Economic Attitudes Inch Upward

NEW YORK , N.Y. – November 25, 2014 – It’s been a rough month for Democrats in general and for President Obama in particular. The midterm elections turned into a Republican rally, and President Obama is under attack from conservatives who feel his executive actions on immigration are overstepping the limits of presidential authority. But while many things may be looking low, it’s worth noting that positive attitudes toward the job the president is doing on the economy are up a bit, to 35%. This represents a two point increase over last month and six points’ growth compared to September, as well as being the highest this rating has been since May (when it was also at 35%).

Looking along political lines, nearly two-thirds of Democrats (64%) give the President positive ratings for the overall job he’s doing on the economy, while 94% of Republicans give him negative marks. Just over one fourth of Independents (26%) give the President positive ratings on his handling of the economy, while just under three-fourths (74%) rate him negatively.

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,276 adults surveyed online between November 12 and 17, 2014.

Expectations slide toward stability at home and across the country

When asked about their expectations regarding their household’s financial condition in the next six months, 22% of Americans say they expect it to be better – a marginal improvement over 21% last month. More notable, however, is the drop in the percentage of Americans expecting their household financial condition to worsen – from 26% last month to 21% this month. This corresponds to an increase in the percentage expecting it will remain the same, from 53% to 57%.

Similarly, expectations that the economy overall will improve have grown very slightly, from 26% to 27%, while the expectation that it will get worse has seen a more notable drop (from 29% to 22%) and expectations that it will stay the same have grown from 45% to 51%.

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TABLE 1

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB RATING ON THE ECONOMY – TREND

Now, turning to something different, how would you rate the overall job that President Barack Obama is doing on the economy?

Base: All adults

2009

2010

March

April

May

June

Aug

Sept

Nov

Dec

Jan

Mar

Apr

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

47

49

46

43

39

40

34

36

31

32

33

36

32

32

29

27

31

30

Excellent

13

13

10

3

9

7

6

6

5

5

6

6

5

6

5

5

5

5

Pretty good

34

36

36

34

31

33

27

30

25

27

27

30

27

26

24

22

26

25

NEGATIVE (NET)

53

51

54

57

61

60

66

64

69

68

67

64

68

68

71

73

69

70

Only fair

30

27

30

27

25

27

30

30

31

30

31

29

32

29

31

33

30

34

Poor

23

24

24

30

36

33

37

34

39

37

36

34

37

39

40

39

39

36

2011

2012

2013

Jan

Feb

Mar

May

June

July

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

Feb

Mar

Apr

June

July

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

33

33

33

32

27

26

21

23

22

25

25

32

32

36

33

39

35

33

29

30

30

29

Excellent

7

9

5

7

5

3

2

3

3

4

2

3

5

4

6

6

5

5

4

5

6

4

Pretty good

26

24

28

26

22

23

18

20

20

22

22

29

27

32

27

32

31

28

28

25

24

25

NEGATIVE (NET)

67

62

67

68

73

74

79

77

78

75

75

68

68

64

67

61

65

67

71

70

70

71

Only fair

30

22

29

28

30

33

33

36

32

34

34

30

29

26

26

26

29

29

31

28

29

30

Poor

37

39

38

40

43

41

46

41

46

41

41

38

39

38

41

35

36

38

40

42

41

41

2014

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE (NET)

28

31

31

32

35

32

30

30

29

33

35

Excellent

5

4

5

5

5

7

7

6

6

5

8

Pretty good

23

27

26

27

29

25

23

25

24

27

26

NEGATIVE (NET)

72

69

69

68

65

68

70

70

71

67

65

Only fair

30

29

27

29

26

28

27

31

31

29

29

Poor

42

40

42

39

39

40

43

39

40

38

36

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding; In February 2012 Not at all sure was offered as a response choice and 4% responded in that way.

 


TABLE 2

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S JOB RATING ON THE ECONOMY – By Political Party and Ideology

Now, turning to something different, how would you rate the overall job that President Barack Obama is doing on the economy?

Base: All adults

 

Total

Political Party

Political Ideology

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Cons.

Mod.

Lib.

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

POSITIVE

35

6

64

26

12

33

68

Excellent

8

1

17

5

5

7

17

Pretty good

26

4

47

22

7

27

52

NEGATIVE

65

94

36

74

88

67

32

Only fair

29

21

26

37

21

37

23

Poor

36

73

10

37

66

30

9

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 

 

TABLE 3

EXPECTATIONS FOR HOUSEHOLD FINANCIAL CONDITION IN NEXT SIX MONTHS

Thinking about your household’s financial condition, do you expect it to be better or worse in the next 6 months?

Base: All adults

2013

2014

Feb

Mar

April

May

June

July

Sept

Oct

Nov

Jan

Feb

Mar

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

BETTER (NET)

23

21

22

26

24

24

19

18

20

23

22

21

24

23

23

24

22

21

22

Much better

3

3

4

5

4

5

4

3

4

4

4

4

5

4

6

6

4

3

4

Somewhat better

20

17

18

20

20

19

15

15

16

18

19

17

20

19

18

18

18

18

18

Will remain the same

50

49

49

50

53

49

52

48

50

49

52

52

52

54

51

51

53

53

57

WORSE (NET)

27

30

28

24

23

26

29

34

30

29

26

27

23

23

26

25

25

26

21

Somewhat worse

20

21

20

18

17

18

21

24

19

19

18

19

17

17

18

17

18

18

16

Much worse

7

9

8

6

6

9

8

11

11

10

8

8

7

7

8

8

7

8

5

Note: Percentages may not add to 100% due to rounding;


TABLE 4

EXPECTATIONS FOR THE ECONOMY IN THE COMING YEAR – TREND

In the coming year, do you expect the economy to…?

Base: All adults

2009

2010

April

May

Aug

Sept

Oct

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Improve

39

38

46

40

34

38

30

29

28

30

34

29

Stay the same

35

35

32

36

37

34

42

39

40

40

41

45

Get worse

26

27

22

24

29

28

28

32

32

30

25

26

2011

2012

2013

Feb

June

July

Sept

Oct

Dec

Feb

Dec

Feb

March

April

May

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Improve

34

26

23

21

20

23

36

33

32

30

29

32

Stay the same

42

41

41

45

46

47

40

31

40

37

41

42

Get worse

25

33

37

34

34

29

24

36

28

33

29

25

2013

2014

June

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

May

June

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Improve

32

29

27

22

22

25

27

26

26

24

26

22

25

22

26

27

Stay the same

41

44

42

46

37

44

42

44

43

45

48

51

46

49

45

51

Get worse

27

27

31

32

41

32

32

30

32

31

27

26

29

29

29

22

Note: Percentages may not add up exactly to 100% due to rounding

 

 

 

TABLE 5

EXPECTATIONS FOR THE ECONOMY IN THE COMING YEAR – By Political Party and Generation

In the coming year, do you expect the economy to…?

Base: All adults

 

Total

Political Party

Generation

Rep.

Dem.

Ind.

Millennials (18-37)

Gen X (38-49)

Baby Boomers (50-68)

Matures (69+)

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Improve

27

25

33

23

28

23

25

33

Stay the Same

51

53

47

55

53

55

49

44

Worsen

22

23

21

22

18

22

26

23

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

 


Methodology

This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between November 12 and 17, 2014 among 2,276 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words margin of error as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

 

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

 

The Harris Poll® #106, November 25, 2014

By Larry Shannon-Missal, Managing Editor, The Harris Poll

About The Harris Poll®

Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. For more information, or to see other recent polls, visit the Harris Poll News Room.