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Poll: More pessimism about economy

By Doug Thompson
August 13, 2010

A grim trader on the stock exchange floor (AFP)

Pessimism over the economy is rising and the grim mood could hurt both parties in the November 2 congressional elections, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday.

Almost two-thirds of Americans believe the economy will worsen before it gets better, up from 53 percent who felt that way in January, the poll found.

Nearly six in 10 of those surveyed said the country is headed in the wrong direction, a percentage that has held steady in NBC/WSJ polling throughout the year.

More than half of respondents said they disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling the economy. The poll also found Americans were split on Obama’s overall job performance, with 48 percent saying they disapprove and 47 saying they approve.

Congress fared far worse in the poll of more than 1,000 adults conducted in the week leading up to primary elections in four states on Tuesday.

The percentage of Americans who believe the current Congress is either below average or among the worst is at an all-time high, according to the poll.

Seventy-two percent of respondents disapprove of the job Congress is doing — a finding that could bode ill for incumbents of both major parties seeking re-election.

Democrats have been battling a strong anti-Washington and anti-incumbent mood among voters in their efforts to avert losing control of the House of Representatives and dropping Senate seats in the elections.

Republicans must gain 39 seats in the House and 10 in the Senate if they are to win majorities in both chambers.

If they do take control of one or both chambers in Congress, that would slam the brakes on Obama’s legislative agenda.

Forty-two percent of the poll respondents said they want the elections to result in a Republican-controlled Congress. Forty-three percent said they want Democrats to retain control.

Only 24 percent of those polled expressed positive feelings about the Republican Party, a new low in the 21-year history of the survey, the Wall Street Journal said.

Democrats were only slightly more popular, but also near an all-time low, the newspaper said. Thirty-four percent of the respondents had a negative view of the conservative so-called Tea Party movement.

The poll was conducted August 5-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.10 percentage points.

Copyright © 2010 Reuters

4 Responses to Poll: More pessimism about economy

  1. griff

    August 13, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    This country’s imploding, folks, and there ain’t a damned thing Washington is able to do about it but accelerate the collapse. I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank every mindless partisan and television-trained, simpleton pavlovian voter that has cast a ballot these last 60 years or so.

    Good job!

    • Jim0001

      August 13, 2010 at 10:04 pm

      Mr. Griff, the sad part is that we do not vote for a candidate but rather against one. Hopefully the one who will do the least damage. America sure screwed up during the last one. But it parallels so many previous elections.

      • griff

        August 14, 2010 at 1:17 pm

        And we’re gearing up to repeat history in 2012…

  2. Almandine

    August 14, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Why be pessimistic ?

    http://neithercorp.us/npress/