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University of Iowa News Release

 

Dec. 8, 2009

NOTE: This release contains updated information in the fifth paragraph: Seventy percent of Democrats believe the economy will be good or very good in a year, compared to only 45 percent of independents and 33 percent of Republicans, not 48 percent of Republicans.

Hawkeye Poll: Predictions split on whether economy will turn around in 2010

As the New Year approaches, most Americans believe the economy is still in rough shape, but about half expect things to look up significantly in 2010, according to University of Iowa Hawkeye Poll results released today.

Eighty-six percent rate the economy as poor or very poor, and only 14 percent say it's performing well or very well. Fifty-one percent think the economy will remain in poor condition next year, while 49 percent expect it to turn around.

"Americans are cautiously optimistic about the future of the economy," said Nathan Darus, a doctoral candidate in political science and member of the UI Hawkeye Poll team. "Although only 49 percent think the economy will be good or very good, 57 percent expect slight improvement over the next year."

The random, national phone survey of 772 adults had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent. The poll was conducted Oct. 23-31. A topline document is available at http://news-releases.uiowa.edu/2009/december/120809hawkpolltopline.pdf.

Partisanship made a difference in respondents' economic forecasts. Seventy percent of Democrats believe the economy will be good or very good in a year, compared to only 45 percent of independents and 33 percent of Republicans.

Respondents with a rosier view of the current economy are more satisfied with how Barack Obama is handling his job. Among those who rate the economy as very good, 80 percent approve of the president's performance; among those who say the economy is doing somewhat well, approval is at 53 percent. Likewise, 68 percent of those who rate the economy as very poor disapprove of Obama's performance.

A similar correlation exists regarding economic predictions. Eighty-one percent of those who think the economy will be very good in a year approve of Obama, and 88 percent of those who believe it will be doing very poorly disapprove of him.

Despite grim views of the current economy, virtually all respondents would like to see the minimum wage raised. Ninety-four percent of a randomized sub-sample of respondents say it should be higher than the current $7.25 per hour.

Interestingly, those with negative views of the economy are more likely to want a higher minimum wage. Ninety-six percent of those who consider the economy somewhat poor want a higher minimum wage, compared to 89 percent of those who believe the economy is doing well.

When asked what the minimum hourly wage should be, the average response was $9.35, and the most common answer was $10.

About the Hawkeye Poll

Of the 772 participants, 31 percent were Republican, 29 percent Democrat and 40 percent independent. Nearly 64 percent considered themselves moderate, while 20 percent were liberal and 16 percent were conservative. Reported results are weighted by state population.

The poll was conducted by the Hawkeye Poll Cooperative, comprised of UI faculty and graduate students in political science, with the cooperation and facilities of the UI Social Science Research Center, directed by Professor Kevin Leicht of the UI Department of Sociology. Faculty advisor for the Hawkeye Poll is Frederick Boehmke, associate professor of political science in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The poll is a teaching, research and service project of the UI Department of Political Science. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Provost provided funding for the poll.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Nathan Darus, Hawkeye Poll, 319-335-3381 (office), 216-798-1682 (cell), nathan-darus@uiowa.edu; Nicole Riehl, University News Services, 319-384-0070, nicole-riehl@uiowa.edu; Frederick Boehmke, Hawkeye Poll Faculty Advisor, 319-335-2342 (office), 716-866-9277 (cell), frederick-boehmke@uiowa.edu