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30% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Thirty percent (30%) 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 29.

That’s up one point from 29% the previous week and the highest level of confidence since early 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, 33% 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 in again in mid-December 2011.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters now think the country is headed down the wrong track, down one point from the week before and significantly down from a recent high of 80% in October. It is also the lowest finding since late September. 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.

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The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on December 23-29, 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.

Eighty-six percent (86%) of Republicans and 69% of voters not affiliated with either major party still think the country is on the wrong track. Among Democrats, 51% believe the country is heading in the right direction, while 39% think it’s on the wrong track.

Most black voters (59%) feel the country is heading in the right direction. Seventy percent (70%) of whites and 54% of other minority voters disagree.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of those under 40 think the country’s on the wrong track, a view shared by nearly 70% of older voters.

Military veterans and those with family members in the military are even more pessimistic about the nation’s direction than those who have not served and don’t have a family member in uniform.

Republicans and Democrats are running even at 40% on the latest Generic Congressional Ballot.

Fifty-six percent (56%) view the new health care law unfavorably.

When it comes to fiscal issues such as taxes, government spending and business regulation, 41% of all voters identify as conservative. Thirty-nine percent (39%) identify as fiscally moderate, while 13% consider themselves liberal in this area.

Here’s what America thinks about the state of U.S. foreign policy as the end of the year approaches.

2013 turned out to be worse than Americans predicted this time last year, and they’re slightly less optimistic about the year to come than they were back then. They’re more pessimistic about their health, too.

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We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

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