November 13, 2008 - Americans' Dissatisfaction Continues At All-Time High, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Almost Two-Thirds Will Spend Less On Holiday Gifts

Word format

American voters can't get no satisfaction as 82 percent say they are "somewhat dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with the way things are going in the nation today, while 16 percent are "very satisfied" or "somewhat satisfied," according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

This dissatisfaction matches an all-time high from a May 15 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University, in which 17 percent said they are satisfied.

No one thinks the nation's economy is "excellent," and only 4 percent say it is "good." Another 37 percent say it is "not so good" and 58 percent say it is "poor." This 95 percent negative rating is an all-time low.

The economy will get better in the next year, 40 percent say, while 19 percent say it will get worse and 38 percent say it will stay the same.

A total of 56 percent of voters say their personal finances are "excellent" or "good," while 43 percent say "not so good" or "poor."

Fifty percent of voters say they are worse off financially than they were one year ago, with 27 percent who say they are better off and 22 percent who say things are the same.

Their personal finances will get better in the next year, 38 percent say, as 12 percent say they will get worse and 47 percent say they will stay the same.

And 62 percent of American voters say that because of the economy they will cut back on buying holiday gifts.

"Happy days aren't here again, at least not yet. Americans plan to zip up their wallets in an economy they rate as terrible," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Losing their job is the biggest financial worry for 31 percent of American voters. This concern is greatest, 37 percent, among voters 18 to 34 years old, and lowest, 27 percent, among voters over 55.

Other financial concerns are:
  • 30 percent worry most about being able to afford retirement, including 38 percent of voters 35 to 54 years old;
  • 9 percent worry most about losing their health insurance;
  • 9 percent worry most about losing their home.
"Almost a third of Americans worry about losing their jobs and another third worry about not having enough money for retirement," Carroll said.

Discussing other cutbacks because of the economy:
  • 48 percent say they are likely to cut back on charitable giving;
  • 62 percent say they are likely to cut back on vacations;
  • 39 percent say they are likely to cut back heating or cooling their home;
  • 62 percent say they are likely to cut back on entertainment or leisure activities;
  • 64 percent say they are likely to dine out less.
By margins of three to 10 points, women are more conservative in their spending plans than men.

"Christmas gifts, vacations, entertainment, dining out - Americans plan to cut back on all of them in these economically worrisome times" Carroll said. "It's nice to see charitable giving is near the bottom of the cutback list."

From November 6 -10, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,210 registered voters nationwide, with a margin of error of +/- 2.1 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed - http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

28. In general, how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Very satisfied        2%     2%     2%     1%     1%     2%     1%     2%
Smwht satisfied      14     20     13     12     16     13     14     18
Smwht dissatisfied   38     46     31     39     37     39     39     34
Very dissatisfied    44     31     51     48     44     44     44     40
DK/NA                 2      2      3      -      2      2      2      6
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Very satisfied        1%     2%     2%     2%     2%
Smwht satisfied      17     13     14     15     13
Smwht dissatisfied   38     40     34     36     43
Very dissatisfied    41     44     47     45     41
DK/NA                 2      1      3      2      1
 
TREND: In general how satisfied are you with the way things are going in the nation today? Are you very satisfied, somewhat satisfied, somewhat dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied?
                                                             VERY & SMWHT..
                                                             High    Low
                     Nov 13  May 15  Nov 22  Jun 1   Mar 2   Dec 11  Nov 13
                     2008    2008    2006    2006    2006    2001    2008
                                
Very satisfied        2       2       5       6       5      21       2
Smwht satisfied      14      15      32      32      33      47      14
Smwht dissatisfied   38      37      33      33      30      19      38
Very dissatisfied    44      45      28      29      31      10      44
DK/NA                 2       1       1       1       1       3       2
 
