The number of voters who think America's best days still lie ahead is now at its lowest level in 17 months.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just one-third (34%) of Likely U.S. Voters now think the country's best days are in the future, the lowest finding since October 2009. Forty-eight percent (48%) say America's best days are behind us, identical to last month and the highest level of pessimism since last July. Eighteen percent (18%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Just 22% of voters now think the country is heading in the right direction, the lowest level of confidence found since before President Obama’s inauguration in January 2009.
But 64% continue to believe that American society is generally fair and decent, a finding that has held relatively steady since polling on the question began in 2006. Only 22% think U.S. society is generally unfair and discriminatory, and 14% are not sure.
Many voters also still believe the president doesn't share their view. Just 43% say Obama thinks American society is generally fair and decent, but 41% believe he thinks it is unfair and discriminatory. Sixteen percent (16%) have no opinion of how the president views American society. Belief that the president thinks U.S. society is fair and decent has largely fallen in the low to mid-40s from a high of 49% just before his inauguration.
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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters nationwide was conducted on March 16-17, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
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