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Ipsos/ Reuters Poll: August 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Washington, DC - Ipsos' latest poll carried out on behalf of Reuters and published today shows a great deal of public discontent with Washington, as well as big jump in concern about the country’s economic future.

The poll was carried out August 4th-8th: fieldwork began after the deal finished, and encompassed the announcements about the new unemployment numbers, the S&P downgrade, and the fallout in the markets on Monday.

Key findings include:

  • Almost three-quarters (73%) of the public now think that things in this country are ‘off on the wrong track’, which is the highest figure measured since we began tracking this question for Reuters in early 2009.
  • This reflects public pessimism about the economic future: when asked if ‘the US economy has turned the corner on the current crisis’ or if ‘the worst is yet to come’, almost half (47%) now say that ‘the worst is yet to come’, an increase of 13 points from last summer when this question was last asked. This is the highest measure since March 2009, when concern was at 57%.
  • Obama’s approval ratings have dropped slightly (from 49% to 45%) – but (as our poll in late July suggested) he doesn’t seem to be bearing the majority of the blame for the deal debacle…
  • We asked if the public feel more positive or more negative towards parties and leaders as a result of the deal. While none are seen – on balance – in a positive light, it appears that Republicans (including Speaker Boehner and the Tea Party) bear the brunt of public blame while Obama and the Democrats get off more lightly.
  • More people think that the debt ceiling deal is a bad thing (53%) than a good thing (38%) for the United States. Democrats’ views are balanced (47% good / 45% bad), while a majority of Independents and Republicans think it a bad thing (53% and 63% respectively).
  • We also asked what the public think the Government should do to stimulate the economy: cutting spending (49%) and taxing the wealthy (46%) came highest, followed by investment in infrastructure (34%).

More data and full technical details are available in the topline PDF document available for download.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Clifford Young
Managing Director, Public Sector Practice
Ipsos Public Affairs

Julia Clark
Ipsos Public Affairs

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Ipsos/ Reuters Poll: August 2011

Downloads PDF

Topline Results


CliffordYoung Clifford Young
President, US Public Affairs
Ipsos Public Affairs

JuliaClark Julia Clark
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs