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Five-year Low: 13% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The number of U.S. voters who feel the country is heading in the right direction has fallen to the lowest level of the Obama presidency.

Just 13% of Likely U.S. Voters now say the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey for the week ending October 13. That's down from 17% the week before and the lowest finding since the week of October 20-26, 2008, when George W. Bush was still president. 

Confidence in the country's direction has fallen 15 points since the government shutdown began two weeks ago and is down from a high of 43% the week before Election Day last fall.

After President Obama assumed office in January 2009, the number of voters who felt the country was heading in the right direction rose to 40% in early May of that year. 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 Bush administration. Optimism began easing up again in mid-December 2011.

Eighty percent (80%) of voters now think the country is heading down the wrong track, up 17 points from two weeks ago and the highest level of pessimism since the week of August 6-11, 2011. 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.

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The national telephone survey of 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on October 7-October 13, 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.

Ninety-one percent (91%) of Republicans say the country is on the wrong track, unchanged from last week, but now 85% of unaffiliated voters agree, up six points from a week ago. Two-out-of-three Democrats (66%) also share that view, a major shift from two weeks ago when just 41% felt that way.

Only 27% of black voters now think the country is heading in the right direction, down from 49% a week ago. But they're still more optimistic than whites and other minority voters are.

Voters under 40 are now only slightly less pessimistic than their elders.

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Mainstream voters say the country is on the wrong track, a view shared by 53% of the Political Class

Democrats have jumped to a seven-point lead over Republicans on the latest Generic Congressional Ballot

Ninety-six percent (96%) of voters who favor the Republican on the generic ballot think the country is heading in the wrong direction, compared to 64% of those who prefer the Democrat.

Seventy-eight percent (78%) of all voters would vote to get rid of the entire current Congress and start over again. 

But two weeks into the partial government shutdown, ask voters which party they want in charge of the entire Congress, and 46% say the Democrats while 45% choose the GOP.  

Rasmussen Reports' latest numbers suggest why the shutdown is continuing: 82% of Democrats want to end the shutdown by continuing spending for the new health care law at current levels, but 71% of GOP voters would rather keep the shutdown going until the law is defunded.

Just 41% think the U.S. economy now is even somewhat fair.

The Rasmussen Consumer Index which measures daily confidence is at its lowest levels in a year. 

At the same time, however, short- and long-term confidence in the housing market has risen to its highest levels in several years

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