81% in Poll Say Nation Is Headed

on the Wrong Track

By DAVID LEONHARDT and MARJORIE CONNELLY

 

New York Times

Published: April 4, 2008

 

 

For complete New York Times/CBS News poll results, click here

 

Americans are more dissatisfied with the country’s direction than at any time since the New York Times/CBS News poll began asking about the subject in the early 1990s, according to the latest poll.

In the poll, 81 percent of respondents said they believed “things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track,” up from 69 percent a year ago and 35 percent in early 2002.

Although the public mood has been darkening since the early days of the war in Iraq, it has taken a new turn for the worse in the last few months, as the economy has seemed to slip into recession. There is now nearly a national consensus that the country faces significant problems.

A majority of nearly every demographic and political group — Democrats and Republicans, men and women, residents of cities and rural areas, college graduates and those who finished only high school — say the United States is headed in the wrong direction. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said the country was worse off than five years ago; just 4 percent said it was better off.

The dissatisfaction is especially striking because public opinion usually hits its low point only in the months and years after an economic downturn, not at the beginning of one. Today, however, Americans report being deeply worried about the country even though many say their own personal finances are still in fairly good shape.

Only 21 percent of respondents said the overall economy was in good condition, the lowest such number since late 1992, when the recession that began in the summer of 1990 had already been over for more than a year. In the latest poll, two in three people said they believed the economy was in recession today.

The unhappiness presents clear risks for Republicans in this year’s elections, given the continued unpopularity of President Bush. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they approved of the job he was doing, a number that has barely changed since last summer. But Democrats, who have controlled the House and Senate since last year, also face the risk that unhappy voters will punish Congressional incumbents.

Mr. Bush and leaders of both parties on Capitol Hill have moved in recent weeks to react to the economic slowdown, first by passing a stimulus bill that will send checks of up to $1,200 to many couples this spring. They are now negotiating over proposals to overhaul financial regulations, blunt the effects of a likely wave of home foreclosures and otherwise respond to the real estate slump and related crisis on Wall Street.

The poll found that Americans blame government officials for the crisis more than banks or home buyers and other borrowers. Forty percent of respondents said regulators were mostly to blame, while 28 percent named lenders and 14 percent named borrowers.

In assessing possible responses to the mortgage crisis, Americans displayed a populist streak, favoring help for individuals but not for financial institutions. A clear majority said they did not want the government to lend a hand to banks, even if the measures would help limit the depth of a recession.

“What I learned from economics is that the market is not always going to be a happy place,” Sandi Heller, who works at the University of Colorado and is also studying for a master’s degree in business there, said in a follow-up interview. If the government steps in to help out, said Ms. Heller, 43, it could encourage banks to take more foolish risks.

“There are a million and one better ways for the government to spend that money,” she said.

Respondents were considerably more open to government help for home owners at risk of foreclosure. Fifty-three percent said they believed the government should help those whose interest rates were rising, while 41 percent said they opposed such a move.

The nationwide telephone survey of 1,368 adults was conducted from March 28 to April 2. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

When the presidential campaign began last year, the war in Iraq and terrorism easily topped Americans’ list of concerns. Almost 30 percent of people in a December poll said that one of those issues was the country’s most pressing problem. About half as many named the economy or jobs.

But the issues have switched places in just a few months’ time. In the latest poll, 17 percent named terrorism or the war, while 37 percent named the economy or the job market. When looking at the current state of their own finances, Americans remain relatively sanguine. More than 70 percent said their financial situation was fairly good or very good, a number that has dropped only modestly since 2006.

Yet many say they are merely managing to stay in place, rather than get ahead. This view is consistent with the income statistics of the past five years, which suggest that median household income has still not returned to the inflation-adjusted peak it hit in 1999. Since the Census Bureau began keeping records in the 1960s, there has never been an extended economic expansion that ended without setting a new record for household income.

Economists cite a variety of factors for the sluggish income growth, including technology and globalization, and it clearly seems to have made Americans anxious about the future. Fewer than half of parents — 46 percent — said they expected their children to enjoy a better standard of living than they themselves do, down from 56 percent in 2005.

Respondents were more pessimistic when asked in general terms about the next generation, with only a third saying it would live better than people do today. (Polls usually find people more upbeat about their personal situation than about the state of society, but the gap is now larger than usual.)

Charles Parrish, a 56-year-old retired fireman in Evans, Ga., who now works a maintenance job for the local school system, said he was worried the country was not preparing children for the high-technology economy of the future. Instead, the government passed a stimulus package that simply sends checks to taxpayers and worsens the deficit in the process.

“Who’s going to pay back the money?” Mr. Parrish, an independent, said. “We are. They are giving me money, except I’m going to have to pay interest on it.”

Democrats have asserted recently that the lack of wage growth has made people more open to government intervention in the economy than in the past, and the poll found mixed results on this score.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they would support raising taxes on households making more than $250,000 to pay for tax cuts or government programs for people making less than that amount. Only 38 percent called it a bad idea. Both Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidates, have made proposals along these lines.

More broadly, 43 percent of those surveyed said they would prefer a larger government that provided more services, which is tied for the highest such number since The Times and CBS News began asking the question in 1991. But an identical 43 percent said they wanted a smaller government that provided fewer services.

And although both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama have blamed trade with other countries for some of the economy’s problems, Americans say they continue to favor trade — if not quite as strongly as in the past. Fifty-eight percent called it good for the economy; 32 percent called it bad, up from 17 percent in 1996.

At the same time, 68 percent said they favored trade restrictions to protect domestic industries, instead of allowing unrestrained trade. In early 1996, 55 percent favored such restrictions.

Dalia Sussman and Marina Stefan contributed reporting.

 

How the Poll Was Conducted

The latest New York Times/CBS News poll is based on telephone interviews conducted March 28 through April 2 with 1,368 adults throughout the United States. Of these, 1,196 said they were registered to vote.

Skip to next paragraphThe sample of telephone exchanges called was randomly selected by a computer from a complete list of more than 42,000 active residential exchanges across the country. The exchanges were chosen so as to ensure that each region of the country was represented in proportion to its population.

