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


26% Say Country is Heading in the Right Direction

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Twenty-six percent (26%) 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 November 24.

This marks little change from the previous week when 25% felt the country was headed the right way. Still, it’s an improvement from early last month when confidence in the country’s course fell to 13% during the partial federal government shutdown. It was the lowest finding in five years. The week before Election Day a year ago, 43% said the country was heading in the right direction.

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 early 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-seven percent (67%) of voters now think the country is headed down the wrong track, also little changed from last week but down from a recent high of 80% last month. 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.

(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 November 18-24, 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

With problems continuing to plague the launch of the new national health care law, President Obama’s daily job ratings remain at the lowest levels of his entire presidency

Ninety percent (90%) of Republicans and 72% of voters not affiliated with either major political party still think the country is on the wrong track. Democrats are closely divided with 45% who believe the country is heading in the right direction and 44% who think the opposite.

Black voters remain much more positive about the country’s direction than whites and other minority voters.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) if voters under 40 think the country’s on the wrong track, but older voters are even more pessimistic.

Eighty-eight percent (88%) of conservative voters and 62% of moderates think the country is on the wrong track, but 51% of liberal voters think the country is heading in the right direction.

Favorable views of the national health care law have fallen to 36%, the lowest finding of 2013. At the same time the number of voters who expect health care costs to increase due to the new law (61%) is at its highest level in over two-and-a-half years.

Voters trust Republicans more than Democrats on nine of 15 major issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports, including the economy and health care. Democrats are more trusted on six issues, including the environment and gun control. 

But Democrats have retaken the lead from Republicans in the latest Generic Congressional Ballot – with a point edge over the GOP. 

Voters are almost evenly divided over the treaty the United States has reached with Iran to slow that country’s nuclear weapons program.

The United States has proposed a security deal to Afghanistan that would leave some U.S. troops in that country after next year, but just over half of U.S. voters want all troops out of Afghanistan by then

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.

Crosstabs and historical data are available to Platinum Members only.   

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.