Rasmussen: Majority of likely voters adults pessimistic on economy

posted at 1:21 pm on June 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

How’s that private sector going again?  Nine days ago, Barack Obama insisted it was doing fine, and that Americans were really worried about the dearth of government bureaucrats in their lives.  Not that such a statement needs too much rebuttal, but Rasmussen conducted a survey over the weekend to see whether Americans nationwide agree.  Unsurprisingly, the answer is an emphatic no:

Most Americans still believe the U.S. economy will be weaker or unchanged in a year’s time. Fewer than half expect the economy to be stronger even five years from now.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 36% of American Adults now think the economy will be stronger in a year. That’s consistent with findings so far this year and more optimistic than Americans were throughout 2011. But 52% don’t share that optimism, including 38% who believe the economy will be weaker in a year’s time and 14% who predict it will be about the same. Thirteen percent (13%) aren’t sure.

Last September, an all-time high of 52% predicted the economy would be weaker in a year.

Note that this is a survey of adults, not likely voters, as is usual for Rasmussen surveys. This sample type usually (but not always) is more sympathetic to left of center positions.  And while optimism has increased since last year, it still only encompasses slightly more than a third of American adults — right around the same rough percentage of the Democratic base in this sample, which is 33% (Republicans are 36%, independents 31%).  It still (barely) lags those who think the economy will get worse in the next year.

The demographics on this question are interesting, and perhaps a little counter-intuitive.  Men are a little more optimistic than the overall (41/36/13), while women are more pessimistic (31/39/15). Democrats and Republicans mirror each other, with 52/23/12 and 25/52/11 respectively, but independents are slightly more pessimistic than the overall average at 31/37/18.  That puts 55% of independents in the US as betting that the economy either stays as is or gets worse.

One big red flag for Obama is among adults under 40 years of age, where 46% believe the economy will get worse, higher than the overall average.  These are the voters that drove enthusiasm for Obama in 2008, and even more importantly, organizing effort.  They may not become Romney voters in 2012, but the enthusiasm for backing a continuation of policies that lead to stagnation and decline will not magically appear in the next five months, unless economic indicators suddenly move upward in a rather dramatic fashion.

And here’s one more big red flag, too.  Only 49% of respondents thought it wouldn’t be likely to see a Great Depression in the next five years.  Forty percent think it likely to some degree.  Those numbers get slightly worse among independents (42/45).  Those are not trends that support a vote for the status quo in five months.

With that in mind, Al Hunt argues in Bloomberg today that Team Obama needs an intervention after last week:

Obama probably hoped Penny and his fellow voters in the crucial swing state of Colorado were listening on June 14, when the president gave a major economic speech in Cleveland. For Democrats, June has been the cruelest month; there has been discouraging economic news; the re-election candidate has made mistakes and seems out of his comfort zone. The supposedly superior Obama campaign looks amateurish, and complaints about the operation’s insularity have reached a fever pitch.

Private conversations with a half-dozen of the smartest Democratic political thinkers — all of whom have played at the highest levels of national campaigns, are genuine Obama backers, and almost never are consulted by the campaign — reveal a consensus of advice for the president: Stop trying to tell voters they’re doing better, offer an optimistic sense of how, if re-elected, you would lead America to more prosperous times, and challenge Republicans with specifics.

Hunt offers a suggestion, while being resigned to having it ignored:

A longtime Democratic strategist predicts defeat unless there is some boldness. He offers an idea: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as popular as any American figure, has said she plans to resign after the election. Obama should persuade her to leave her post a month or so early and campaign for him. She might add some electricity and she wouldn’t be likely to commit the same occasional discipline lapses as her husband.

The secretary probably would reject such a suggestion, and team Obama wouldn’t ask. They don’t believe they need help. More than a few Democrats disagree.

