Right Direction or Wrong Track
27% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 Rasmussen Reports
Twenty-seven percent (27%) of Likely Voters say the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken the week ending Sunday, July 18.
This is the lowest finding since mid-March and remains within the narrow range found on this question since last July.
Following Congress' passage of the national health care bill in late March, the number of voters who said the country was heading in the right direction peaked at 35%, the highest level of optimism measured since early September 2009. But it has since returned to the levels found prior to passage of the bill.
Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters now expect the cost of health care to go up under the health care bill, the highest level of pessimism measured since the law was passed in March. Fifty-six percent (56%) favor repeal of the law.
About half of Democrats feel the country is heading in the right direction, but 90% of Republicans and 75% of voters not affiliated with either major party believe the country is heading down the wrong track.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of all voters say the country is heading down the wrong track, three points higher than last week. Following the passage of the health care bill, voter pessimism dropped to 60% but has risen since then.
At the end of February, voter confidence in the country's current course fell to 25%, the lowest finding since just before President Obama took office in January 2009. At the same time, 71% felt the United States was heading down the wrong track, the highest negative assessment in that same time period.
Leading up to Obama's inauguration, the number of voters who felt the country was heading in the right direction remained below 20%. The week of his inauguration, voter confidence rose to 27% and then steadily increased, peaking at 40% in early May 2009. Confidence fell steadily after that. As is often the case, there was a brief burst of enthusiasm at the beginning of this year, but that quickly faded until the health care vote took place.
Sixty-five percent (65%) of the Political Class say the country is heading in the right direction. Eighty-two percent (82%) of Mainstream voters say it's going in the wrong direction.
Seven-out-of-10 whites and voters of other ethnicities are pessimistic about the country’s current course. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of African-Americans say America is heading in the right direction.
Looking back, voters remain unhappy with the government bailouts of the financial industry and troubled automakers General Motors and Chrysler. However, 47% of Americans are at least somewhat confident in the stability of the U.S. banking industry today, the highest number measured since April of last year.
With the deepwater oil leak apparently capped after three months of gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, support for both offshore oil drilling and drilling further out in deepwater remains largely unchanged. Most voters also remain concerned about the potential environmental impact of new drilling.
Republican candidates now hold a nine-point lead over Democrats on the Generic Congressional Ballot for the week ending Sunday, July 18, the widest gap between the two parties in several weeks.
Most voters now believe it is at least somewhat likely that Republicans will win control of both houses of Congress in this November’s elections, and nearly half say there will a noticeable change in the lives of Americans if this happens.
If Republicans win control of Congress this fall, voters overwhelmingly believe the nation’s legislature should wait until the newly elected officials take office before considering major legislation. Most, however, expect that Democrats will try to pass new legislation before turning over control.
The notion that governments derive their only just authority from the consent of the governed is a foundational principle of the American experiment. However, just 23% of voters nationwide believe the federal government today has the consent of the governed.
The frustration that voters are expressing in 2010 goes much deeper than specific policies. At a more fundamental level, voters just don’t believe politicians are interested in the opinions of ordinary Americans.
Investor confidence has fallen to a new 2010 low. The Rasmussen Investor Index, which measures the economic confidence of investors on a daily basis, slipped two points on Wednesday to 83.4. That's down slightly from its level a week ago and is down 10 points from a month ago.
Voters are slightly less critical of the president and the oil companies involved for their handling of the Gulf oil leak, but 89% of Americans are concerned about the economic impact of the environmental disaster.
Fifty-six percent (56%) of voters believe offshore oil drilling should still be allowed, while a plurality (47%) support deepwater drilling, too, even though the latter is the cause of the oil leak.
So, If 73% Don't Agree We're Heading In The Right Direction, What Does This Administration, And This Congress, Gain In The Long Run? Answer That And You'll See What's In Store For The Rest Of Us...