Within each exchange, random digits were added to form a complete telephone number, thus permitting access to listed and unlisted numbers alike. Within each household, one adult was designated by a random procedure to be the respondent for the survey.

The results have been weighted to take account of household size and number of telephone lines into the residence and to adjust for variation in the sample relating to geographic region, sex, race, marital status, age and education.

In theory, in 19 cases out of 20, overall results based on such samples will differ by no more than three percentage points in either direction from what would have been obtained by seeking to interview all American adults. For smaller subgroups, the margin of sampling error is larger. For 510 self-described Democratic primary voters, it is four points; for 323 self-described Republican primary voters, it is five points. Shifts in results between polls over time also have a larger sampling error.

In addition to sampling error, the practical difficulties of conducting any survey of public opinion may introduce other sources of error into the poll. Variation in the wording and order of questions, for example, may lead to somewhat different results.

Michael R. Kagay of Princeton, N.J., assisted The Times in its polling analysis. Complete questions and results: nytimes.com/polls.

 

   

 

POLL

March 28 – April 2, 2008

N = 1,368
Registered Voters = 1,196
Democratic Primary Voters= 510
Republican Primary Voters= 323

All trends are from New York Times/CBS News polls unless otherwise noted. An asterisk indicates registered respondents only. “DPV*” indicates Democratic Primary Voters and “RPV*” indicates Republican Primary Voters.

1. I'd like you to compare the way things are going in the United States to the way they were going five years ago. Generally, would you say things are going better today, worse today, or about the same today as they were going five years ago?

Better      Worse        Same     DK/NA

1/19-23/86

44

31

23

3

1/18-21/87

38

31

29

2

5/9-12/88

30

34

32

4

3/4 -6/91

25

31

39

5

10/15-18/91

19

44

34

3

1/19-22/03

14

63

21

2

1/12-15/04

21

57

19

3

1/14-18/05

20

56

21

2

9/15-19/06

18

60

19

3

3/28-4/2/08

4

78

17

1

 

2. And what is your best guess about the United States five years from now? Generally,

if things go pretty much as you now expect, do you think things will be better, worse, or
about the same as they are today?

                 Better      Worse       Same     DK/NA

1/19-23/86

35

31

29

5

1/18-21/87

32

30

30

7

5/9-12/88

34

30

26

10

3/4 -6/91

51

18

25

6

10/15-18/91

31

36

27

6

1/19-22/03

41

32

21

6

1/12-15/04

45

26

24

5

1/14-18/05

36

32

28

3

9/15-19/06

31

37

27

5

3/28-4/2/08

39

34

19

9


 

