I think the problem here, Isaac, is that bad news is generally given far greater coverage in the media than good news, and such bad news is often exaggerated to create a greater emotional impact on the reader or viewer, particularly when there's a political agenda involved.
Also many of the questions in your linked poll relate to the future state of the world, and predictions of the future can be notoriously unreliable.
I think it's understandable that many folks will confuse 'proportion' with actual quantities, and not be clear on the distinction between 'extreme' poverty and plain, common poverty. Whilst both the proportion and actual quantity of the world population living in extreme poverty may have decreased over the past 30 years, according to the standards used to describe such extreme poverty, the actual number of individuals living in just plain poverty may not have decreased, depending on the definition used.
A classic case of confusion and misrepresentation of an issue which is very much in the public consciousness at present, especially in Australia where a new government has recently dismantled a carbon tax, is the issue of anthropogenic climate change.
It amazes me how politicised and unscientific the media reports have become, and/or always were, in relation to this subject.