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28% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

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 March 2.

That’s down four points from 32% the previous week  and is the lowest level of optimism since mid-December. Prior to last week’s recent high, this finding had seesawed between 29% and 30% every week since mid-December. The latest number is identical to the level measured one year ago.

Early last October during the federal government shutdown, confidence in the country’s course fell to 13%, the lowest finding in five years.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of voters now think the country is headed down the wrong track. That’s up three points from the previous week and equals the level of pessimism measured a year ago. Eighty percent (80%) felt the country was on the wrong track in early October.

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The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on February 24-March 2, 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-seven percent (87%) of Republicans and 73% of voters not affiliated with either major political party think the country is on the wrong track. The latter finding is up seven points from the week before. Among Democrats, 49% believe the country is heading in the right direction, while 39% think it’s on the wrong track. That also shows slightly less optimism compared to the previous week.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of black voters think the country is heading in the right direction. Just 23% of whites and 34% of other minority voters agree.

An overwhelming majority (92%) of voters who are part of the Tea Party movement believe the country is heading down the wrong track. Among those not in the grassroots movement, 34% say the country is heading in the right direction, while 57% say it’s moving down the wrong track.

Fifty-five percent (55%) of voters who chose the Democrat on the latest Generic Congressional Ballot think the country is headed in the right direction. Among those who opt for the Republican instead, 92% say the country is on the wrong track.

Democrats hold a three-point lead over Republicans on the Generic Congressional Ballot.

As tensions escalate over Ukraine, voters are increasingly critical of Russia but are evenly divided over whether the United States should try to punish the Russians diplomatically.

The president has proposed a $4 trillion budget for fiscal 2015 with at least $55 billion in new spending. But 59% of voters think thoughtful spending cuts should be considered in every program of the federal government. Only 23%, however, think it’s even somewhat likely that government spending will be significantly reduced over the next few years. 

The Rasmussen Employment Index which measures worker confidence rose two points in February, continuing the upward trend it began in November.

Few voters think life for young black Americans has improved under Obama, and hopes aren’t high that the president’s new My Brother’s Keeper initiative will make things any better.

The president’s monthly job approval rating rose a point to 49% in February. That’s up from 45% in November, the president’s lowest monthly approval in two years, but still down seven points from December 2012’s recent high of 56%.

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