3. Do you approve or disapprove of the way

Dis-

                   Approve approve  DK/NA

George W. Bush is handling his job

Approve

 as President? Dis-

approve    DK/NA

2/10-12/01 CBS

53

21

26

6/23-27/04

42

51

7

3/8-12/01

60

22

18

7/11-15/04

45

48

7

4/4-5/01 CBS

53

35

12

8/15-18/04 CBS

46

45

9

5/10-12/01 CBS

57

30

13

9/12-16/04

50

42

8

6/14-18/01

53

34

13

9/20-22/04 CBS

48

44

8

8/28-31/01 CBS

50

38

12

10/1-3/04

47

43

10

9/11-12/01 CBS

72

15

13

10/14-17/04

44

48

8

9/13-14/01

84

9

8

10/28-30/04

49

44

7

9/20-23/01

89

7

5

11/18-21/04

51

44

5

10/25-28/01

87

8

5

1/14-18/05

49

46

5

12/7-10/01

86

9

4

2/24-28/05

49

44

7

1/5-6/02 CBS

84

10

6

3/9-14/05 NYT

46

45

10

1/15-17/02 CBS

82

11

7

4/13-16/05 CBS

44

51

5

1/21-24/02

82

12

6

5/20-24/05 CBS

46

48

6

2/24-26/02 CBS

78

14

8

6/10-15/05

42

51

7

4/1-2/02 CBS

77

17

6

7/13-14/05 CBS

45

50

5

4/28-5/1/02

73

18

9

7/29-8/2/05 CBS

45

46

9

5/13-14/02 CBS

77

16

7

8/29-31/05 CBS

41

51

8

5/19-20/02 CBS

71

18

11

9/6-7/05 CBS

42

52

6

6/18-20/02 CBS

70

20

10

9/9-13/05

41

53

6

7/8-9/02 CBS

74

19

6

10/3-5/05 CBS

37

58

5

7/13-16/02

70

20

9

10/30-11/1/05 CBS

35

57

8

7/22-23/02 CBS

65

27

8

12/2-6/05

40

53

7

8/6-7/02 CBS

66

25

9

1/5-8/06 CBS

41

52

7

9/2-5/02

63

28

9

1/20-25/06

42

51

7

9/22-23/02 CBS

66

27

7

2/22-26/06 CBS

34

59

7

10/3-6/02

63

29

8

3/9-12/06 CBS

34

57

9

10/27-31/02

62

28

10

4/6-9/06 CBS

37

56

7

11/20-24/02

65

27

9

4/28-30/06 CBS

33

58

2

1/4-6/03 CBS

64

28

8

5/4-8/06

31

63

6

1/19-22/03

59

35

6

6/10-11/06 CBS

33

60

7

2/5-6/03 CBS

63

28

9

7/21-25/06

36

55

9

2/10-12/03

54

38

8

8/11-13/06 CBS

36

57

7

2/24-25/03 CBS

56

35

9

8/17-21/06

36

57

7

3/4-5/03 CBS

58

32

10

9/15-19/06

37

56

7

3/7-9/03

56

37

6

10/5-8/06

34

60

5

3/15-16/03 CBS

59

34

7

10/27-31/06

34

58

7

3/17/03 CBS

64

31

5

11/12-13/06 CBS

34

61

5

3/20/03 PANEL

67

31

2

12/8-10/06 CBS

31

63

6

3/20-21/03

67

26

7

1/1-3/07 CBS

30

63

7

3/22/03

68

26

6

1/18-21/07 CBS

28

64

8

3/23/03

71

23

6

2/8-11/07 CBS

32

59

9

3/24/03

70

26

5

2/23-27/07

29

61

10

3/20-24/03

69

25

6

3/7-11/07

34

58

8

3/26-27/03 CBS

68

26

6

3/26-27/07 CBS

30

64

6

4/2-3/03 CBS

67

26

7

4/9-12/07 CBS

31

61

8

4/11-13/03

73

21

6

4/20-24/07

32

61

7

4/26-27/03 CBS

67

24

9

5/18-23/07

30

63

7

5/9-12/03

67

26

7

6/26-28/07 CBS

27

65

8

7/13-27/03

54

41

5

7/9-17/07

29

64

8

8/26-28/03 CBS

55

37

8

7/20-22/07

30

62

8

9/15-16/03 CBS

52

39

9

8/8-12/07 CBS

29

65

6

9/28-10/1/03

51

42

7

9/4-8/07

30

64

6

10/20-21/03 CBS

54

36

10

10/12-16/07 CBS

30

61

9

11/10-12/03 CBS

50

42

8

12/5-9/07

28

65

8

12/14-15/03

58

33

9

1/9-12/08

29

62

8

1/12-15/04

50

45

5

1/30-2/2/08 CBS

27

65

8

2/12-15/04 CBS

50

42

8

2/20-24/08

30

64

6

2/24-27/04 CBS

47

44

9

3/15-18/08 CBS

29

64

7

3/10-14/04

51

42

6

3/28-4/2/08

28

64

8

3/30-4/1/04 CBS

49

44

7

 

 

 

 

4/23-27/04

46

47

8

 

 

 

 

5/20-23/04 CBS

41

52

7

 

 

 

 


 

Text Box: you
4.   Do you feel things in this country are generally going in the right
feel things have pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track?

                  Right Wrong   DK/NA                       Right Wrong

direction or do

DK/NA

1/27-28/91 CBS

51

39

10

8/15-18/04 CBS

39

55

6

3/4-6/91

51

42

7

9/12-16/04

41

51

7

10/15-18/91

33

60

7

9/20-22/04 CBS

41

54

5

11/27-28/94 CBS

30

65

5

10/1-3/04

40

51

9

12/3-6/95 NYT

25

64

10

10/14-17/04

37

59

4

12/8-11/96 NYT

39

51

11

10/28-30/04

43

55

2

9/16-18/96 CBS

41

48

11

11/18-21/04

40

54

6

2/19-21/98

54

36

9

1/14-18/05

39

56

5

9/8-10/98

49

42

10

2/24-28/05

42

52

6

10/12-13/98

46

47

7

3/9-14/05 NYT

37

56

7

10/26-28/98

52

42

7

1/5-8/06 CBS

31

62

7

5/10-13/00

48

44

7

4/13-16/05 CBS

32

62

6

3/8-12/01

40

54

6

5/20-24/05 CBS

34

60

6

4/23-25/01 CBS

37

58

5

6/10-15/05

33

61

6

6/14-18/01

42

53

5

7/29-8/2/05 CBS

37

57

6

10/25-28/01

61

29

10

9/9-13/05

31

63

6

12/7-10/01

64

27

10

5/4-8/06

23

70

7

1/24-27/02

52

35

12

10/3-5/05 CBS

37

58

5

7/13-16/02

42

48

10

10/30-11/1/05 CBS

27

68

5

7/22-23/02 CBS

39

53

8

12/2-6/05

31

60

9

8/6-7/02 CBS

41

51

8

1/20-25/06

32

61

7

9/2-5/02

43

49

8

3/9-12/06 CBS

28

66

9

10/3-6/02

42

48

10

4/28-30/06 CBS

24

71

5

10/27-31/02

41

52

8

6/10-11/06 CBS

27

69

4

11/20-24/02

41

49

10

7/21-25/06

28

66

6

2/10-12/03

35

56

9

8/17-21/06

29

67

4

3/22/03

50

40

10

10/27-31/06

29

64

7

4/11-13/03

56

36

9

12/8-10/06 CBS

24

70

6

9/28-10/1/03

37

56

7

1/1-3/07 CBS

27

68

5

7/13-27/03

46

49

5

1/18-21/07 CBS

26

69

5

11/10-12/03 CBS

39

53

8

2/8-11/07 CBS

26

68

6

12/10-13/03

39

56

5

2/23-27/07

23

68

9

12/14-15/03

49

43

8

3/7-11/07

25

69

6

1/12-15/04

42

53

5

5/18-23/07

24

72

4

2/12-15/04 CBS

41

51

8

6/26-28/07 CBS

19

75

6

3/10-14/04

38

54

8

7/9-17/07

22

72

6

3/30-4/1/04 CBS

36

57

7

9/4-8/07

24

71

4

4/23-27/04

36

55

9

12/5-9/07

21

71

8

5/20-23/04 CBS

30

65

5

1/9-12/08

18

76

6

6/23-27/04

36

57

6

3/28-4/2/08

14

81

5

7/11-15/04

36

56

8

 

 

 

 


 

5. What do you think is

7/06

the most important problem facing this country today?

