Two-thirds of Americans think the country is off on the wrong track

Candice JaimungalSocial Media Contributor
July 05, 2020, 12:00 PM UTC

Two-thirds of Americans (67%) think the country is off on the wrong track, according to a recent Economist/YouGov Poll. The data comes as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the United States, along with ongoing protests against the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of the police, and a struggling economy.  

A majority, 67 percent, of Americans believe the United States is off the wrong track, compared to 64 percent on June 6, and about half (54%) on May 16.  

Republicans (47%) are more likely than Independents (15%) or Democrats (9%) to say things in this country are generally headed in the right direction. In addition to the party divide, a divide on race is evident. Nearly one in four white Americans say things in the United States are generally headed in the right direction, compared to 12 percent of Black Americans, and 17 percent of Latino Americans.  

Regional differences vary slightly, as Americans in the Northeast (74%) are more likely to report the country is off on the wrong track compared to those in the Midwest (62%), South (67%), or in the West (67%).  

Joe Biden supporters are particularly like to say the country is off on the wrong track. A vast majority (93%) of those who choose Biden in the trial heat against Trump say the country is off on the wrong track, compared to 41 percent of those who say they will vote for President Donald Trump in 2020. Nearly half (48%) of Trump supporters say the United States is generally headed in the right direction, compared to 5 percent of Biden 2020 voters.  

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll   

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between June 28 - 30, 2020.   

This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.4% for the overall sample.    

In this week’s and previous surveys, US citizens were asked, “Would you say things in this country today are...” Response options: Generally headed in the right direction, off on the wrong track, not sure.” US citizens were asked, "What racial or ethnic group best describes you?" Response options: “White, Black, Hispanic, Other.”   

Image: The Gender Spectrum Collection