Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Twenty-eight percent (28%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey for the week ending December 8.
That's up three points from 25% the previous week and the highest level of confidence since late September. In early October during the federal government shutdown, confidence in the country’s course fell to 13%, the lowest finding in five years. A year ago, 38% said the country was heading in the right direction.
During President Obama’s first months in office, the number of voters who felt the country was headed in the right direction rose steadily to 40% in early May 2009. In 2010 and 2011, confidence fell to the narrow range of 14% to 19%, levels similar to those measured in the final months of the George W. Bush administration. Optimism began easing up again in mid-December 2011.
Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters now think the country is headed down the wrong track, down two points from the week before and down from a recent high of 80% in October. From January 2009 until October 2012, belief that the country was on the wrong track ranged from 55% to 80%, but it tracked in the low 50s from just before Election Day until early December last year.
The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on December 2-8, 2013. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Fieldwork for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Congressional leaders have reached a budget deal that restores $63 billion cut earlier this year by the so-called sequester, but 56% of voters would prefer a long-term budget deal that cuts government spending instead. Sixty-one percent (61%) expect spending to rise under Obama, the highest finding in over three years.
Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Republicans and 71% of voters not affiliated with either major political party still think the country is on the wrong track. Among Democrats, 49% believe the country is heading in the right direction, while 40% think it's on the wrong track.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of blacks feel the country is heading in the right direction. Seventy-two percent (72%) of whites and 54% of other minority voters disagree.
Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters under 40 think the country’s on the wrong track, a view shared by roughly 70% of their elders.
Eighty-six percent (86%) of conservative voters and 59% of moderates say the country is on the wrong track, but 52% of liberal voters think the country is heading in the right direction.
Forty-three percent (43%) of working Americans think they will be earning more money a year from today. That ties the highest level of confidence measured since April 2009.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters think the problems associated with the new national health care law are unlikely to be fixed within the next year.
Sixty percent (60%) think the federal government is not aggressive enough in deporting illegal immigrants.
A year after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, just 31% of Americans think it is even somewhat likely that Congress and the president will create tougher gun control laws. That’s down 28 points from 59% right after the shootings took place.
Americans think more action to treat mental health issues will do more than increased gun control to reduce the number of mass shootings like the one in Connecticut.
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