Many Americans are pessimistic about the economic outlook for the next 12 months, and more of them favor Barack Obama based on their perception and expectation that he will be more likely to improve the economy if he is elected president. The burden will clearly be on an Obama presidency to deliver meaningful improvement -- it’s not just a large majority of Democrats (72%) who have positive expectations of Obama; so, too, do many Independents (a plurality of 39%) and even some Republicans (15%).
Currently, 42% of Americans overall expect the economy to worsen over the next 12 months, while 39% expect it to improve and 19% expect it to stay the same. If Obama were to win, 44% of respondents overall expect the economy would improve, while only 32% have the same hopes for John McCain.
The findings come from a survey of 1,000 American registered voters and are part of a major international study completed among representative population samples in 21 countries among 10,392 respondents. Conducted by Market Probe International on behalf of Porter Novelli, the survey was designed to gauge current sentiment among Americans on the key issues of today, including the global economic crisis, the role of government in the economy, the upcoming U.S. Presidential election and perceptions of the U.S. around the world. In the random and representative sample of 500 men and 500 women, self-declared Democrats comprised 35%, Republicans, 29%, Independents, 23%; the rest declined to declare political affiliation.
The survey asked which candidate respondents preferred; 51% preferred Obama, 39% preferred McCain and the rest had no preference.
Obama enjoys higher expectations from the registered Democrats polled (72% of them believe the economy would improve under his administration, 18% say it will stay the same, 10% think it will get worse) than McCain receives from registered Republicans (59% say he can improve the economy, 29% think nothing will change, 12% say the situation will worsen).
At a time when the economy is the biggest issue for Americans, expectations of improvement are higher for Barack Obama. A clear majority (62%) of Americans overall expect Obama to win the Presidential election, while just 20% expect John McCain to win and 18% don’t know. Despite Obama’s warnings to his party not to become overconfident, 86% of self-declared Democrats are expecting an Obama win. In fact even among self-declared Republicans, only 42% see a McCain victory while 35% expect Obama and 23% don’t know.
The economy is not the only issue on which American voters see more upside with Obama than with McCain. Obama is more widely expected than McCain to bring about improvements in other matters of concern to Americans as well.
“Across other key issues of concern to Americans, there appears to be a clear perception as well as expectation that things are more likely to improve if Barack Obama wins the election than if John McCain wins. If the McCain team is unable to sway expectations in the final countdown to the election and American voters continue to hold their current impressions on the merits of the candidates issue by issue, it’s hard to imagine that large numbers of them will suddenly change their minds,” says Tuong Tuan Thong – Managing director of FTA Research & Consultant Vietnam.
“The findings of the global pulse poll demonstrate that the U.S. Presidential election is being closely watched around the world. Interestingly the survey shows that the rest of the world has a clear expectation as well as preference for an Obama victory----to an even stronger degree than among registered voters in the US. It would appear that the McCain team faces an uphill battle in trying to convince Americans and citizens of the world that he can effect positive change more so than Obama. Thus the McCain campaign needs to consider focusing on addressing the key issues of the day and demonstrating that his proposed programs will bring about improvement more quickly and/or more effectively than Obama .” said Alan Appelbaum, President of Market Probe International and Board member of GlobalNR. “With concerns about an economic downturn spiraling, global companies as well as governments have the opportunity along with the significant challenge to demonstrate leadership and to create growth that will bring about and sustain prosperity,” he added.
About the Survey
The survey was conducted by members of the independent global research consortium GlobalNR in conjunction with Porter Novelli. The same survey with minor variations was conducted in 21 participating countries including the United States. According to Alan Appelbaum, one of the founding members of GlobalNR and President and CEO of New York–based Market Probe International: “At this crucial time in American politics and in the world economy, my GlobalNR partners and I, as independent researchers thought it was very important to measure perceptions and expectations impartially and globally among nationally representative population samples, with comparability between countries. All aspects of the research were carried out in accordance with procedures established by the American Marketing Association, the Market Research Association and ESOMAR, so we are confident that we have a realistically accurate representation of opinions in the countries we’ve surveyed.”
Reported by Tuong Tuan Thong – Managing director of FTA Research & Consultant Vietnam, National representative for the GlobalNR International Research network.