Four years ago, as voters were about to cast the first ballots in the 2008 election, the public’s mood was not very good, but still a lot better than it is today.
In late 2007, the economic recession was gaining strength and the public’s view of the economy had grown more negative. Only about a quarter (27%) were satisfied with national conditions, not much higher than the current measure of 17%.
In some ways, however, the economic picture looked much brighter. Roughly four-in-ten (41%) said jobs were plentiful in their local community, nearly three times the number from earlier this year (14%). The unemployment rate was 5%, an enviable figure in today’s climate.
Still, the public sensed that the economy was about to take a turn for the worse. In January 2008, 26% said, presciently as it turned out, that the economy would be worse in a year, compared with 20% who said the economy would be better. In a Pew Research Center survey released last week, more said the economy will be better than worse a year from today (28% vs. 18%).
Read the full analysis, In 2007, Mood Just Beginning to Sour, Democrats Better Regarded, on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.