I don’t think Hillary Clinton would help Obama all that much by September or October.  The die will be cast by that time, with a summer full of jobs reports and economic indicators driving the perception of success and failure in economic policy.  They would have been better off taking Bill Clinton’s advice instead of throwing him under the campaign bus this month, and they’ve effectively neutered the one surrogate that actually had a record of economic success on which to base his support for Obama.  By October, it will be far too late to stage an intervention, and if the economy continues on its current track, grief counseling might be more in order for those running this campaign.

Update: An hour later, I look at the headline for the 47th time or so and suddenly realize I had written “likely voters.”  As the post notes, it’s not a likely-voter survey but a general-population sample.  Sorry about that.


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More than pessimistic here…

OmahaConservative on June 18, 2012 at 1:23 PM

look, new immigration edict…next distraction in 5…4…3…

cmsinaz on June 18, 2012 at 1:24 PM

dear leader will double down on focusing on select voting blocs and give them what they want instead of focusing on the economy…

cmsinaz on June 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

I don’t think Hillary Clinton would help Obama all that much by September or October.

Agreed. I think reports of Hillary’s drawing power are as apocryphal as those of Obama’s likeability.

Extrafishy on June 18, 2012 at 1:27 PM

look, new immigration edict…next distraction in 5…4…3…

cmsinaz on June 18, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Squirrels!

BuckeyeSam on June 18, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Stop trying to tell voters they’re doing better, offer an optimistic sense of how, if re-elected, you would lead America to more prosperous times, and challenge Republicans with specifics.

But wouldn’t that actually require Obama to move away from the war on women, attack on religious freedom, evolution on same sex marriage, creating backdoor amnesty for illegals, opining about Trayvon Martin and Sandra Fluke, etc?

Keep in mind, none of the above “issues” does the first thing to make this nation more prosperous yet that is all Obama seems capable of discussing.

Happy Nomad on June 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Speaking of the economy, SQUIRREL!!!

The Rogue Tomato on June 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Stop trying to tell voters they’re doing better, offer an optimistic sense of how, if re-elected, you would lead America to more prosperous times, and challenge Republicans with specifics.

That would be stellar advice if the person actually, you know, wanted to lead America to more prosperous times.

With that in mind, Al Hunt argues in Bloomberg today that Team Obama needs an intervention after last week:

If he needs intervention after last week, what’s he going to need after the zero-care decision?

Lost in Jersey on June 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM

I don’t know how predictive the results are when it comes to voting. Some of the people who are pessimistic might be Obama voters who buy into the “Bush messed it up so bad nobody can fix it” argument – journalists for example.

Those who believe Romney will win and can make a difference once in office may be more optimistic, which may explain why men are more confident than women.

forest on June 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Stop trying to tell voters they’re doing better, offer an optimistic sense of how, if re-elected, you would lead America to more prosperous times,

King-Emperor Admiral Barky: “At some point, you’ve made enough money. You’re doing fine. Don’t be greedy Western pig-dogs. Hmmm …. dogs …. LUNCH!”

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 18, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Delusional fools, Axelturd and E.J. Dionne – cry on Nov. 6, fools.

Axelrod was thus in a reasonably good mood as he watched his candidate on the small screen, figuring (correctly as it turned out) that a lengthy, specifics-heavy speech would force at least a day of news stories on the “big choice” theme.

He even ventured into contested territory by insisting, contrary to all the reports that Obama’s soaring 2008 themes were dead and buried, that “this is still about hope — our hope is still about the things we need to do to secure the future.” And with the campaign trying to connect Romney to the Bush past, is it outlandish to imagine that it would be tempted to resurrect the other half of 2008′s formula with the tongue-in-cheek slogan “Keep the change”?

Perhaps that’s a step too far, but it captures Obama’s desire to become a change agent again by turning his opponent into a restorationist.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Those who would vote for a Communist, don’t give a damn about the state of the economy. Their only concern is that they have voted for one who would provide for them and, in return, they are willing to surrender any concept of liberty and indivualism – and serve him.

