Poll: One in three Americans expects to be worse off by November 2012

posted at 2:10 pm on June 6, 2011 by Tina Korbe

Just 25 percent of likely voters expect to be better off financially by November 2012, according to a poll released today by The Hill — and one in three actually expect to be worse off. Perhaps even more tellingly, 65 percent said they think the country is on the wrong track. A plurality — 36 percent — also said they have less pride in America now than they did four years ago.

The poll is anything but good news for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection bid, which will likely hinge heavily on the economy.

But it’s not particularly surprising, given the chronically high unemployment rate and the even-more-dismal-than-expected May jobs report — the worst in eight months. (Although, to be fair, the poll was conducted last Thursday before the release of the May jobs outlook.)

In the last month, unemployment rose from 9 percent to 9.1 percent. A Senate Budget Committee press release estimates underemployment to be as high as 16.1 percent. History tells us incumbents have a hard time overcoming these kinds of disastrous statistics, as this handy chart from the Democratic group Third Way makes clear (via The Fix):

Of course, the pessimism wasn’t quite as pronounced among liberals: 41 percent actually said they expect to be better off financially by next fall. The poll report also points out that just 6 percent of blacks said they believe they will be worse off in one year, while 46 percent expect their situation to be better.

The poll’s political implications are OK by me — I don’t feel badly for what the economy might cost Obama in 2012. But overall, these stats are still highly discouraging, not least because they indicate individuals continue to suffer from depressed mental attitudes about the economy — attitudes that presumably stem from experienced or observed hardship.

But they’re discouraging from another vantage point, too: They highlight just how politicized economic matters have become. That liberal and conservative expectations of individual financial status are so inverse of each other suggests government policy has become a far more potent factor in the economy than should be the case in a capitalist country. That’s really nothing new even here in the United States, but it is a reminder of the deeper philosophical divide between those who think government spending can actually stimulate the economy (perhaps because they experience the immediate — but ultimately unsustainable — benefits of government handouts) and those who accept the reality that it doesn’t.

In other words, it’s depressing so few people expect an improved financial outlook a little more than a year from now, but it’s almost more depressing that some do expect to see some improvement, when all signs suggest this administration still hasn’t learned the lessons failed stimulus programs have to teach.

So, in the interest of putting a positive spin on what is a decidedly dejecting poll, I’m going to chalk up the optimism to good old-fashioned confidence in individual ability and a determined work ethic — and credit to the pessimism a realistic understanding of the effects of the policies of this administration.


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Count me in as I face the unemployment line soon.

Thanks Barack.

William Amos on June 6, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Count me in as I face the unemployment line soon.

Thanks Barack.

William Amos on June 6, 2011 at 2:12 PM

The 41% of liberals who expect to be better off next year must work for the govt.

Kissmygrits on June 6, 2011 at 2:14 PM

So all those trips to the links and the Pro Shop aren’t improving unemployment?

catmman on June 6, 2011 at 2:15 PM

A good candidate will walk into the white house….but you have to fight the full force of the drive bys.

Oil Can on June 6, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Its worse than that… they are oversampling Democrats… The economy out in SocAL is terrible and the high gasoline and food prices are really hurting people…

Khun Joe on June 6, 2011 at 2:19 PM

William…sorry to hear about that.

SPGuy on June 6, 2011 at 2:20 PM

while 46 percent expect their situation to be better.

What do they know, that we don’t?

capejasmine on June 6, 2011 at 2:20 PM

The economy out in SocAL is terrible and the high gasoline and food prices are really hurting people…

…and yet those people in socal and nocal for that matter will go for Obama in 2012..book it!

SPGuy on June 6, 2011 at 2:21 PM

The poll report also points out that just 6 percent of blacks said they believe they will be worse off in one year, while 46 percent expect their situation to be better.

Just 6 percent? That koolade is some strong stuff.

txsurveyor on June 6, 2011 at 2:21 PM

Count me in as I face the unemployment line soon.

Thanks Barack.

William Amos on June 6, 2011 at 2:12 PM

I’m really, truly sorry to hear that :( Prayers will be said for you.

capejasmine on June 6, 2011 at 2:22 PM

My brother in law finally found employment after 2 years… worked two months and got laid off again. My hubby found work after a year; he worked 3 months and is now unemployed again.

