Men More Downbeat Than Women About US Future

Men are more downbeat than women about America's future.

A new CNBC All-America Economic Survey of 800 Americans shows 53 percent of men are mainly pessimistic, with 42 percent optimistic. Women are more evenly split at 48 percent pessimistic and 46 percent optimistic.

Put it all together, and the nation as a whole splits 50-44, favoring the pessimists over the optimists.

Married men are especially discouraged: 60 percent say they are pessimistic, compared to 44 percent of unmarried men.

And 69 percent of married men say they are pessimistic about the economy nowand for the future, versus 57 percent of unmarried men and 63 percent of all those polled.

Jay Campbell, Vice President of Hart Research Associates, attributes this gender difference to the fact more men are Republicans and more women lean Democrat.

In fact, 62 percent of survey respondents, who classify themselves as Republicans are pessimistic, compared to just 37 percent of Democrats.

Men are also more negative about the outlook for their earnings. Only about three-in-10 Americans expect a wage increase in the next year. But women look for a 2.4 percent increase in their paychecks over the next 12 months, more than three times the 0.9 percent that men expect.

But men are more upbeat than women about cost of living and investing. Women expect the cost of living to jump 10.7 percent over the next year, compared to an expectation of 7.2 percent for men.

While few groups are ready to jump into the stock market, women are more negative on investing.

"In most households, women are the ones who manage the family finances and are thus more sensitive to changes in prices," says Campbell.

Only 28 percent of women say it’s a good time to invest in the market, compared to 35 percent of men.

Unmarried men are most upbeat about the market, with 37 percent saying it’s a good time to invest, 6 percent higher than the overall response.

There are also gender differences in America’s attitude towards the federal deficit.

Men are more likely to think the Obama economic stimulus plan contributed a lot or a fair amount to the deficit—57 percent compared to 45 percent of women.

Women are more likely to think the Bush income tax cuts are a major budget issue—48 percent versus 43 percent of men.

And 51 percent of men also say the recession contributed a lot to the deficit, while only 44 percent of women agree.

Overall though, men and women are in equal agreement that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq contributed the most to the budget deficit.