As Government Enters Shutdown, Majorities Do Not Trust President, Republicans or Democrats to Do What is Right for Economy

    NEW YORK , N.Y. – October 1, 2013 – As the government starts the first day of its partial shutdown and the two sides continue to go back and forth with competing Continuing Resolutions, the American public is watching. General attitudes towards President Obama, Congress and the direction of the country are already moving downwards. Now, attitudes about the economy have also started moving that way. These opinions were given during the rhetoric leading up to the shutdown, and are unlikely to improve as it continues – but the question is, how low will they go?

    In July, just one-third of Americans (33%) gave President Obama positive ratings on his handling of the economy while 67% gave him negative marks. This month, less than three in ten (29%) give him positive ratings and 71% give the President negative ratings on the overall job he is doing handling the economy. This is the lowest it has been since January of 2012.

    These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,577 adults surveyed online between September 18 and 24, 2013 by Harris Interactive.

    When it comes to who – if anyone – Americans trust to do what is right for the U.S. economy, no one gets high marks. Over half of U.S. adults (54%) say they do not trust President Obama to do what is right for the American economy, while over three in five (62%) do not trust the President’s economic advisors to do so. Members of Congress fare even worse: almost two-thirds of Americans (64%) do not trust Democrats in Congress to do what is right for the American economy, and almost three-quarters (72%) do not trust Republicans in Congress.

    General economic conditions

    Looking ahead, Americans are not expecting much to change and only minorities are expecting things to get better. Almost half of U.S. adults (46%) say, in the coming year, that they expect the economy to stay the same, while less than one-quarter (22%) expect it to improve and one-third (32%) expect it to get worse. In August, 27% believed the economy would improve in the coming year, while 31% thought it would get worse.

    It is a similar situation for household finances. Over half of Americans (52%) say they believe their household financial condition will stay the same in the next six months, while one in five (19%) believe it will get better and three in then (29%) say it will get worse. In July, one-quarter each believed it would get better (24%) and get worse (26%).

    One reason why people may not be optimistic about the economy and their financial situation is that they believe things are going to be more expensive. Three-quarters of Americans (74%) say the prices for things they normally buy will increase in the next six months. One-quarter (23%) say prices will remain the same and just 3% of Americans believe they will decrease.

    To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

    Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

     

    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

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    47

    49

    46

    43

    39

    40

    34

    36

    31

    32

    33

    36

    32

    Excellent

    13

    13

    10

    3

    9

    7

    6

    6

    5

    5

    6

    6

    5

    Pretty good

    34

    36

    36

    34

    31

    33

    27

    30

    25

    27

    27

    30

    27

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    53

    51

    54

    57

    61

    60

    66

    64

    69

    68

    67

    64

    68

    Only fair

    30

    27

    30

    27

    25

    27

    30

    30

    31

    30

    31

    29

    32

    Poor

    23

    24

    24

    30

    36

    33

    37

    34

    39

    37

    36

    34

    37

    2010

    2011

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    May

    June

    July

    Sept

    Oct

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    32

    29

    27

    31

    30

    33

    33

    33

    32

    27

    26

    21

    23

    Excellent

    6

    5

    5

    5

    5

    7

    9

    5

    7

    5

    3

    2

    3

    Pretty good

    26

    24

    22

    26

    25

    26

    24

    28

    26

    22

    23

    18

    20

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    68

    71

    73

    69

    70

    67

    62

    67

    68

    73

    74

    79

    77

    Only fair

    29

    31

    33

    30

    34

    30

    22

    29

    28

    30

    33

    33

    36

    Poor

    39

    40

    39

    39

    36

    37

    39

    38

    40

    43

    41

    46

    41

    2011

    2012

    2013

    Nov

    Dec

    Jan

    Feb

    Mar

    Feb

    Mar

    April

    June

    July

    Sept

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    22

    25

    25

    32

    32

    36

    33

    39

    35

    33

    29

    Excellent

    3

    4

    2

    3

    5

    4

    6

    6

    5

    5

    4

    Pretty good

    20

    22

    22

    29

    27

    32

    27

    32

    31

    28

    28

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    78

    75

    75

    68

    68

    64

    67

    61

    65

    67

    71

    Only fair

    32

    34

    34

    30

    29

    26

    26

    26

    29

    29

    31

    Poor

    46

    41

    41

    38

    39

    38

    41

    35

    36

    38

    40

    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 party and philosophy

    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 Philosophy

    Rep.

    Dem.

    Ind.

    Cons.

    Mod.