Thanks, Barack. Have a lobster and some champagne for me, will ya?

Key West Reader on June 6, 2011 at 2:26 PM

I wonder if anybody has done an analysis of incumbents who have unemployment which is trending down and/or trending up while seeking reelection. I seem to recall that Reagan had 7.2% but it was trending down.

txmomof6 on June 6, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Count me in as I face the unemployment line soon.

Thanks Barack.

William Amos on June 6, 2011 at 2:12 PM

I’ll find out in about 20 hours whether or not I still have a job. While I don’t blame Obama directly for my own predicament, he ain’t helping matters.

Doughboy on June 6, 2011 at 2:30 PM

How does this poll come close to the one posted several hours ago about how bho is about the best thing since sliced bread? That is why polls suck, IMO! How about doing a poll on how polls suck to give the correct results?
L

letget on June 6, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Thanks, Barack. Have a lobster and some champagne for on me, will ya?

Key West Reader on June 6, 2011 at 2:26 PM

I think that is what you meant

Ditkaca on June 6, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Are you better off now than you were two years ago?

Absolutely.

crr6 on May 30, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 6, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Its morning again in America.

BobMbx on June 6, 2011 at 2:37 PM

1 in 3 THINK they will be worse off…but in reality 2 out of 3 WILL be worse off by 2012…at a minimum…

PatriotRider on June 6, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Technically, due to how I structure my financial life, I will be better off financially by November 12 of next year, but only if I don’t include debt accumulated on my behalf by the federal government. So, to be honest, if asked this question by a pollster, I would have to say ‘worse’ also.

Vashta.Nerada on June 6, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Are you better off now than you were two years ago?

Absolutely.

crr6 on May 30, 2011 at 5:35 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 6, 2011 at 2:35 PM

Del, it is a step up for her to get out of the basement and into school. Cut her some slack. /s

NaCly dog on June 6, 2011 at 2:41 PM

I’mma be better of in 2012, no thanks to Obama, and, in fact, despite all of his best efforts to control just about every goddamned decision I make.

Obama is a fascist. It’s the truth.

Aquateen Hungerforce on June 6, 2011 at 2:41 PM

Normalcy bias on roids!

esnap on June 6, 2011 at 2:45 PM

I wonder if the depletion of savings is another symptom?

Cindy Munford on June 6, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Recession is when you neighbor loses their job.
Depression is when you lose your job.
Recovery is when Barack Hussein Obama loses his job.
1/20/2013 cannot arrive fast enough!!

Wine_N_Dine on June 6, 2011 at 2:47 PM

but all those other polls tell me dear leader has high approval numbers across all groups…

cmsinaz on June 6, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Its morning mourning in America.

BobMbx on June 6, 2011 at 2:37 PM

FIFY

Key West Reader on June 6, 2011 at 2:59 PM

If you are employed and are not actively helping the unemployed find work, then I really could not care less what you think about unemployment.

Christien on June 6, 2011 at 3:01 PM

This is not a capitalist country.

“Capitalist” is a vile Marxist term.

We are a free market economy.

Or anyway, should return to being, by turning this worthless jackass Obama out of office.

NoDonkey on June 6, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Bammie won’t be unemployed after 2012; I see him working for a golf-club company, promoting their products for big bucks. Maybe he’ll be the Ping Zing Man.

slickwillie2001 on June 6, 2011 at 3:14 PM

I wonder if anybody has done an analysis of incumbents who have unemployment which is trending down and/or trending up while seeking reelection. I seem to recall that Reagan had 7.2% but it was trending down.

txmomof6 on June 6, 2011 at 2:29 PM

In October 1984, the U-3 rate was 7.4%, but that was down sharply from a high of 10.8% in December 1982 (it was also 0.1% less than the rate in January 1981). For George W Bush, the rate was 5.5% in October 2004, down from a peak of 6.3% in June 2003. For Clinton, the rate was 5.2% in October 1996 and the highest rate under his presidency was 7.3% at its very beginning, since recovery was well under way before he became president. For George HW Bush, the rate was 7.3% in October 1992, down from a high of 7.8% in June 1992. For Carter, the rate was 7.5% in October 1980, down from a peak of 7.8% in July 1980. For Ford, the rate was 7.7% in October 1976, down from a high of 9.0% in May 1975. For Nixon, the rate was 5.6% in October 1972, down from a peak of 6.1% in August 1971. For LBJ, the rate was 5.1% in October 1964, down from a high of 7.1% in May 1961. For Eisenhower, the rate was 3.9% in October 1956, down from a peak of 6.1% in September 1954.