If the economy utterly collapsed, these Communists would still vote for Obamuh.

The economy is irrelevant to them. Their only concern is that the man that they vote for – will “take care of us.”

OhEssYouCowboys on June 18, 2012 at 1:31 PM

If he needs intervention after last week, what’s he going to need after the zero-care decision?

Lost in Jersey on June 18, 2012 at 1:29 PM

A straitjacket and 24 hour observation.

teke184 on June 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Calling Dr. Fine

skanter on June 18, 2012 at 1:33 PM

dear leader will double down on focusing on select voting blocs and give them what they want instead of focusing on the economy…

cmsinaz on June 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

And shame on Romney’s campaign if he doesn’t stay in Obama’s face on the issue of jobs and the economy.

Happy Nomad on June 18, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Will we see the dead cat bounce picture in the near future based on his latest distraction

cmsinaz on June 18, 2012 at 1:34 PM

Such impertinence must and will be punished.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Barry’s War Room:

SEND IN BILL CLINTON!

No, wait.

SEND IN JOE BIDEN!

Er. . . hang on.

SEND IN. . .

Aw, funk it. Just call ‘em racists.

RedNewEnglander on June 18, 2012 at 1:35 PM

I hope he does happy nomad

cmsinaz on June 18, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Alls I know is in about 2 1/2 months our new calendar year begins, and for the 4th straight year, I’m anticipating no raise at all. Not even a COL increase. Gee, I wonder what else started 4 years ago.

Doughboy on June 18, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Calling Dr. Fine
skanter on June 18, 2012 at 1:33 PM

What about Doctors Howard, puddin’ head?

turfmann on June 18, 2012 at 1:40 PM

Rely on Hillary’s charisma? Brilliant.

gwelf on June 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

The ruinous state of the economy is a direct result of the do-nothing, party of no, Senate republicans.

tom daschle concerned on June 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

For all you trolls out there, my following comment is not a pro-Romney comment, per se, but more one of the reality – it is – what it is. The current occupant of the Oval Office, a once distinguished office, has sullied the reputation of the Office of the President of the United States through arrogance and incompetence. His wide swath of disregard for the Constitution and the rule of law this great Republic was based on, now has the attention of We The People. His wanton disregard for national security, the giving of aid and comfort to our enemy, and a desire to stoke the flames of internal unrest among our countrymen is a clear indicator that he must be removed. The common joke used on this site, “Look, a squirrel!”, is more true today than ever. With the economy in a shambles and this POTUS unable to understand it, his only actions seem to be diversions. That is what wannabe dictators do in their banana republics to keep the peasants at bay. It won’t work here, not ever. The facts are now speaking for themselves. Buh bye, Barky.

HomeoftheBrave on June 18, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Hunt offers a suggestion, while being resigned to having it ignored:

Obama needs better messaging and messengers?

Al, it’s not nice to offer advice to Barry and have that advice be “Squirrel!”

Dusty on June 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Geez, do you think that if maybe Obamao stayed home once without golfing and, like, actually governed instead of campaigning, something good might come of it???

chai on June 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM

tom daschle concerned on June 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

This comment was sarcasm, but expect to hear this from leftists.

tom daschle concerned on June 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM

Geez, do you think that if maybe Obamao stayed home once without golfing and, like, actually governed instead of campaigning, something good might come of it???

chai on June 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM

No.

He doesn’t understand what “governing” is. King-Emperor Barky of the 84 IQ “rules”. The less of it he does the better it is for America’s sliver of a chance at survival.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 18, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Note that this is a survey of adults, not likely voters, as is usual for Rasmussen surveys.

Huh. Why does your headline say “Rasmussen: Majority of likely voters…”?

Buy Danish on June 18, 2012 at 1:52 PM

This comment was sarcasm, but expect to hear this from leftists.

tom daschle concerned

Democrat controlled Congress 2007 – 2011, the period in which our economic situation turned from distressed to disastrous.

