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29% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Twenty-nine (29%) 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 January 5.

That’s down one point from 30% the previous week which marked 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 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-two percent (62%) of voters now think the country is headed down the wrong track, down one point from the week before and the lowest finding since mid-September. Eighty percent (80%) felt the country was on the wrong track in early October, but just 58% believed that at this time last year. 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 of that year.

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The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on December 30, 2013-January 5, 2014. 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 68% of voters not affiliated with either major political party still think the country is on the wrong track. Among Democrats, 51% believe the country is heading in the right direction, while 37% think it’s on the wrong track.

Most black voters (57%) feel the country is headed in the right direction. Sixty-nine percent (69%) 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.

Married voters and those with children living with them are even more pessimistic than voters who are not married and don't have children in the home.

Democrats have taken the lead on the latest Generic Congressional Ballot for the first time since late November 2012 by a 40% to 38% margin.

Only eight percent (8%) of all voters now think Congress is doing a good or excellent job.

Most voters (55%) think there will be a noticeable change in the lives of most Americans if Democrats win control of both the House and Senate in this November’s elections. Slightly fewer voters (49%) feel there will be a noticeable change in their lives if Republicans win control of Congress instead. 

For the first time in nearly a year, fewer than 50% expect the health care system to get worse under Obamacare.

Most Americans still know someone out of work and looking for a job, but a low of 25% believe the job market is worse today than it was a year ago.

The Rasmussen Employment Index which measures worker confidence rose four points in December to its highest level since June.

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