CNN Poll: Obama’s Job Approval Down As 48% See Risk Of A Depression

Public pessimism over the economy is causing the President’s job approval numbers to fall again:

President Barack Obama’s overall approval rating has dropped below 50 percent as a growing number of Americans worry that the U.S. is likely to slip into another Great Depression within the next 12 months, according to a new national poll.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Wednesday also indicate that the economy overall remains issue number one to voters, with other economic issues – unemployment, gas prices and the federal deficit – taking three of the remaining four spots in the top five.

Forty-eight percent of people questioned say they approve of how the president is handling his duties in the White House, down six points from late May. An equal 48 percent say they disapprove of how Obama’s performing, up three points from late last month.


Forty-eight percent say that another Great Depression is likely to occur in the next year – the highest that figure has ever reached. The survey also indicates that just under half live in a household where someone has lost a job or are worried that unemployment may hit them in the near future. The poll was conducted starting Friday, when the Labor Department reported that the nation’s jobless rate edged up to 9.1 percent.

“The poll reminded respondents that during the Depression in the 1930s, roughly one in four workers were unemployed, banks failed, and millions of Americans were homeless or unable to feed their families,” says Holland. “And even with that reminder, nearly half said that another depression was likely in the next 12 months. That’s not just economic pessimism – that’s economic fatalism.”

According to the survey, more than eight in ten Americans say that the economy is in poor shape, a number that has stubbornly remained at that level since March.

While these fears of a 30’s era-like Depression may be a bit overblown, they shouldn’t be discounted. For one thing, it just emphasizes once again how important the state of the economy is going to be to the 2012 elections. Second, when people think the economy is going to get worse they tend to act in ways that tend to make that happen, such as by spending less and investing more conservatively. We may not enter a Depression, but when people think things are going to get worse, the odds that they will get better decreases significantly.


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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Davebo says:

    Yet Quinnipac has him at 52% approval.

    Pick you polls people!

  2. john personna says:

    It seems the recent meme storm had some effect then.

    A continuation of trend has been spun up as a reversal.