The ‘failed policies’ that the O-ring is so fond of riding includes all the policies of that Dem Congress, a Congress that he was a part of.

chimney sweep on June 18, 2012 at 1:54 PM

Their only hope now is a 3rd party run to siphon off 7-8% of Romney’s votes.

I’m sure they can pay someone to do this for them.

faraway on June 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM

LOL! Al Hunt is as clueless as always, but even he sees the Obama campaign is incompetent. I wish the Obama camp would try to take Hunt’s advice! Her popularity is overrated, she won’t cross Bill politically (which is what it would amount to) and it would look like the desperate move it is. I’m starting to worry more about Romney self-destructing than Obama finding a game changer. Obama’s campaign only knows what it’s like running without any record against a silent lame duck and the next old Republican taking his “turn”. They think they must be geniuses, except now they have a record of the worst economic recovery since the great depression, signature legislation the public hates, and excuses as the only explanation.

cartooner on June 18, 2012 at 1:56 PM

The more bad weeks that Obama has, the more optimistic I am about the long-range prospects for the economy …

PackerBronco on June 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Obama needs better messaging and messengers?

Al, it’s not nice to offer advice to Barry and have that advice be “Squirrel!”

Dusty on June 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Yeah, he needs to give more of those rambling 54 minute speeches! The problem is that he just isn’t able to get his views out in front of the public. ;0

Happy Nomad on June 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM

She might add some electricity…

Of course she would. Hillary “don’t feel no ways tired”.

txhsmom on June 18, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Rasmussen: Majority of likely voters racist pessimistic on economy

FIFY.

Yeah, he needs to give more of those rambling 54 minute speeches! The problem is that he just isn’t able to get his views out in front of the public. ;0

Happy Nomad on June 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM

They think that they just need to say it more often and louder each time. I mean, we’re just too stupid to understand.

BacaDog on June 18, 2012 at 2:07 PM

Most Americans still believe the U.S. economy will be weaker or unchanged in a year’s time. Fewer than half expect the economy to be stronger even five years from now.

not doing fine, IOW…..

ted c on June 18, 2012 at 2:08 PM

She might add some electricity

Yeah … RESET OVERCHARGED!!!

Shrillary’s a brain-dead idiot.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 18, 2012 at 2:09 PM

Rasmussen: Majority of likely voters pessimistic on economy

I’m confused.

Note that this is a survey of adults, not likely voters, as is usual for Rasmussen surveys.

ButterflyDragon on June 18, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Those who would vote for a Communist, don’t give a damn about the state of the economy. Their only concern is that they have voted for one who would provide for them and, in return, they are willing to surrender any concept of liberty and indivualism – and serve him.

If the economy utterly collapsed, these Communists would still vote for Obamuh.

The economy is irrelevant to them. Their only concern is that the man that they vote for – will “take care of us.”

OhEssYouCowboys on June 18, 2012 at 1:31 PM

If they were smart, they would elect Republicans, simply for the fact that a booming economy would make everyone forget about these people. Their current way of thinking will have to change at some point with Obama type leaders, since the country will run out of other peoples money much sooner. They aren’t smart though, or they would realize that making a living isn’t that hard (under normal circumstances) and they don’t have to grovel to some government stooge for all their needs.

Night Owl on June 18, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Stop trying to tell voters they’re doing better, offer an optimistic sense of how, if re-elected, you would lead America to more prosperous times, and challenge Republicans with specifics.

Huh? Barry only has the Socialist Play Book. He has no other options. What’s he going to do, insist on another “Stimulus”? Just look for recycled speeches.

As for Hillary! – HA! She hates his guts.