 
32. Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as - Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Excellent             -      -      -      -      -      -      -      -
Good                  4      7      2      3      4      4      4      4
Not so good          37     49     31     37     39     36     37     40
Poor                 58     44     65     60     57     59     58     56
DK/NA                 1      -      1      -      1      1      1      1
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Excellent             -      -      -      -      - 
Good                  5      4      3      5      2
Not so good          41     38     34     39     35
Poor                 53     58     62     56     63
DK/NA                 1      -      1      1      -
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of the nation's economy these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                                                             EXLNT & GOOD..
                                                             High    Low
                     Nov 13  May 15  May 5   Dec 10  Oct 29  Dec 10  Nov 13
                     2008    2008    2004    2003    2003    2003    2008  
 
Excellent             -       1       2       3       2       3       -    
Good                  4      12      36      37      29      37       4    
No so good           37      44      40      42      45      42      37    
Poor                 58      43      21      16      23      21      58    
DK/NA                 1       -       1       1       1       1       1    
 
 
33. During the next 12 months, do you think the economic conditions in the United States will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Get better           40%    29%    53%    36%    38%    42%    37%    59%
Get worse            19     27     12     21     22     17     22      7
Stay the same        38     41     33     39     37     38     38     32
DK/NA                 3      2      3      4      3      3      3      3
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Get better           40%    35%    44%    42%    36%
Get worse            19     22     16     18     22
Stay the same        40     40     35     37     40
DK/NA                 1      2      5      4      2
 
TREND: During the next 12 months, do you think the economic conditions in the United States will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                                                            SAYING BETTER
                                                            High    Low
                    Nov 13  May 5   Dec 10  Oct 29  Sep 17  Apr 17  Feb
                    2008    2004    2003    2003    2003    2003    2003    
 
BetteR              40      39      48      40      38      50      30
Worse               19      18      14      19      20      13      26
Stay the same       38      37      36      38      39      36      39
DK/NA                3       6       2       3       3       2       5
 
 
34. Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Excellent             8%    10%     5%     8%     8%     7%     7%     6%
Good                 48     59     43     47     52     44     52     36
Not so good          28     23     31     27     26     30     27     30
Poor                 15      6     20     15     13     16     13     27
DK/NA                 2      2      1      2      2      2      2      2
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Excellent             6%     9%     7%     6%    10%
Good                 50     49     45     44     58
Not so good          26     28     31     30     24
Poor                 17     14     13     18      6
DK/NA                 1      1      3      2      1
 
TREND: Would you describe the state of your own personal finances these days as: Excellent, good, not so good, or poor?
                     Nov 13  Feb 4   Nov 13  Dec 11
                     2008    2003    2002    2001
 
Excellent             8       8       8      10
Good                 48      52      54      54
Not so good          28      28      27      26
Poor                 15      11      10       8
DK/NA                 2       1       1       2
 
 
35. Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Better off           27%    34%    22%    28%    29%    25%    26%    25%
Worse off            50     43     55     50     47     52     49     56
SAME(VOL)            22     22     22     21     22     22     24     18
DK/NA                 1      -      1      2      1      1      1      1
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Better off           39%    29%    17%    27%    27%
Worse off            45     51     52     50     50
SAME(VOL)            16     19     29     22     21
DK/NA                 1      1      1      1      1
 
TREND: Would you say that you are better off or worse off financially than you were a year ago?
                     Nov 13  May 5   Dec 10  Feb 4   Nov 13
                     2008    2004    2003    2003    2002
                                             
Better off           27      43      43      36      38
Worse off            50      34      36      38      39
SAME(VOL)            22      22      20      25      22
DK/NA                 1       1       1       1       1
36. During the next 12 months, do you think your own personal finances will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Get better           38%    29%    44%    38%    40%    36%    33%    61%
Get worse            12     16      8     13     13     11     14      3
Stay the same        47     53     45     46     43     50     51     30
DK/NA                 3      2      3      3      4      3      3      5
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Get better           50%    38%    29%    39%    35%
Get worse             7     15     12     11     14
Stay the same        42     45     53     46     49
DK/NA                 2      1      6      3      2
 
