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What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls - Week Ending October 8, 2011

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Americans need something to believe in because right now their faith in the nation’s future is scraping rock bottom.

Eighteen percent (18%) of Likely U.S. Voters say the country is heading in the right direction, down 14 points from last year.  Since late July, the number of voters who are confident in the nation’s current course has resembled levels measured in the final months of the Bush administration. In early May 2009, just months after President Obama took office, 40% felt things were headed the right way.

Americans are less confident than ever that the United States is still number one economically. Just 29% of Adults now believe the United States has the best economy in the world.  Perhaps these views are driven in part by the increased skepticism that Americans have about Obama's economic advisers. Just  31% are at least somewhat confident in those who advise the president on economic policy, with 14% who are Very Confident.

At the beginning of 2011, Americans were more likely to believe that unemployment was heading down rather than up.  Pessimism has grown throughout the year and those expectations have now reversed. Thirty-six percent (36%) of Americans believe the unemployment rate will be higher one year from now  and only 21% expect it to be lower. Just 12% say the job market is better today than it was a year ago, the lowest level of optimism measured since August 2009.

The Rasmussen Consumer and Investor Indexes, which measure daily economic confidence, show that confidence remains down from the beginning of 2011 with most Americans believing that things are getting worse.

The Rasmussen Employment Index, which measures workers’ perceptions of the labor market each month, regained some lost ground in September but is still down 10 points from last November when hiring expectations peaked.

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