9/06   10/06  3/07   5/07   7/07    9/07  12/07  1/08   2/08

 

 

 

 

4/08

Health Care

3

3

3

8

5

9

7

7

7

7

6

Social Security

1

-

-

-

-

-

1

1

1

-

-

Budget Deficit

2

1

1

1

1

1

3

2

2

3

2

Education

2

1

5

5

2

1

4

2

2

1

1

Medicare/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medicaid

1

-

-

 

 

-

-

-

 

 

-

Taxes

-

-

-

-

-

-

1

1

1

1

-

Economy

8

7

7

5

7

5

8

12

20

29

32

Immigration

4

4

4

5

7

8

9

4

5

4

3

Defense

3

3

2

2

1

1

2

1

2

1

-

Poverty

2

2

2

2

3

2

2

3

2

2

1

Crime

1

1

2

1

1

2

2

1

1

 

 

Foreign

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Policy

4

3

2

3

3

2

2

2

2

1

2

Jobs

3

4

5

3

1

3

5

2

4

4

5

Abortion

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

 

-

Moral Values

3

1

1

1

2

1

2

2

1

-

2

Welfare

-

 

-

-

 

1

-

-

1

 

-

President

3

3

4

3

3

4

3

2

2

2

2

War

16

14

17

19

18

21

20

19

16

15

12

Iraq

7

8

10

10

13

6

4

6

6

5

3

Politicians/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Government

2

2

3

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

Heating oil/Gas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crisis

8

3

1

2

7

2

2

3

2

3

7

Environment

2

2

1

1

3

2

2

3

2

1

2

Religious Values

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

1

2

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Terrorism general

7

14

12

4

3

6

4

3

3

5

2

Other

11

17

12

15

12

16

10

18

10

9

14

DK/NA

6

6

5

6

5

5

5

4

5

6

2


 

6. Do you approve or disapprove

  Dis-

Approve approve

of the way George W. Bush is handling the economy?

Dis-

DK/NA                          Approve approve DK/NA

3/8-12/01

55

28

17

7/11-15/04

42

51

6

4/4-5/01 CBS

47

40

13

8/15-18/04 CBS

37

54

9

4/23-25/01 CBS

44

39

17

9/12-16/04

43

50

7

5/10-12/01 CBS

46

37

17

10/1-3/04

45

49

6

6/14-18/01

50

38

12

10/9-11/04 CBS

40

52

8

10/25-28/01

64

25

11

10/14-17/04

42

53

5

12/7-10/01

61

26

13

10/28-30/04

43

51

6

1/5-6/02 CBS

59

29

12

11/18-21/04

42

51

7

1/15-17/02 CBS

57

31

12

1/14-18/05

42

52

7

1/21-24/02

56

33

11

2/24-28/05

38

54

9

2/24-26/02 CBS

54

37

9

4/13-16/05 CBS

34

57

9

5/13-14/02 CBS

52

38

10

5/20-24/05 CBS

38

56

6

6/18-20/02 CBS

56

36

8

6/10-15/05

39

56

6

7/8-9/02 CBS

56

35

9

7/29-8/2/05 CBS

42

52

6

7/13-16/02

52

37

11

8/29-31/05 CBS

37

56

7

7/22-23/02 CBS

44

45

11

9/9-13/05

35

59

6

8/6-7/02 CBS

45

44

11

10/3-5/05 CBS

32

61

7

9/2-5/02

47

42

11

10/30-11/1/05 CBS

34

55

11

9/22-23/02 CBS

49

41

10

12/2-6/05

38

54

7

10/3-6/02

41

46

13

1/5-8/06 CBS

39

52

9

10/27-31/02

46

43

12

1/20-25/06

39

54

7

11/20-24/02

45

45

10

2/22-26/06 CBS

32

60

7

1/4-6/03 CBS

42

46

12

3/9-12/06 CBS

35

57

8

1/19-22/03

44

49

7

4/6-9/06 CBS

36

57

7

2/5-6/03 CBS

44

49

7

4/28-30/06 CBS

31

58

11

2/10-12/03

38

53

10

5/4-8/06

28

66

6

2/24-25/03 CBS

40

50

10

6/10-11/06 CBS

33

59

8

3/4-5/03 CBS

41

49

10

7/21-25/06

33

59

9

3/7-9/03

40

52

8

8/11-13/06 CBS

30

62

7

3/20-21/03

48

40

12

8/17-21/06

35

58

7

3/22/03

46

45

9

9/15-19/06

37

56

7

3/23/03

53

38

9

10/5-8/06

34

57

9

3/24/03

51

37

12

10/27-31/06

38

54

8

3/20-24/03

50

40

10

12/8-10/06 CBS

36

52

12

4/11-13/03

46

41

13

1/1-3/07 CBS

41

51

8

4/26-27/03 CBS

42

45

13

1/18-21/07 CBS

37

55

8

5/9-12/03

43

48

9

2/8-11/07 CBS

38

55

7

7/13-27/03

40

52

8

2/23-27/07

35

56

9

8/11-12/03 CBS

36

52

12

3/7-11/07

38

53

9

8/26-28/03 CBS

39

53

8

3/26-27/07 CBS

38

53

9

9/15-16/03 CBS

41

52

7

4/9-12/07 CBS

36

57

7

9/28-10/1/03

37

56

7

4/20-24/07

35

56

9

12/10-13/03

44

51

5

5/18-23/07

36

56

8

12/14-15/03

49

43

8

7/9-17/07

37

55

9

1/12-15/04

44

51

5

8/8-12/07 CBS

34

55

11

2/12-15/04 CBS

44

50

6

9/4-8/07

32

60

7

2/24-27/04 CBS

37

56

7

9/14-16/07 CBS

31

61

8

3/10-14/04

38

54

9

12/5-9/07

26

64

10

3/30-4/1/04 CBS

37

56

7

1/30-2/2/08 CBS

27

62

11

4/23-27/04

39

54

7

2/20-24/08

27

63

11

5/20-23/04 CBS

36

57

7

BS
3/15-18/08 C25

 

68

7

6/23-27/04

40

52

8

3/28-4/2/08

21

71

8


 

7. How would you rate
bad or very bad?

Very Fairly Good  good

 

the condition of the

 Fairly Very

bad     bad DK/NA

 national economy these days? Is it

 Very   Fairly

 good    good

 

very good, fairly good, fairly

 

