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


30% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Thirty percent (30%) 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 January 19.

That's up one point from 29% the week beforeA year ago, 35% said the country was heading in the right direction.

In early October during the federal government shutdown, confidence in the country's course fell to 13%, the lowest finding in five years. 

During President Obama's first months in office, the number of voters who felt the country was headed in the right direction rose steadily to 40% in May 2009. 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 George W. Bush administration. Optimism began easing up again in mid-December 2011.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of voters now think the country is headed down the wrong track. That's down one point from the week before. Eighty percent (80%) felt the country was on the wrong track in early October, but 57% believed that at this time last year. 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 2012.

(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 3,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports on January 13-19, 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-six percent (86%) of Republicans and 67% of voters not affiliated with either major political party still think the country is on the wrong track. Among Democrats, 52% believe the country is heading in the right direction, while 37% think it's on the wrong track.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of black voters feel the country is headed in the right direction. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of whites and 54% of other minority voters disagree.

Fifty-five percent (52%) of those under 40 think the country's on the wrong track, a view shared by 67% of older voters.

Sixty-three percent of the Political Class think the country is heading in the right direction, while 73% of Mainstream voters feel it is headed down the wrong track. 

Democrats now lead Republicans by six points on the latest Generic Congressional Ballot.

Voters are evenly divided when asked whether the federal government should force every American to have health insurance.

Forty-six percent (46%) think America's best days are in the past, while 34% feel those days are yet to come.

Only 34% of Americans rate race relations in the United States today as good or excellent.

Two-out-of-three voters (68%) think spying on the phone calls of ordinary Americans will stay the same or increase despite the president's increased restrictions on the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program.

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.