Gallup: D.C. Is Only Place in U.S. Where People Say Economy Is Getting Better

August 15, 2011 - 12:44 PM

Obama campaigns

resident Barack Obama departs the White House on Monday, Aug. 15, 2011, for a short flight to nearby Andrews Air Force Base, Md., then on to Minnesoa, where he begins a three-day bus tour in the Midwest. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - Only in Washington, D.C.—home of a federal government that has dramatically increased its spending as a share of the U.S. economy over the last three years—did a majority of the people say they believe the economy was getting better not worse in the first half of this year, according to a survey released today by Gallup.

In not one state did more than 41 percent of those surveyed tell Gallup they believed the economy was getting better.

From January through June, Gallup asked 87,634 American adults in all 50 states and the District of Columbia this question: “Right now, do you think the economic conditions in the country are getting better or getting worse?”

In D.C., 60 percent said the economy was getting better and 31 percent said it was getting worse.

Maryland and South Dakota turned out to be the most economically optimistic states in the union. Yet, only 41 percent in these two states said they believed the economy was getting better. By contrast, 52 percent in Maryland said the economy was getting worse; and 55 percent in South Dakota said the economy was getting worse.

Maryland borders on Washington, D.C. and many people who work in Washington, D.C. commute there from suburban Maryland communities.

In 44 states, fewer than 40 percent of the people said they believed the economy was getting better. The smallest percentage was in West Virginia, where only 24 percent said the economy was getting better and 72 percent said it was getting worse.

West Virginia borders on relatively more optimistic Maryland--but unlike Maryland, it does not border on Washington, D.C.

In Minnesota and Iowa, where President Barack Obama is visiting today, 40 percent and 38 percent respectively said they believed the economy was getting better compared to 55 percent and 56 percent who said it was getting worse.

Since polling for this state-by-state Gallup survey ended in June, according to the polling company, economic confidence nationwide has fallen even further. “Gallup Daily tracking shows economic confidence plunging during July and early August,” said a Gallup analysis published today.

In the week that ended Aug. 7, Gallup reported, 77 percent of Americans said they thought the economy was  getting worse.

Since President Barack Obama was elected in 2008, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget, federal spending has grown from 20.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product to 25.4 percent.

Here are the District of Columbia and the 50 states ranked by the percentage of people who told Gallup in the first half of 2011 that they thought the economy was getting better:

State                                       Getting Better            Getting Worse

1. District of Columbia                        60                                31

2. Maryland                                        41                                52

3. South Dakota                                 41                                55

4. North Dakota                                 40                                 57

5. Minnesota                                      40                                 55

6. Virginia                                           40                                 55

7. Massachusetts                               40                                 53

8. Vermont                                         39                                  55

9. Nebraska                                       39                                  57

10. Utah                                            39                                  56

11. New Hampshire                           38                                  58

12. Iowa                                            38                                 56

13. Colorado                                      38                                 56

14. California                                     38                                  56

15. Georgia                                       37                                   59

16. Alaska                                         37                                   57

17. Wisconsin                                   36                                   60

18. Michigan                                      36                                   59

19. Illinois                                         36                                   59

20. Oregon                                       36                                   59

21. South Carolina                           36                                   59

22. North Carolina                           35                                   60

23. New York                                   35                                   60

24. Washington                               35                                   60

25. Arizona                                      35                                   60

26. Rhode Islans                             34                                   58

27. Nevada                                      34                                   59

28. Hawaii                                       34                                    60

29. Connecticut                               34                                    61

30. Texas                                        33                                    61

31. New Jersey                               33                                     61

32. Pennsylvania                            33                                      62

33. Indiana                                     33                                     62

34. Florida                                      33                                      62

35. Missouri                                    33                                      63

36. New Mexico                              33                                      64

37. Montana                                   32                                      62

38. Idaho                                       32                                      62

39. Ohio                                         32                                      63

40. Kansas                                     32                                      63

41. Wyoming                                  32                                      64

42. Delaware                                 31                                      63

43. Alabama                                  31                                      64

44. Oklahoma                                31                                      64

45. Tennessee                               31                                      64

46. Arkansas                                  31                                      66

47. Mississippi                                30                                      66

48. Maine                                       30                                      66

49. Kentucky                                  30                                      67

50. Louisiana                                 28                                      68

51. West Virginia                           24                                      72