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CBSNYTPoll Finances 041812

CBSNYTPoll Finances 041812

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Published by cbsnews
CBS News/New York Times poll on the economy, April 18, 2012
CBS News/New York Times poll on the economy, April 18, 2012

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Published by: cbsnews on Apr 18, 2012
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 CBS News/New York Times PollFor release: April 18, 20126:30 PM EDT
 
An Improving Economy, but Financial Stress Remains
April 13-17, 2012
Americans have become slightly more optimistic about the economy. Although 70% stillsay it is in bad shape, that is the lowest it has been in four years. 33% think it is gettingbetter.
But on a personal level things remain difficult for many: 39% have fallen behindfinancially over the past two years and only 16% think they’re getting ahead.
Americans continue to face financial stress: 64% of Americans are worried about payingtheir housing costs, and 38% say the rise in gas prices have been a serious hardship forthem. 38% say their biggest economic concern is paying their bills right now, more sothan the longer-term goal of planning for retirement (30%).
Just a quarter are optimistic that the future for the next generation of Americans will bebetter, while 47% think it will be worse.
Neither presidential candidate has the edge on improving Americans’ financial situation.26% think Obama would, as do 28% for Romney. But 38% think Obama would maketheir finances worse, as do 26% for Romney.
An Improving View of the Economy
33% of Americans now think the economy is headed in the right direction. 28% think theeconomy is getting worse, and 38% think it is staying the same.
Direction of the Economy
Now 3/2012 2/2012 1/2012 4/2011 4/2010Better 33% 30% 34% 25% 23% 41%Worse 28 24 22 29 39 15The same 38 44 43 45 38 43And while 70% of Americans think the economy is at least somewhat bad, that neverthelessrepresents the lowest percentage in four years. 27% think the economy is at least somewhatgood, the highest since 2008.
Condition of the Economy
Now 3/2012 4/2011 1/2011 4/2010 2/2009 2/2008Good 27% 22% 19% 26% 26% 5% 29%Bad 70 75 80 74 72 94 70
 
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Democrats are far more likely than Republicans to view both the condition and the direction ofthe economy favorably. 54% of Democrats think the economy is getting better, and 42% thinkits condition is at least somewhat good. Only 16% of Republicans think the economy is gettingbetter, and just 5% call the economy good.But for Americans of all political persuasions, the economy is the most important problem facingthe country today, volunteered by 48%, far ahead of the budget deficit (5%) and health care(5%). 3% volunteer fuel costs.When Americans were asked to pick which economic issue other than jobs concerned them themost, inflation tops the list (34%), followed by the budget deficit (31%), the financial markets(16%), and the housing market (15%). Last June – amidst a political stand-off regarding thefederal budget – the budget deficit was picked first.
Which Concerns You the Most?
Now 6/2011Rising prices 34% 33%Federal budget deficit 31 36Financial markets 16 14Housing market 15 13
Financial and Job Worries
Many Americans have struggled financially over the past two years. 39% say they have beenfalling behind financially over the past two years – and just 16% said they have been gettingahead. 43% say they have been staying even.
In the Last Two Years, Have You Been…?
Now 3/2008 1/1998Getting ahead financially 16% 23% 31%Staying even financially 43 48 48Falling behind financially 39 28 20In a tough economy, Americans’ financial concerns span from short- to long-term: while manysay their biggest worry is retirement (30%), the largest number say everyday bills (38%) bringthe most concern right now.Those with relatively higher incomes are less likely to be concerned about day-to-day bills.Health care concerns span all income levels.
Biggest Personal Economic Concern?
All $50K and under Over $50KEveryday bills 38% 45% 33%Retirement 30 18 41Health care 24 28 18Americans express some job insecurity as well. While half of working Americans feel their job isvery secure, another third feel it is somewhat secure, and 14% see it as tenuous at best.Insecurity spans income levels.
 
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Feelings about your Job Security?
(among employed Americans)All $50K and under Over $50KVery secure 53% 52% 52%Somewhat secure 33 34 34Not very/not secure 14 14 1534% of working Americans say they have had their salary or wages reduced as a result ofeconomic conditions.
Impact on November Election?
The economy may play a pivotal role in the November election, and the President’s approvalrating on handling it has hovered around 40% for much of the past year.When asked specifically about the impact each would have on their own personal financialsituation, 38% said if Obama is re-elected his policies would make their own financial situationworse, compared to 26% who think he would make things better. Voters are more divided overwhat kind of impact Romney’s policies will have on their personal financial situation.
Impact of Policies on Own Financial Situation: Obama vs. Romney
(Among registered voters)Obama RomneyImprove it 26% 28%Make it worse 38 26No effect 33 36On the broader issue of confidence handling the economy, both elicit it: about half of voters areconfident in Obama to do so (51%) and slightly more (55%) are confident in Romney.
Gas Prices
The price of gas is bringing serious financial hardship to about a third of Americans, and somedifficulty to another third. Those in lower income brackets are harder hit.
How Have Gas Prices Affected You?
All $50K and under Over $50KSerious hardship 38% 45% 31%Some hardship 31 30 33Not a hardship 30 25 36On the political front, Americans are a bit less likely now than a few weeks ago to believe aPresident has the power to do something about gas prices. Today 48% say he does, down from54% in March.
Can A President Do Something About Gas Prices?
Now 3/2012Yes 48% 54%No, beyond his control 43 36Not sure 9 10

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