Fox News poll: Voters give 2013 a thumbs up, feel optimistic about economy

For the first time in years, people feel positive about how things went for their family this year.  In addition, a slim majority feels optimistic about the economy next year.  That’s according to a year-end Fox News poll released Monday.

Just over half of voters -- 51 percent -- feel 2013 was a good year for them.  That’s up from 42 percent who felt that way at the end of last year, and up significantly from 34 percent who felt good at the end of 2009.

Some 37 percent say 2013 was a bad year, and 11 percent have mixed feelings about it.

Voters under age 30 were much more likely than those ages 65 and over to say 2013 was a good year (60 percent and 41 percent respectively).

By a large 38 percentage-point margin, Democrats rate 2013 as a good year (64 good - 26 bad) -- as do independents by a narrower 11-point margin (47 good - 36 bad).

Republicans are more likely to give 2013 the thumbs down by an 11-point margin (40 good - 51 bad).  Tea party Republicans had an even worse year: 38 good - 54 bad.

That same partisan split is also evident on the outlook for the economy.  While 77 percent of Democrats think the economy will be better a year from now, a 58 percent majority of Republicans says it will be worse.

By a 50-32 percent margin, independents say the economy will be better next year.

Overall, 54 percent think the economy will be better.  That’s up from 49 percent last year and almost exactly the same as the 53 percent who felt that way in 2011.

Some 35 percent think the economy will be worse next year, down from 42 percent a year ago.

More voters disapprove (55 percent) than approve (41 percent) of the job President Obama is doing handling the economy.

The president’s been in negative territory on the economy for most of his presidency.  The last time Obama received a positive rating on the economy was in September 2009, when 55 percent approved and 40 percent disapproved.

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,027 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from December 14-16, 2013.  The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.