Optimism about economy down, poll shows

The number of people who say the economy is starting to recover has dropped 5 points since April, from 24 percent to 19 percent, while the number who say that the economy remains in a downturn is up 6 points to 39 percent, a CNN/ORC International poll released Friday shows.

"That all seems bad news for President Barack Obama's re-election chances, but only if Mitt Romney can capitalize on it," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

The poll results come on the same day that The Washington Post reports that recent data indicate the economy might be gaining traction. The Post article cites encouraging signs in the housing market, an uptick in hiring, a drop in the number of people seeking unemployment insurance, and an improvement in U.S. exports.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International Tuesday and Wednesday, with 1,010 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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