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Only 35% Believe America’s Best Days Are Still to Come

Friday, September 30, 2011

Voters continue to be pessimistic about America’s future. 

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 35% of Likely U.S. Voters think America’s best days are in the future, while a plurality (47%) says the country's best days are in the past.  Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure.  (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

These findings show little change from earlier this month. Since November 2006, optimism has ranged from 31% to 47% but has generally hovered in the high 30s and low 40s for much of that time. In April, the number who think America's best days are still to come hit an all-time low of 31%. Over the past five years, anywhere from 37% to 53% have said the nation’s best days are behind us. 

A majority of voters (60%) still describes U.S. society as fair and decent, but that's down six points from the previous survey.  Thirty percent (30%) view our society as unfair and discriminatory.

Voter belief that U.S. society is fair and decent has ranged from a low of 54% to a high of 74% in regular tracking since early November 2006.  In those same surveys, perceptions that society is unfair and discriminatory have run from 17% to 33%.  

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The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on September 26-27, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC . See methodology.

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