Fairly Very

bad    bad  DK/NA

1/92A

-

17

47

35

1

9/20-23/01

3

50

33

11

2

1/92B

1

20

46

32

1

10/25-28/01

3

53

33

9

2

2/92A

1

16

38

42

2

12/07-10/01

3

52

35

8

2

2/92B

1

16

40

41

1

1/5-6/02 CBS

3

49

36

8

4

3/92

1

18

39

40

1

1/15-17/02 CBS

2

49

36

11

2

4/92

1

23

40

34

1

1/21-24/02

2

50

36

10

1

7/92

-

21

41

37

1

2/24-26/02 CBS

1

52

38

7

2

8/92A

1

20

40

38

1

5/13-14/02 CBS

4

62

27

7

-

9/92A

1

19

37

39

3

6/18-20/02 CBS

3

56

30

9

2

10/92A

1

18

42

37

2

7/13-16/02

2

47

36

13

2

10/92C

2

21

40

37

1

7/22-23/02 CBS

3

42

39

14

2

10/92D

2

21

40

36

2

8/6-7/02 CBS

2

45

38

13

2

10/92E

1

22

39

36

2

9/2-5/02

3

47

36

14

1

12/92

1

31

39

28

2

10/3-6/02

4

39

42

14

2

1/93

1

34

41

22

2

10/27-31/02

1

44

38

15

1

2/93

2

33

36

26

3

11/20-24/02

2

46

37

13

2

3/93

1

33

41

22

2

1/4-6/03 CBS

1

40

43

14

2

6/93A

1

29

43

25

2

1/19-22/03

1

42

43

12

1

6/93B

1

33

40

23

2

2/10-12/03

2

37

42

18

2

8/93

3

28

45

23

1

3/20-24/03

3

47

33

15

2

9/93

1

31

44

23

1

4/11-13/03

2

48

36

10

3

11/93

2

40

38

18

2

5/9-12/03

2

42

41

14

1

12/93

1

43

39

15

2

9/28-10/1/03

4

39

37

19

1

12/93

1

43

39

15

2

10/20-21/03 CBS

3

42

36

18

1

1/94

2

45

38

14

1

12/10-13/03

4

52

30

13

1

1/94

1

49

34

14

1

12/14-15/03

5

50

28

13

4

2/94

2

50

34

12

2

1/12-15/04

3

51

34

11

1

4/94

3

51

33

11

2

3/10-14/04

2

47

34

15

2

6/94

3

51

32

11

3

4/23-27/04

4

51

30

15

1

7/94

3

50

35

11

1

5/20-23/04 CBS

5

47

31

16

1

9/94

2

51

33

13

2

6/23-27/04

4

54

30

11

1

9/94

3

50

34

11

2

8/15-18/04 CBS

5

47

32

15

1

11/94

2

53

33

10

1

9/12-16/04

3

51

31

12

2

1/95

3

57

28

11

1

10/1-3/04

6

49

29

16

1

2/95

5

53

29

12

2

10/14-17/04

3

49

32

13

2

3/95

3

52

29

13

3

11/18-21/04

4

50

30

14

1

7/95

3

58

26

11

2

2/24-28/05

4

53

29

13

1

10/95

3

54

32

10

1

6/10-15/05

4

50

32

13

1

12/95

4

54

27

13

2

7/29-8/2/05 CBS

7

50

31

11

1

1/96

2

49

33

14

2

9/9-13/05

4

45

33

17

1

2/96

3

50

30

15

3

10/30-11/1/05 CBS

3

44

35

16

2

6/96

2

53

32

11

2

12/2-6/05

6

49

29

14

1

6/96B

4

56

30

9

1

1/5-8/06 CBS

6

48

32

13

1

7/96

5

56

27

10

 

1/20-25/06

6

51

29

13

1

8/96

5

58

23

10

3

2/22-26/06 CBS

5

45

33

15

2

9/96

5

64

23

7

1

3/9-12/06 CBS

4

51

29

14

2

10/96

6

66

19

6

2

4/6-9/06 CBS

7

45

30

17

1

10/96C

6

61

21

10

3

4/28-30/06 CBS

8

49

27

14

2

11/96

6

64

21

6

2

5/4-8/06

6

47

31

15

1

12/96

6

61

22

8

3

7/21-25/06

5

46

34

13

1

1/97

7

64

23

5

1

8/17-21/06

5

47

32

15

1

4/97

6

62

24

7

1

9/15-19/06

5

51

30

13

1

7/97

11

62

18

8

1

10/5-8/06

7

53

28

11

1

11/97

14

63

16

5

2

10/27-31/06

9

50

26

13

3

12/97

17

63

15

4

2

12/8-10/06 CBS

8

50

26

13

3

1/98

16

67

13

3

1

1/1-3/07 CBS

8

50

26

14

2

2/98

21

67

9

3

1

1/18-21/07 CBS

7

51

31

10

1

8/11-13/98

21

66

8

3

2

2/8-11/07 CBS

8

52

27

12

1

8/19-20/98

25

61

9

3

2

2/23-27/07

7

55

25

10

3

10/98A

16

65

15

3

2

3/7-11/07

8

47

33

11

1

10/98B

16

68

11

3

2

4/9-12/07 CBS

8

51

28

11

2

2/00

28

60

8

3

1

5/18-23/07

7

48

29

14

1

5/00

29

58

7

4

2

7/9-17/07

9

46

30

13

2

9/00D*

26

64

7

2

1

8/8-12/07 CBS

7

45

32

14

2

10/00

25

60

9

4

3

9/4-8/07

4

51

30

15

1

11/00

26

63

7

3

2

10/12-16/07 CBS

5

45

33

16

1

12/00 CBS

21

65

10

3

1

12/5-9/07

3

39

39

18

1

1/01 CBS

14

70

11

4

1

1/9-12/08

3

35

42

19

2

3/8-12/01

6

68

19

5

 

1/30-2/2/08 CBS

2

26

44

27

1

4/01B CBS

3

58

29

7

3

2/20-24/08

2

27

45

25

1

5/01 CBS

4

64

23

7

2

3/15-18/08 CBS

1

24

42

34

 

6/14-18/01

3

67

22

6

2

3/28-4/2/08

1

20

48

30

1


 

8.

 

Do you

 

think the
Better

 

economy is
Worse

 

  getting better,   Same    DK/NA

getting worse, or staying about the same?