    Lib.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    POSITIVE (NET)

    29

    4

    57

    22

    8

    30

    56

    Excellent

    4

     

    7

    2

    2

    3

    7

    Pretty good

    26

    3

    50

    20

    7

    27

    49

    NEGATIVE (NET)

    71

    96

    43

    78

    92

    70

    44

    Only fair

    31

    27

    32

    32

    20

    38

    30

    Poor

    40

    70

    11

    46

    72

    31

    14

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

     

    TABLE 3

    TRUST REGARDING THE ECONOMY – TREND

    How much trust do you have in each of the following to do what is right for the American economy?

    Base: All adults

     

    TRUST (NET)

    A great deal of trust

    Some trust

    DO NOT TRUST

    (NET)

    Not that much trust

    No trust at all

    President Barack Obama

    Sept. 2013

    %

    46

    20

    26

    54

    19

    35

    June 2010

    %

    52

    23

    29

    48

    17

    30

    Aug. 2009

    %

    61

    36

    25

    39

    14

    26

    The President’s economic advisors

    Sept. 2013

    %

    38

    6

    32

    62

    30

    33

    June 2010

    %

    42

    8

    34

    58

    28

    30

    Aug. 2009

    %

    54

    17

    37

    46

    20

    26

    The Democrats in Congress

    Sept. 2013

    %

    36

    6

    30

    64

    31

    33

    June 2010

    %

    36

    6

    30

    64

    31

    33

    Aug. 2009

    %

    45

    10

    35

    55

    24

    30

    The Republicans in Congress

    Sept. 2013

    %

    28

    3

    25

    72

    32

    40

    June 2010

    %

    30

    3

    27

    70

    37

    33

    Aug. 2009

    %

    33

    4

    29

    67

    38

    29

    Note: Percentages may not add up 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

    2011

    April

    May

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    May

    June

    Aug

    Sept

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

    Feb

    June

    July

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Improve

    39

    38

    46

    40

    34

    38

    30

    29

    28

    30

    34

    29

    34

    26

    23

    Stay the same

    35

    35

    32

    36

    37

    34

    42

    39

    40

    40

    41

    45

    42

    41

    41

    Get worse

    26

    27

    22

    24

    29

    28

    28

    32

    32

    30

    25

    26

    25

    33

    37

    2011

    2012

    2013

    Sept.

    Oct.

    Dec.

    Feb.

    Feb.

    March

    April

    May

    June

    July

    Aug.

    Sept.

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    Improve

    21

    20

    23

    36

    32

    30

    29

    32

    32

    29

    27

    22

    Stay the same

    45

    46

    47

    40

    40

    37

    41

    42

    41

    44

    42

    46

    Get worse

    34

    34

    29

    24

    28

    33

    29

    25

    27

    27

    31

    32

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

     

    TABLE 5

    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

    Feb.

    March

    April

    May

    June

    July

    Sept

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    BETTER (NET)

    23

    21

    22

    26

    24

    24

    19

    Much better

    3

    3

    4

    5

    4

    5

    4

    Somewhat better

    20

    17

    18

    20

    20

    19

    15

    Will remain the same

    50

    49

    49

    50

    53

    49

    52

    WORSE (NET)

    27

    30

    28

    24

    23

    26

    29

    Somewhat worse

    20

    21

    20

    18

    17

    18

    21

    Much worse

    7

    9

    8

    6

    6

    9

    8

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


    TABLE 6

    CHANGE IN PRICES

    In the next 6 months, do you expect prices for things you normally buy to increase, decrease or stay the same?

    Base: All adults

    Total

    Generation

    Echo Boomers

    (18-36)

    Gen X

    (37-48)

    Baby

    Boomers

    (49-67)

    Matures

    (68+)

    %

    %

    %

    %

    %

    INCREASE (NET)

    74

    63

    69

    80

    86

    Will increase a lot

    15

    12

    14

    18

    17

    Will increase somewhat

    58

    51

    55

    62

    69

    Will remain the same

    23

    32

    27

    17

    12

    DECREASE (NET)

    3

    5

    4

    2

    1

    Will decrease somewhat

    3

    5

    3

    2

     

    Will decrease a lot

     

     

    1

     

    1

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

     

    Methodology

    This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between September 18 and 24, 2013 among 2,577 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, Harris Interactive 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 Interactive 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 the Harris Interactive 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 Harris Interactive.

    J43566

    Q705, 710, 713, 715, 718

    The Harris Poll® #69, October 1, 2013

    By Regina A. Corso, SVP, Harris Poll and Public Relations, Harris Interactive

     

    About Harris Interactive

    Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.