Most Americans Say They're Worse Off Since Obama Took Office, Poll Shows
More than 50 percent of Americans say they are worse off now than they were two years ago when President Barack Obama took office, and two-thirds believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, a Bloomberg National Poll shows.
The survey, conducted Dec. 4-7, finds that 51 percent of respondents think their situation has deteriorated, compared with 35 percent who say they’re doing better. The balance isn’t sure. Americans have grown more downbeat about the country’s future in just the last couple of months, the poll shows. The pessimism cuts across political parties and age groups, and is common to both sexes.
The negative sentiment may cast a pall over the holiday shopping season, according to the poll. A plurality of those surveyed -- 46 percent -- expects to spend less this year than last; only 12 percent anticipate spending more. Holiday sales rose by just under a half percent last year after falling by almost 4 percent in 2008.
Unemployment and jobs are the most important issue facing the country now, the poll finds. Fifty percent of those surveyed identified joblessness as their top concern, twice the number who chose the federal budget deficit and government spending.
Members of Obama’s Democratic Party are about evenly split on the question of whether they are doing better than two years ago. Republicans and political independents are more downbeat. More than 60 percent of Republicans say they’re doing worse under Obama. Just over 50 percent of political independents feel that way, compared with a third who say their situation has improved.
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