a year ago, a survey found, with more than 90% expressing concern about the cost of living and most cutting back on expenses in response.

Only 35% of American adults say things are going well in the country today, while 65% say things are going badly. But that represents a modest improvement over polls this summer and fall, when fewer than 3 in 10 said things were going well. The share of those who say things are going very badly is 19%, down from 34% in a CNN poll this summer and 26% in October. The positive shift in sentiment is most evident among Democrats, with 58% now saying things are going well, up from 47% in October.

President Joe Biden’s job approval rating is at 46%, with 54% disapproving of the job — still underwater, but up from the 41% who approved in late October. Those are his strongest numbers in a CNN poll since a year ago, when 49% said they supported him in December 2021. His approval rating is up a few points from a poll before the midterm elections. Only 14% of all American adults strongly approve of Biden, while 35% strongly disapprove.

Many Americans, however, believe that the economy continues to deteriorate, and views of the president’s handling of the issue remain very negative. Just over half, 53%, think economic conditions are continuing to deteriorate, 30% say the economy has stabilized and is neither worsening nor improving, and just 17% say it is improving.

Americans continue to rate Biden lower on economic issues than on his overall job performance. Only 36% approve of his handling of the economy, and only 33% rate his handling of inflation favorably. Neither improved from a CNN poll earlier this fall, despite a rise in Biden’s overall approval rating.

About half of Americans, 49%, say their financial situation is worse than it was a year ago, while another 34% say it’s about the same as it was a year ago, and 16% say it’s better now. The proportion who say their finances have worsened over the year is only modestly below the high of 55% who said the same in a Gallup poll when asked the same question during the 2008 financial crisis. In a December 2021 CNN poll, only 33% said their finances had gotten worse in the past year.

The current cost of living is an almost universal concern, with 93% saying they are at least somewhat concerned, including 63% very concerned. About 8 in 10 (80%) say they are worried about the recent rise in interest rates, with 42% saying they are very worried. Relatively few are seriously worried that someone in their household will lose their job in the next few months – 37% say they are at least somewhat worried, while only 15% say they are very worried.

Most also say they have taken cost-cutting measures in the past few months due to recent economic conditions. About 7 in 10 Americans (71%) say they’ve cut back on non-essential spending to afford necessities, and 71% also say they’ve changed the foods they buy to stay within their budget—up from 63 % for both questions. in a CNN poll conducted this spring. A similar 70% say they had to cut back on spending on holiday gifts this year. And 34% say they’ve had trouble finding affordable housing. As gasoline prices have fallen, however, the share of those who say they have cut back on driving has fallen, from 54% this spring to 49% in the latest survey. That’s still higher than the share who said they cut back on driving a year ago, when gasoline prices averaged just a few cents a gallon lower at the time the survey was conducted than they are today.

Americans in higher and lower income brackets are now more likely than a year ago to say their finances have gotten worse in the past year, but the shift is particularly large among Americans who make $50,000 or more a year: 45% say their finances worsened in 2022, compared to 24% who said the same at the end of 2021. Democrats, Republicans and independents are now more likely than a year ago to say they have lost ground.

Differences in Americans’ financial outlook show that they are influenced both by current income levels and, in some cases, by their party support. Two-thirds of Republicans in households making less than $50,000 a year say their financial situation has worsened in the past year, as do 45% of Democrats making less than $50,000. However, a 60 percent majority of Republicans in households making $50,000 or more say they are worse off, compared to just 26 percent of Democrats in similar households.

In addition to the economy, the poll finds that the public also gives Biden low marks for his handling of immigration (38%) and gun policy (39%). By contrast, 50% approve of Biden’s approach to protecting democracy in America and his handling of the situation in Ukraine, both up slightly from a CNN poll earlier this year.

Biden’s acute weakness on economic issues and his relative strength in handling democracy and Ukraine persist across party lines: 88% of Democrats, for example, approve of Biden’s handling of protecting democracy in the U.S., while a smaller majority, 66%, approve of his handling of inflation. About half of independents (48%) and 15% of Republicans approve of Biden’s job protecting democracy, while only 27% of independents and 7% of Republicans approve of inflation.

This CNN poll was conducted by SSRS between December 1 and 7 among a random national sample of 1,208 adults drawn from a probability-based pool. Surveys were conducted online or over the phone with a live interviewer. Results among the entire sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 points; for subgroups it is larger.

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