American Pessimism: 67%, The Highest Number In Obama's Term, Say Things Are On The Wrong Track

July 07, 2011, 6:17 PM GMT+0

As Congress returns and tries to work out some way of avoiding the U.S. defaulting on its financial obligations, the latest Economist/YouGov poll finds a country as pessimistic about the future as it has been at any time in the Obama Administration.

67% say the country is off on the wrong track, and only 18% say it is headed in the right direction. Those numbers are worse than at any point since the very beginning of the Administration (in February 2009 18% also aid the country was headed in the right direction) and have been going in a negative direction since the summer of the President’s first year in office. 

85% of Republicans think the country is off on the wrong track, but so do 52% of Democrats.

There are other negative numbers: 43% say the economy is still getting worse, and only 14% think it is improving. And 44% say their family is worse off economically today compared to a year ago— just 11% report being in better shape today. 

There is economic pain in all income and partisan groups, though Democrats and those with family incomes over $100,000 a year are less likely to say they are in worse financial shape today. However, just 15% of Democrats and 19% of upper income households say they are better off now.

Evaluations of the President’s handling of the economy continue to be low, with fewer than one in three Americans approving of his economic performance. Nearly twice as many disapprove. 

His overall approval rating remains low, at 43%. 51% disapprove. But these evaluations have remained at similar levels for about a year. 

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