CNN: 48% believe a Great Depression is coming within a year

Alternate headline: Great Depression worries go mainstream.  I guess we can count Barack Obama among the 51% who aren’t worried about it, since he’s not even worrying about a double-dip recessionCNN’s latest poll shows an almost even split between Americans who expect a big collapse within a year, and, er, Americans who aren’t quite as worried about it:

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.

The three-point difference makes this a dead heat within the margin of error.  Moreover, this is the most pessimistic survey result we’ve seen on the subject.  In 2008, only 38% expected another Great Depression, which rose to 41% in 2009 shortly after Obama took office.  In the two years of the Obamanomics recovery, it’s jumped seven points — which shows just how effective people believe Obamanomics to be.

His Osama bin Laden bounce has dissipated, CNN’s analysis concludes, especially among Republicans.  Two weeks ago, 27% of Republicans approved of his performance, but that’s been cut almost in half to 14%.  Independents have also started peeling away, with a five point drop in the same period from 47% to 42%.  His overall approval rating dropped from 54/48 — apparently a math-challenged result in May from CNN that adds up to 102%, so I’m guessing that’s a typo for 54/46 — to 48/48 today.

CNN doesn’t break down approval ratings on the issues for Obama in this release (nor its sample breakdown, for that matter), but they did poll on which issues matter most to those voting for President in 2012.  The ratings for “extremely important” show 51% selecting that option for the economy, followed by a tie at 45% between unemployment and health care.  If 51% of people think that the economy is extremely important for their vote and 48% think we’re going to enter a Great Depression before they have a chance to cast it, that’s not exactly going to bode well for Obama’s re-election chances.

Maybe he needs to worry a little more about the economic backslide, or at least acknowledge it.