The U-3 rate was trending down for all incumbents, but for Carter and Bush the Elder it had dropped only slightly from a recent peak and was considered unacceptably high. Also, a focus on the U-3 rate overlooks other important economic considerations. For voters in 1980, inflation and the downturn in economic activity were more important than unemployment. Under Reagan, the inflation rate fell from over 12% in 1980 to 4% in 1982. After a recession, the economy rebounded strongly, growing 4.5% in 1983 and 7.2% in 1984. Under Obama, not only has unemployment remained high (and is being undercounted by official numbers), but the economy is essentially stagnant at best (after accounting for population and productivity growth) rather than recovering, the inflation rate is rising, and the budget deficit has skyrocketed. We just need a candidate who can explain to the public how these trends result from Obama’s policies.

DKCZ on June 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM

If you are employed and are not actively helping the unemployed find work, then I really could not care less what you think about unemployment.

Christien on June 6, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Don’t get me started on the people whose ‘advice’ consists of “why don’t you try applying at Burger King/Wal-Mart/random McJob”…

Uncle Sams Nephew on June 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Don’t get me started on the people whose ‘advice’ consists of “why don’t you try applying at Burger King/Wal-Mart/random McJob”…

Uncle Sams Nephew on June 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM

All I know is when I needed to, I worked the random McJob. I actually had 3 McJobs at one time. My wife and I did what we had to do to take care of our young family.

Now I’m employed but starting my own business and just hired two workers here in So. Cal. Major risk and using a significant amount of retirement to make it happen. But I feel more alive than I have in a while.

I fear our youth (and older) do not understand the feeling of self worth that comes from making it happen without help.

Ditkaca on June 6, 2011 at 3:31 PM

Count me in as I face the unemployment line soon.

Thanks Barack.

William Amos on June 6, 2011 at 2:12 PM

I’ll find out in about 20 hours whether or not I still have a job. While I don’t blame Obama directly for my own predicament, he ain’t helping matters.

Doughboy on June 6, 2011 at 2:30 PM

My wife was laid off last July. Still no work.

fossten on June 6, 2011 at 3:44 PM

B-B-But the Democrat won NY-26 because some Republican sent shirtless pictures of himself out on the internet.

As long as nothing like that happens to a Democrat, the Republicans don’t have a chance in 2012.

forest on June 6, 2011 at 4:09 PM

All I know is when I needed to, I worked the random McJob. I actually had 3 McJobs at one time. My wife and I did what we had to do to take care of our young family.

Which is all well and good when the McJob is going to hire you. But when the McJob sees a resume/job applicaiton that’s filled to the brim with various high-tech jobs 9 tomes out of 10 it’s going to go into the circular file, because the hiring manager is (rightfully) thinking that as soon as the economy improves, or as soon as the candidate gets a tip on a better job, that person is gone.

crazy_legs on June 6, 2011 at 4:15 PM

And, there are anti-Walker protesters in Wisconsin pretending to be homeless for the fun of it… Idiots.

Fallon on June 6, 2011 at 4:18 PM

1 in 3…that’s optimistic…

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 6, 2011 at 4:25 PM

1/20/2013 cannot arrive fast enough!!

Wine_N_Dine on June 6, 2011 at 2:47 PM

..actually, it’s 01/21/2013. Because of an anomaly of the calendar, the jerk gets an extra day in office.

The War Planner on June 6, 2011 at 4:26 PM

We just need a candidate who can explain to the public how these trends result from Obama’s policies.

DKCZ on June 6, 2011 at 3:16 PM

..good history and great analysis.

The War Planner on June 6, 2011 at 4:30 PM

But they’re discouraging from another vantage point, too: They highlight just how politicized economic matters have become. That liberal and conservative expectations of individual financial status are so inverse of each other suggests government policy has become a far more potent factor in the economy than should be the case in a capitalist country.

