With the addition of the most recent NYT/CBS News poll, we now see a broad trend across several major polls: the American people have become far more pessimistic about the state of the economy.
The NYT/CBS News poll out yesterday found that 39 percent believe the economy is getting worse, which is a 13-point increase from just last month, and the highest number in a few years.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll from earlier this week found 44 percent thought the economy was getting worse–the highest it has been in over two years.
Similarly, a Gallup poll from last week found only 33 percent of Americans thought the economy was getting better, a large drop from January when the poll found 41 percent optimistic about the economy.
This is bad news for an incumbent president with jobs and the economy still the top issues with Americans. Obviously, the less optimistic people are about the economy, the more likely it is they will want to seek a replacement for the head of our government.
Given that there is still over a year until the election, which is plenty of time for opinions to change, probably the bigger worry for the Obama administration is that this pessimism could become self-fulfilling. If people are more negative about the future, they can become more reluctant to spend money on unnecessary goods. This could reduce overall demand and in turn make those who watch or depend on the “luxury” sector more pessimistic.