GarandFan on June 18, 2012 at 2:11 PM

Anecdotal but my life…my husband’s job is far from secure, my job the same, my kids can’t find jobs. The private sector is NOT doing fine. The cure? Oust as many Dems from office as soon as possible. Starting with the hater-in-chief.

neyney on June 18, 2012 at 2:21 PM

He needs a ball buster announcement in Sept…VP is probably the only choice since Joe Benign Brain Tumor Biden doesn’t bring much to the voting tally table..I always thought it would be Hillary, but Bill’s recent bandwagon jumping comments tell me it would be someone else…since I can’t fathom a centrist, reasonable, honest, private-sector experienced Dem, I am at a loss for who he could nominate…

hillsoftx on June 18, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Obama has certainly been bad but the systemic corruption in our economy and government started long before Obama, and polls show most Americans still hold Bush more accountable than Obama. It was Bush, after all, that abandoned the free-market back in ’08, paving the way for Obama’s continuation of Bush’s bailout policies. Getting rid of Obama and replacing him with somebody more like Bush, only worse, isn’t going to help the economy any. If anything Romney will probably make it worse, except it will be R-crony flavored instead of D-crony flavored.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Yes, who doesn’t have confidence in a woman who almost rode being a professional doormat into a sympathy vote for president.

As bad as Obama has been, Hillary wouldn’t have been any better.

NoDonkey on June 18, 2012 at 2:26 PM

The more bad weeks that Obama has, the more optimistic I am about the long-range prospects for the economy …

PackerBronco on June 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM

If Romney wins, 55% will be optimistic about the future economy in mid-November, and the S&P average will be soaring.

Steve Z on June 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM

They are pessimistic because they see the evidence of the economy crumbling around them day after day, month after month, year after year of Obama’s failed socialist policies.

They would have been better off taking Bill Clinton’s advice instead of throwing him under the campaign bus this month, and they’ve effectively neutered the one surrogate that actually had a record of economic success on which to base his support for Obama.

Why would the smartest campaigner who ever drew a breath listen to “senile” Bill Clinton? Our faux brainiac deeply believes in his unmatched brilliance.

Will Hillary campaign for the Emperor after he excoriated her as a racist? Will Bill? Only if they want to go down with the ship. Smart dems will now begin to work hard with the GOP to appear reasonable, hoping to hang on to their seats.

dogsoldier on June 18, 2012 at 2:31 PM

If Romney wins, 55% will be optimistic about the future economy in mid-November, and the S&P average will be soaring.
Steve Z on June 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM

You owe me a new keyboard champ. And God forbid he wins, I will be selling worthless calls to you cons who think the market will soar under Sketch.

Smart money already has those calls written and ready to go for you wingnuts to gobble up if America makes the mistake of hiring the coreless fool.

Uppereastside on June 18, 2012 at 2:37 PM

If Romney wins, 55% will be optimistic about the future economy in mid-November, and the S&P average will be soaring.

Steve Z on June 18, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Romney doesn’t have any plans to address the problems in this country, he just want to be POTUS out of a sense of his own personal ambition. That is why he doesn’t have any principles and is willing to tell as many lies as he needs to to win. He doesn’t have a plan to cut spending and balance the budget, he support Bernanke and Geithner’s inflationary monetary policy that have raised the hidden tax so high and has caused gas prices to skyrocket.

Romney’s solutions are the same as Bush and Obama’s, more Keynesianism.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:38 PM

…it’s the ECONOMY stupid…???

KOOLAID2 on June 18, 2012 at 2:45 PM

The true disgust should be directed towards those that still support and believe this incompetent charlatan.

rplat on June 18, 2012 at 3:15 PM

dear leader will double down on focusing on select voting blocs and give them what they want instead of focusing on the economy…

cmsinaz on June 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM

Obama is so invested in turning America into a European style Socialist Democracy, he’s trying to engage in Coalition Building just as a Prime Minister would do in a Parliament.

jaydee_007 on June 18, 2012 at 3:23 PM

look, new immigration edict…next distraction in 5…4…3…

cmsinaz on June 18, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Squirrels!