  Better Worse Same

DK/NA

9/76

25

30

41

4

7/96

16

27

55

2

10/76A

18

36

44

2

8/96C

17

23

57

3

10/76B

22

35

39

3

10/96

26

19

53

2

1/77

16

27

54

3

11/96

24

19

55

2

4/77

18

31

48

4

12/96

19

21

57

2

7/77

22

22

52

4

1/97

24

19

56

1

1/78

17

34

45

4

4/97

16

25

57

1

4/78

12

48

38

2

11/97 CBS

23

19

55

3

6/78

9

58

31

2

12/97

29

18

51

2

9/78

9

55

34

2

1/98

32

13

55

1

1/79

7

59

31

3

10/98A

20

26

53

2

6/79

3

72

22

3

10/98B

23

21

53

2

11/79

5

70

24

1

2/00

30

15

52

2

4/80

2

81

16

1

1/01 CBS

11

39

49

1

10/80A

14

46

37

4

2/01 CBS

8

46

44

2

11/80

8

58

33

2

3/8-12/01

7

41

49

2

1/81

4

58

35

3

4/01 CBS

9

48

41

2

3/82

16

48

34

2

5/01 CBS

10

44

44

2

1/83

21

39

39

1

6/14-18/01

9

40

50

1

10/86*

19

27

52

1

9/20-23/01

8

55

35

2

10/87A

12

37

47

3

10/25-28/01

14

37

46

2

10/87BNYT

11

39

46

4

12/07-10/01

19

34

45

2

11/87

11

41

46

3

1/5-6/02 CBS

26

27

44

3

1/88

12

35

51

2

1/21-24/02

18

33

48

1

5/88

21

34

42

3

5/13-14/02 CBS

31

18

51

-

9/88*

15

27

56

2

7/13-16/02

14

41

44

2

10/88A*

17

27

53

3

10/3-5/02

13

39

46

2

10/88A*

17

27

53

2

10/27-31/02

17

34

48

1

11/88B

14

25

58

2

11/20-24/02

19

30

50

2

1/90

8

36

53

2

1/19-22/03

17

39

44

1

8/90

4

55

40

1

4/11-13/03

17

31

49

2

10/90

2

69

28

2

5/9-12/03

22

28

49

1

10/90B

3

67

28

1

7/13-27/03

22

31

46

1

1/91 CBS

7

46

45

2

8/26-28/03 CBS

25

31

43

1

2/91 CBS

8

41

45

6

9/28-10/1/03

24

29

46

1

3/91

19

32

47

2

12/10-13/03

34

24

41

1

4/91

18

33

47

2

12/14-15/03

39

19

39

2

6/91

23

29

47

1

1/12-15/04

34

26

39

1

10/91D

14

40

44

2

2/12-15/04 CBS

33

27

39

1

11/91

8

44

46

2

3/10-14/04

28

27

43

2

1/92A

8

47

44

1

4/23-27/04

30

26

44

1

1/92B

9

45

44

1

5/20-23/04 CBS

23

32

43

2

2/92B

13

38

48

1

6/23-27/04

28

23

47

1

3/92

20

26

53

1

9/12-16/04

26

27

45

2

4/92

18

31

50

1

9/12-16/04

26

27

45

2

7/92

12

33

54

1

10/14-17/04

24

33

42

1

8/92A

10

36

53

1

11/18-21/04

26

29

44

1

9/92A

10

33

55

2

1/14-18/05

25

29

45

1

10/92A

9

38

51

1

2/24-28/05

23

30

46

1

10/92C

12

37

49

2

6/10-15/05

18

36

45

2

10/92D

17

33

48

2

7/29-8/2/05 CBS

20

32

47

1

10/92E

17

32

49

2

9/9-13/05

13

47

38

2

12/92

29

17

51

3

10/30-11/1/05 CBS

16

40

44

 

1/93

26

18

55

1

12/2-6/05

19

35

45

1

2/93

32

15

51

2

1/5-8/06 CBS

20

37

43

 

3/93

21

19

58

2

1/20-25/06

17

38

44

1

6/93A

13

26

60

1

3/9-12/06

13

39

47

1

8/93 CBS

12

30

56

2

5/4-8/06

14

47

39

1

9/93

14

26

58

1

7/21-25/06

12

47

41

1

11/93

19

24

57

1

9/15-19/06

17

36

46

1

1/94

31

17

57

1

10/5-8/06

19

31

49

1

4/94

24

25

50

1

10/27-31/06

16

38

44

 

7/94

22

21

56

1

2/8-11/07 CBS

15

34

49

2

9/94

23

27

50

1

2/23-27/07

11

35

51

2

11/94

20

26

53

1

4/9-12/07 CBS

11

44

44

1

1/95 CBS

24

22

53

1

5/18-23/07

11

43

44

2

2/95

27

20

53

1

7/9-17/07

12

41

45

2

3/95

18

27

53

2

9/4-8/07

8

49

43

1

8/95

14

27

58

1

10/12-16/07 CBS

9

45

44

2

10/95

13

27

57

2

12/5-9/07

5

53

40

2

2/95

16

26

56

2

1/9-12/08

4

62

33

1

1/96

13

31

54

2

1/30-2/2/08 CBS

6

67

26

1

2/96

14

29

55

2

2/20-24/08

3

63

32

1

4/96

14

32

53

2

3/15-18/08 CBS

2

75

21

2

6/96

13

29

57

1

3/28-4/2/08

4

70

25

1

6/96 NYT

18

22

58

1

 

 

 

 

 

9/96

23

21

54

2

 

 

 

 

 


 

9.    Right now, do you think the United States is in an economic recession, or not?
Yes   No   DK/NA

2/10-12/01 CBS    35   57     7

4/4-5/01 CBS      42   51     7

4/23-25/01 CBS    42   52     6

8/28-31/01 CBS    44   50     6

9/12/01 CBS       48   42    10

9/20-23/01        63   32     6

1/15-17/02 CBS    70   25     5

8/6-7/02 CBS      56   39     5

1/30-2/2/08 CBS   53   41     6

3/28-4/2/08       66   27     7

 

