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CNN Poll: Americans more optimistic about the world in 2011

Washington (CNN) — Americans are looking forward to the new year with much more optimism about the state of the world than they did a year ago, according to a new national poll.

But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Friday also indicates Americans’ optimism regarding their own personal lives is down a bit from last year.

Sixty-three percent of people questioned in the poll say they are hopeful about what the new year holds in store for the world in general, up 12 points from last December, with 35% saying they are fearful, down 13 points.

“On the home front, Americans are just as optimistic, with 64% saying they are hopeful about their own personal lives in the new year,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “But that number is down from 69% who felt that way 12 months ago.”

The survey indicates a gender gap, with seven of ten men saying they are optimistic about the state of the world in 2011, 11 points higher than the 59% of women who say they feel that way. And according to the poll, Democrats and Republicans are more positive about the state of the world in the new year than independent voters.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted December 17-19, with 1,008 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points.

— CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report



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