Are you optimistic? Why?

There’s a fair amount of argument in the country about just how bad the economy is, but a new poll shows that a significant number of people don’t think it’s bad at all, apparently.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll today shows the most negative assessment of the country since the two started polling decades ago.


Nearly eight in 10 of those surveyed say the country is headed seriously off course. Seven in 10 worry about their family’s finances, and 94 percent say the country’s economy is in “not so good” or “poor” shape, the most negative assessment in more than 23 years of Post-ABC polling.

Six percent say, apparently, that the economy is at least “okee dokey.” Who are these people and what do they do? Is it the very rich big boss type? First, how did they reach them by telephone? Second, how did they reach them by telephone when they were out on the ledge?

Seventy percent of those surveyed worry about the economy’s effect on their family’s finances. But 30% don’t? Who are these people?

The poll also shows that Barack Obama is taking popularity as the most popular president. Want to guess who had the highest popularity ratings during a term in the history of polling? George W. Bush.

A separate New York Times CBS poll today says most Americans do not expect real progress in improving the economy, reforming the health care system, or ending the war in Iraq.

And, yet, 80 percent say they’re “optimistic” about the next four years, even though they don’t think much will change on the major issues.

Why?