If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


26% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Monday, August 31, 2015

Twenty-six percent (26%) of Likely U.S. Voters now think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey for the week ending August 27.

This finding is down a point from 27% the week before and has been trending down for the past several weeks. 

Every week from late December through the beginning of March, 30% or more of voters said that the country is heading in the right direction, but the weekly findings fell back into the mid- to high 20s. Then following the U.S. Supreme Court decisions upholding Obamacare and gay marriage in late June, the number of voters who said the country is heading in the right direction climbed again into the low 30s and stayed there for three weeks. 

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of voters now believe the nation is headed down the wrong track, up two points from the last survey.

A year ago at this time, 25% felt the country was heading in the right direction, while 66% thought it was on the wrong track. 

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The national telephone survey of 2,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from August 23-27, 2015. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Republicans and 72% of voters not affiliated with either major political party think the country is on the wrong track. Democrats are nearly evenly divided.

Most voters of all ages agree the country is headed in the wrong direction, but voters under 40 remain less pessimistic than their elders are. 

Seventy-two percent (72%) of whites believe the country is headed down the wrong track, a view shared by 54% of blacks and 59% of other minority voters.

Among voters who disapprove of the job President Obama is doing, over 80% think the country is heading in the wrong direction. 

As with other highly-publicized shooting incidents in recent years, most voters see last week’s murder of two on-air journalists as a mental health issue rather than a need for more gun control. But most also see social media as a contributing factor.

Americans strongly believe political correctness is a problem in the country today.

Voters still agree on the importance of a world-class education but also remain convinced that U.S. public schools don't provide one. Americans still tend to think the school year shouldn't start before Labor Day but generally believe the average 8:30 a.m. daily start time is about right.

Gas prices have hit recent lows in many parts of the country, but 70% think they are likely to be paying more for a gallon of gas in six months' time.

Most Americans continue to lack confidence in the Federal Reserve Board to keep interest rates down and expect to pay higher rates next year.

Crosstabs and historical data are available to Platinum Members only.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.

Rasmussen Reports is a media company specializing in the collection, publication and distribution of public opinion information.

We conduct public opinion polls on a variety of topics to inform our audience on events in the news and other topics of interest. To ensure editorial control and independence, we pay for the polls ourselves and generate revenue through the sale of subscriptions, sponsorships, and advertising. Nightly polling on politics, business and lifestyle topics provides the content to update the Rasmussen Reports web site many times each day. If it's in the news, it's in our polls. Additionally, the data drives a daily update newsletter and various media outlets across the country.

Some information, including the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll and commentaries are available for free to the general public. Subscriptions are available for $4.95 a month or 34.95 a year that provide subscribers with exclusive access to more than 20 stories per week on upcoming elections, consumer confidence, and issues that affect us all. For those who are really into the numbers, Platinum Members can review demographic crosstabs and a full history of our data.

To learn more about our methodology, click here.