 

10.     What do you think is the most important ECONOMIC problem facing the country today? 3/28-4/2/08

 

Fuel costs                                      20

Jobs and Unemployment                           11

Home Mortgage Crisis                             8

Housing                                          6

Personal finances / making ends meet             5

Defense spending /spending on war                5

Jobs going overseas/ outsourcing of jobs         4

Health care / health insurance                   3

Value of the dollar                              3

Budget / National Debt                           3

Foreign Trade / balance of trade                 2

Too much government                              2

Foreign Trade / balance of trade                 2

Taxes                                            2

Interest rates                                   1

Immigration                                      1

Inflation                                        1

Education                                        1

Poverty / Homelessness                           1

Welfare                                          1

Income gap                                       1

Food prices                                      1

Social Security                                  -

Stock Market problems/return on investments      -

Recession                                        -

Job security                                     -

Everything                                       -

Other                                            4

Don't know/No answer                            12


 

11. When it comes to the availability of good jobs for American workers, some say that America's best years are behind us. Others say that the best times are yet to come. What do you think?

Best

years behind      Best

yet to come

DK/NA

3/26-29/92

49

42

9

12/3-6/95 NYT

49

40

11

9/2-4/96

41

48

11

10/10-13/96

44

46

10

10/30-11/2/96

44

46

10

12/8-11/96 NYT

44

46

10

3/28-4/2/08

48

43

9

 

12.     What is your biggest personal economic concern right now - paying everyday bills, OR paying for healthcare OR saving for retirement OR something else? IF ELSE, ASK: What is that?

3/28-4/2/08

Everyday bills                                   29

Healthcare                                       24

Retirement                                       25

All three                                         3
Something else:

College tuition/children’s education        4

Gas/transportation                          2

Housing                                     1

Other                                       6

Nothing                                           3

Don't know/No answer                              3

13.     How would you rate the financial situation in your household these days? Is it very good, fairly good, fairly bad or very bad?

 

Very good

Fairly good

Fairly bad

Very bad

DK/NA

11/10-16/88

12

69

13

5

2

10/8-10/90

14

70

11

4

1

7/21-25/06

12

64

17

5

1

4/20-24/07

14

69

13

4

1

2/20-24/08

18

60

15

6

1

3/28-4/2/08

9

63

20

7

1

 

14. In the past couple of years, would you say you have been getting ahead financially, just staying even financially, or falling behind financially?

 Getting ahead  Staying even  Falling behind    DK/NA

12/3-6/95 NYT

20

51

28

1

2/22-24/96

28

48

22

2

12/8-11/96 NYT

22

51

26

1

1/24-25/98

31

48

20

1

12/8-10/06 CBS

32

48

17

3

4/9-12/07 CBS

21

50

27

2

3/28-4/2/08

23

48

28

1

 

15. In general, how concerned are you about not having enough money to pay for your current health care costs — very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned?

 

                 Very concerned   Somewhat concerned   Not at all concerned  DK/NA

2/23-27/07

26

38

35

1

3/28-4/2/08

42

29

28

1


 

16.     How concerned are you about the health care costs you and your family might face in the coming years — very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned?

                     Very concerned    Somewhat concerned    Not at all concerned DK/NA

    2/23-27/07        52                   37                      10           2

    3/28-4/2/08       59                   27                      14           -

17.     How concerned are you about being able to pay your housing costs — very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned?

Very concerned     Somewhat concerned    Not at all concerned  DK/NA

    3/28-4/2/08       31                   38                      30           -

Do you have any children? IF YES, ASK: Are any of your children under 18?

Yes, under 18          Yes, over 18     No       DK/NA

    3/28-4/2/09         38                      27          34         -

18.     How concerned are you about being able to afford college tuition — very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned? BASED ON PARENTS

 Very concerned     Somewhat concerned          Not at all concerned

    3/28-4/2/08       70                   24                       6

19.     How concerned are you about not having enough money for retirement — very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not at all concerned?

Very concerned     Somewhat concerned     Not at all concerned DK/NA

    2/23-27/07        38                   37                      24           1

    3/28-4/2/08       43                   39                      17           1

20. How concerned are you that in the next 12 months you or someone else in your household might be out of work or looking for a job — very concerned, somewhat concerned, or not concerned at all?

 

Very

  Somewhat    Not

at all

DK/NA

10/3-5/02

31

20

48

1

4/23-27/04

33

25

41

1

6/23-27/04

28

27

45

-

9/12-16/04

30

26

44

-

10/14-17/04

22

24

53

1

6/10-15/05

20

18

61

1

12/2-6/05

21

25

53

1

1/20-25/06

22

27

51

-

2/20-24/08

29

27

43

1

3/28-4/2/08

28

26

45

1

 

21. In recent years, have you made cutbacks in your day-to-day spending? IF YES, ASK: Would you call those cutbacks severe, or not so severe?

  Yes, severe        Yes, but not severe   No      DK/NA

                   

3/28-4/2/08        28                   51          21       -


 

23.  If you had to choose, would you rather have a smaller
services, or a bigger government providing more services?

                     Smaller      Bigger       Depends (vol.)

government providing fewer

  DK/NA

10/15-18/91

42

43

7

8

2/22-25/96

61

30

4

5

9/14-18/99 CBS

46

43

5

6

10/29-31/00* CBS

57

32

5

6

11/1-4/00*

55

32

4

9

1/15-17/01 CBS

51

36

5

8

10/25-28/01

52

43

4

2

1/21-24/02

46

40

3

10

7/13-27/03

48

40

5

8

11/10-13/03 CBS

45

42

4

9

3/28-4/2/08

43

43

4

10

 

24.  Do you think race relations in the United States

                Generally good Generally bad

are generally good or generally bad?  DK/NA

5/22-24/90

41

50

8

5/6-8/92

25

68

7

3/28-31/93

37

56

7

3/27-28/96 CBS

35

53

12

12/4-5/96 CBS

35

52

13

1/30-2/1/97 CBS

40

54

6

6/10-11/97 CBS

38

52

10

2/6-10-00 CBS

52

38

10

6/21-27/00 NYT

57

30

13

3/28-4/2/08

55

36

9

 

25. Do you think race relations in your community are generally good or generally bad?

 

Generally good

Generally bad

DK/NA

5/6-8/92

75

20

4

12/4-5/96

77

18

5

6/10-11/97 CBS

72

23

5

2/6-10-00 CBS

79

17

4

6/21-27/00 NYT

80

15

5

3/28-4/2/08

77

18

5

 

Some people are registered to vote and others are not. Are you registered to vote in the precinct or election district where you now live, or aren't you?

