Washington, D.C. Public views of the national economy are now more negative than at any point in nearly 15 years, and few people believe that the kind of stimulus plan being devised by President Bush and Congress is enough to stave off or soften a recession, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
More than eight in 10 Americans describe the economy as "not so good" or "poor," and nearly six in 10 believe the United States is already in a recession. While voters appear more sanguine about their own circumstances, three in 10 are now pessimistic about their financial prospects over the coming year, double the percentage holding a dour outlook in December 2006.
The new poll, conducted Jan. 30-Feb. 1, shows how thoroughly the souring economy has overtaken the war in Iraq as the electorate's principal concern. Thirty-nine percent of all Americans now cite the economy and jobs as the No. 1 issue in the presidential campaign, up 10 percentage points in the past three weeks; more than twice as many people now highlight the economy as call Iraq the top issue. No other concern reaches double digits.