CNN/Opinion Research survey shows fewer people see current conditions as poor.
By Paul Steinhauser, CNN Deputy Political Director
April 29, 2009: 11:04 AM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Americans are becoming slightly more optimistic about the nation's economy, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey showed Wednesday, but the glow surrounding President Obama is wearing off for some as the president marks his first 100 days in office.
Some 37% of the people questioned in the poll say the current economic conditions in the country are very poor -- a figure that's down from 48% last month and 66% in December. Another 17% now say economic conditions are good, up six points from last month. Fifty-five percent say the economy is the most important issue facing the country today, down eight points from March.
"When the economy is bad, it is the top issue on the public's mind," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "So when the number who say the economy is the number-one problem facing the country goes down, it may be a leading indicator that things are looking up a bit."
The survey also suggests that nearly two in three Americans think Obama has the right priorities and has paid enough attention to the country's most important problems. The 63% who feel that way is 17 points higher than those who felt that way about George W. Bush's performance 100 days into his presidency in 2001 and 26 points higher than the numbers for Bill Clinton in 1993.
About 68% also say Obama is doing a good job keeping important promises he made during his campaign for the White House, with three in 10 saying he's doing a poor job. Only one in three thought Clinton did a good job keeping his promises.
"On almost every measure, Obama is having a much better first hundred days than Bill Clinton, the last Democrat in the White House. Clinton was seen as unfocused and unable to keep his promises. Obama isn't getting criticized on either of those measures," added Holland.
The poll suggests that 19% of those questioned are personally thrilled that Obama is president. That's down nine points from January, when Obama was inaugurated. Forty-two percent are happy with Obama as president, 20% unhappy, 7% depressed and 11% don't care.
"For about one in ten Americans, the thrill is gone," said Holland.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday, with 2,019 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus two percentage points.