Yes    No    DK/NA

3/28-4/2/08      80     20      -


 

28. How much attention have lot,  some, not much, or  no

A lot

 

you been able to pay to the 2008 presidential campaign — a  attention so far?

  Some        Not much  None at all   DK/NA

2/8-11/07 CBS

26

42

22

10

 

3/7-11/07

23

50

20

7

-

3/26-27/07 CBS

21

51

21

8

 

4/9-12/07 CBS

23

48

22

7

 

5/18-23/07

20

46

23

11

-

6/26-28/07* CBS

25

46

23

6

-

7/9-17/07

22

46

22

10

-

8/8-12/07 CBS

19

44

27

9

1

9/4-9/07

19

42

28

10

-

10/12-16/07 CBS

22

48

21

9

-

12/5-9/07

30

42

21

7

-

1/9-12/08

33

44

19

4

-

1/30-2/2/08* CBS

36

44

12

4

 

2/20-24/08*

47

35

15

3

 

3/15-18/08* CBS

52

35

10

2

-

3/28_4/2/08*

60

30

6

4

_

 

Have you already voted in or do you plan to vote in a Democratic primary or caucus this year, OR in a Republican Primary or caucus, or are you not voting in a primary or caucus at all this year?

Democratic       Republican

primary          primary       Not voting   Never vote (vol.)   DK/NA
 

3/28_4/2/08*         43               25             25                1             6

 

 

29. Who would you like to see the Democratic party nominate as its presidential candidate

in 2008 — Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama? CANDIDATE NAMES ROTATED

 

              12/5-9/07     1/9-12/08   1/30-2/2/08    2/20-24/08      3/15-18/08   3/28_4/2/0

                  DPV*1        DPV*2        CBS DPV*       DPV*            CBS DPV*      DPV*

Clinton

44

42

41

38

43

43

Obama

27

27

41

54

46

46

Edwards

11

11

 

 

 

 

Biden

2

 

 

 

 

 

Kucinich

2

4

 

 

 

 

Richardson

2

-

 

 

 

 

Dodd

1

 

 

 

 

 

Gravel

 

-

 

 

 

 

Gore  (vol.)

-

 

 

 

 

 

Someone else/
None    (vol)

2

-

4

1

3

3

Undecided

6

13

13

6

6

7

DK/NA

3

2

1

1

2

2

 

1Question included John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Dennis Kucinich, Joe Biden, Christopher Dodd and Mike Gravel.

2 Question included John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel. Bill Richardson was deleted from question on 1/10.

3/15-18/08
CBS*

3/28_4/2/08*

Clinton

43

34

Obama

46

41

Someone else/None

3

10

Undecided

6

9

DK/NA

2

6


 

30.   Would you describe your support for CANDIDATE NAME as strongly favoring CANDIDATE NAME, or do you like him/her but with reservations, or do you support him/her because you

dislike the other candidates? BASED ON THOSE WITH PREFERENCE

Strongly     Like with    Dislike

favor     reservations   others    DK/NA

12/5-9/07 DPV*

53

39

5

3

1/9-12/08 DPV*

65

29

5

2

2/20-24/08 DPV*

68

26

4

1

3/28-4/2/08 DPV*

64

26

9

1

Clinton supporters

59

28

12

1

Obama supporters

68

24

7

-

 

31.   Regardless of how you intend to vote, who do you expect to finally win the Democratic nomination for President in 2008 -- Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

  Clinton    Obama       Edwards     Someone else      DK/NA

4/9-12/07 CBS1        35

22

16

12

15

1/9-12/08 DPV*1       48

33

3

1

15

1/30-2/2/08 CBS DPV* 45

36

 

6

13

2/20-24/08 DPV*      23

68

 

 

9

3/15-18/08 CBS*      31

53

 

1

15

3/28-4/2/08*         19

67

 

1

13

3/28-4/2/08 DPV*     21

69

 

-

10

 

1Question included John Edwards and “or someone else?”


 

32. Is your opinion of Hillary Clinton
you heard enough about Hillary Clinton

               Not               DK

         Fav   Fav   Und   engh

favorable, not favorable, undecided, or haven't
yet to have an opinion?
QUESTIONS 32-34 WERE ROTATED.

                         Not                DK

Ref                       Fav   Fav  Und   engh Ref

3/92*1

31

17

19

31

1

1/98B              45

27

21

8

 

7/92*1

29

14

21

35

1

2/98               50

25

16

7

1

8/92A*2

33

15

20

32

1

4/98               49

29

16

5

1

8/92D*2

31

19

25

26

1

5/98 CBS           39

27

20

12

2

10/92A*2

32

18

20

28

2

7/98 CBS           50

26

15

7

2

1/932

38

10

24

28

 

8/11-13            41

21

20

16

2

2/932

44

16

19

19

2

8/19-20            50

25

17

7

1

3/932

35

16

22

27

 

10/99 CBS          40

36

20

4

 

5/93A2 CBS

37

14

23

25

1

10/99 CBS          43

37

16

3

 

5/93B2 CBS

34

21

23

21

1

11/99              41

36

17

6

1

6/93B2

45

21

21

13

-

2/00               42

31

18

8

1

8/932 CBS

36

22

22

29

1

7/13-17/00         36

40

18

5

1

9/932

40

20

20

19

1

6/12-13/03 CBS     24

32

22

19

3

10/932 CBS

41

18