Progressives believe that the government is and should be at the center of everything. Naturally, they’re not indicative of “a capitalist country.” We watched the economy in a spiral under Jimmy Carter, so it’s not encouraging to see how Carter II is handling things.

tom on June 6, 2011 at 4:41 PM

Chronic Unemployment Now Worse Than Great Depression

CBS News

Nearly Nobody on June 6, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Chr

onic Unemployment Now Worse Than Great Depression

CBS News

Nearly Nobody on June 6, 2011 at 4:52 PM

Try to find the words “Democrat” or “Obama” in the CBS News article. Just try…

Fallon on June 6, 2011 at 4:56 PM

the pessimism wasn’t quite as pronounced among liberals: 41 percent actually said they expect to be better off financially by next fall.

Of course. Government spending is increasing.

jaime on June 6, 2011 at 5:28 PM

During the Obama Palin debate, Gov. Sarah Palin asks the audience…

“Are you better of now then you were 4 years ago?”

Obama’s teleprompter short circuits and melts into the stage.

evilned on June 6, 2011 at 5:44 PM

I am sitting here quietly, thinking bannable thoughts.

Mary in LA on June 6, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Count me in as I face the unemployment line soon.

Thanks Barack.

William Amos on June 6, 2011 at 2:12 PM

I’ll find out in about 20 hours whether or not I still have a job. While I don’t blame Obama directly for my own predicament, he ain’t helping matters.

Doughboy on June 6, 2011 at 2:30 PM

My wife was laid off last July. Still no work.

fossten on June 6, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Been out for about a month. Got a call for temp job at a pickle packer. Will take it while I look for a permanent job. Could draw unemployment I ‘spect, but don’t want to do that.

davidk on June 6, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Been out for about a month. Got a call for temp job at a pickle packer. Will take it while I look for a permanent job. Could draw unemployment I ‘spect, but don’t want to do that.

davidk on June 6, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Sorry for your situation, but “pickle packer”? Isn’t that a Barney Frank joke?

slickwillie2001 on June 6, 2011 at 6:32 PM

How can things get better? With gas approaching $5 and home heating oil and fool skyrocketing, more and more people will join the unemployment line as everyone cuts back spending.

Failbama and his clown posse want to increase taxes. They sure aren’t going to agree to lower them! Heck, harry Reid can’t even get a budget done. They will not stop spending money we do not have.

Unless the socialists make an improbable change in direction our economy is headed to complete collapse.

Bear in mind the unemployment numbers, the GDP and almost every government stat put out by state run media has been carefully constructed. It’s FAKE.

dogsoldier on June 6, 2011 at 6:39 PM

Evidence of little Bammie’s complicity: Confirmed. -Obama’s Monetary Policy Causes Massive Pain At The Pump

A new congressional Joint Economic Committee report confirms that the Obama administration’s monetary policies have added approximately 56.5 cents to the price of every gallon of gas you pump.

slickwillie2001 on June 6, 2011 at 6:42 PM

OK, Allahpundit and Jim it is time to start paying this redhead on the phone something. She is a HotAir icon.

SC.Charlie on June 6, 2011 at 6:50 PM

Remember the terms Obamadrepresion, Obamacare and Obamagas.

SC.Charlie on June 6, 2011 at 6:53 PM

Hooray she’s back, which is not exactly a good sign, is it?

Dhuka on June 6, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Hooray she’s back, which is not exactly a good sign, is it? – Dhuka on June 6, 2011 at 7:04 PM

Not a good sign, but she has become an icon on HotAir. It looks like she is going to a long-time figure on HotAir until Obama is voted out of office.

SC.Charlie on June 6, 2011 at 8:31 PM

I joined the unemployed last month for the second time in 18 months. Last time I was off for a month, this time who knows. I work in the ship repair business in SD on Navy ships, which rely on govt. contracts. They were held up by the lack of a budget so everything was put on hold. $900 every other week doesn’t cut it here in Cali, good thing I have my Navy retirement that just covers my rent or I’d be homeless soon.

ic1redeye on June 7, 2011 at 10:00 AM