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U.S. mood plummets as crisis deepens: Reuters poll

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John Whitesides
Reuters
Wednesday, October 15, 2008

HEMPSTEAD, New York (Reuters) – The global economic crisis has shaken American confidence about the future and battered the public’s faith in U.S. institutions, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

The Reuters/Zogby Index, which measures the mood of the country, nosedived to 89.7 in October from 96.3 percent in September as seven of the 10 measures of public opinion used in the index dropped.

The rating stopped short of the record low of 87.7 in March but showed Americans are feeling dramatically more gloomy about the direction of the country and their personal finances.

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Ratings for President George W. Bush and the U.S. Congress dropped sharply. A record low of 21 percent in a Zogby poll gave positive marks to Bush’s job performance, while the approval rating for Congress dipped to 10 percent — just above its all-time low.

“It’s a double-whammy — people are concerned about today and they are worried about tomorrow,” said pollster John Zogby, who likened the public mood to the early years of the Great Depression.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“It is safe to say this is the worst crisis in confidence in this country since 1932,” Zogby said. “People feel like nothing in the country is working — the president, Congress, corporations.”

The survey followed weeks of economic turmoil that led to a sharp plunge in the stock market in the United States and around the world, and a $700 billion government bailout of U.S. financial institutions.

The polling, taken Thursday through Sunday, was completed before Wall Street rebounded sharply on Monday. The poll had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 11:47 am





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