BuckeyeSam on June 18, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Eartquakes, hurricane, tsunamis anywhere in the world ????….whaaat? Nothing???…not even a dramatic Greek exit of the EU?…tzk, tzk, who is he going to blame it on then….neah, you don’t think….Boooosh :)….

jimver on June 18, 2012 at 3:24 PM

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Ok, I get it. You are paid somehow to provoke folks on this blog, right? At this stage of the game, you can’t really believe some of the things you say…. right?

It took a long time to fall to this level. Fixing it in one fell swoop is delusional. First step – eliminate barky and his choom gang. Second step, get our fiscal house in order by electing all the right people at the local and state levels. Third step, clean house in Congress. By the time all that is done, the POTUS you’re really looking for should be evident to all of us. Right?

HomeoftheBrave on June 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Sorry for the strike-outs!

HomeoftheBrave on June 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM

He needs a ball buster announcement in Sept…VP is probably the only choice since Joe Benign Brain Tumor Biden doesn’t bring much to the voting tally table..I always thought it would be Hillary, but Bill’s recent bandwagon jumping comments tell me it would be someone else…since I can’t fathom a centrist, reasonable, honest, private-sector experienced Dem, I am at a loss for who he could nominate…

hillsoftx on June 18, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Oh, lots of choices… Bill Maher or Alec Baldwin come to mind.

bofh on June 18, 2012 at 3:57 PM

At this stage of the game, you can’t really believe some of the things you say…. right?

HomeoftheBrave on June 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM

Oh really, smarty pants? Then tell us, what is Romney’s plan to cut spending and balance the budget?

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 4:29 PM

what is Romney’s plan to cut spending and balance the budget?

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 4:29 PM

~9:40 of this video

tom daschle concerned on June 18, 2012 at 4:36 PM

~9:40 of this video

tom daschle concerned on June 18, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Thanks, I just watched and my first reaction is that when Romney says he opposes taxes, he’s lying. In fact Romney supports Bernanke and Geithner and the inflationary monetary policy of the fed, and inflation is the most insidious kind of taxation and redistribution of wealth. At least with regular taxation the government has to come and take it from people, with inflation people like Obama and Romney just print the money.

And I have to go in a minute so I’ll close by pointing out that Romney does not have any plan to cut spending and balance the budget, all he has is vague hope-n-change talking points.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Thanks, I just watched and my first reaction is that when Romney says he opposes taxes, he’s lying. In fact Romney supports Bernanke and Geithner and the inflationary monetary policy of the fed, and inflation is the most insidious kind of taxation and redistribution of wealth. At least with regular taxation the government has to come and take it from people, with inflation people like Obama and Romney just print the money.

And I have to go in a minute so I’ll close by pointing out that Romney does not have any plan to cut spending and balance the budget, all he has is vague hope-n-change talking points.

FloatingRock on June 18, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Well I won’t fall for that again…

:roll:

tom daschle concerned on June 18, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Geez, do you think that if maybe Obamao stayed home once without golfing and, like, actually governed instead of campaigning, something good might come of it???

Uh uh.

The more this guy golfs, the less damage he does.

Golf, Barry, golf!

hachiban on June 18, 2012 at 5:37 PM

So, what, is this like breaking news or something? We couldda told them the economy sucks. Duh!

stukinIL4now on June 18, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I think the question is nearly meaningless. A more fundamental question is who is president. In my case, if the president is Romney, I expect a very modest improvement in a year. If Obama is president, I expect a worsening economy that may be much worse.

For a couple of years, Ed has argued that a Republican is almost inevitable. I would agree with that conclusion if I thought our electorate was well educated, which I don’t. I have been voting regularly since 58 and following elections since 40. Most of these elections disappointed me even when I was confident.

Since the summer of 08 I thought we would have A Democrat for four years and and that he might win again in a close race or might loose in anything up to a blow out. I still think this.

burt on June 18, 2012 at 10:07 PM