TREND: During the next 12 months, do you think your own personal finances will get better, get worse, or stay about the same?
                     Nov 13  Feb 4   Nov 13  Dec 11
                     2008    2003    2002    2001
 
Get better           38      39      45      44
Get worse            12      11       8       5
Stay the same        47      48      45      49
DK/NA                 3       2       2       1
 
 
37. Considering the current state of the economy are you likely to cut back on - buying holiday gifts or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  62%    59%    65%    59%    56%    66%    62%    61%
No                   36     40     32     39     41     32     37     34
DK/NA                 2      1      3      2      2      2      2      4
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Yes                  58%    66%    59%    62%    61%
No                   41     32     37     36     37
DK/NA                 1      2      3      3      1
 
 
38. Considering the current state of the economy are you likely to cut back on - charitable contributions or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  48%    43%    52%    49%    45%    51%    48%    52%
No                   48     55     45     48     51     46     49     45
DK/NA                 3      2      4      3      4      3      3      2
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Yes                  42%    53%    48%    51%    41%
No                   54     44     49     45     57
DK/NA                 4      3      3      4      2
 
 
39. Considering the current state of the economy are you likely to cut back on - vacation plans or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  62%    54%    67%    64%    58%    65%    60%    69%
No                   34     42     29     32     39     29     36     27
DK/NA                 4      4      4      4      3      5      4      4
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Yes                  64%    65%    58%    61%    65%
No                   33     32     37     34     33
DK/NA                 3      3      5      5      2
 
 
40. Considering the current state of the economy are you likely to cut back on - the heating or cooling of your home or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  39%    38%    42%    38%    35%    44%    39%    43%
No                   58     61     55     59     62     54     59     54
DK/NA                 3      2      3      2      3      2      2      3
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Yes                  40%    41%    36%    42%    34%
No                   57     57     61     56     64
DK/NA                 3      2      3      3      2
 
 
41. Considering the current state of the economy are you likely to cut back on - entertainment or leisure activities like going out to movies, shows, or sporting events or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  62%    62%    65%    58%    60%    63%    62%    63%
No                   33     32     31     37     35     32     33     32
DK/NA                 5      6      5      5      5      6      6      5
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Yes                  66%    67%    53%    61%    64%
No                   33     29     39     33     34
DK/NA                 2      4      8      7      2
 
 
42. Considering the current state of the economy are you likely to cut back on - dining out or not?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Yes                  64%    61%    67%    63%    61%    67%    63%    65%
No                   33     36     30     35     35     31     34     30
DK/NA                 3      3      3      2      3      3      3      5
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Yes                  66%    70%    56%    64%    65%
No                   33     27     40     33     33
DK/NA                 1      3      4      3      1
 
 
43. As you think about your own financial situation, which of the following economic issues worries you the most right now - A)That you or someone in your immediate family will lose their job. B)That you will lose your health insurance. C) That you won't be able to afford retirement. D) That you will lose your home?
                     Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk
 
Lose job             31%    31%    34%    29%    28%    33%    29%    35%
Lose health insurance 9      6     10     10      9      9      8     10
Afford retirement    30     33     26     31     31     29     32     28
Lose home             9      6     10      9      9      9      8      8
OTHER(VOL)            7      7      6      7      7      7      7      6
DK/NA                15     17     13     14     17     13     16     13
 
                                          EDUCATION.....
                     AGE IN YEARS......   Nocoll College
                     18-34  35-54  55+    degree degree
 
Lose job             37%    30%    27%    30%    34%
Lose health insurance 7      8     12     10      6
Afford retirement    28     38     22     28     35
Lose home            14      8      5     10      5
OTHER(VOL)            4      7      9      7      6
DK/NA                 9     10     24     15     14