How Americans see the direction of the country

Jamie BallardData Journalist
September 02, 2020, 11:30 AM UTC

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues and the election draws closer, how do Americans view the direction of the country overall?  

In the most recent poll from The Economist and YouGov, Americans are slightly less likely to say the country is off on the wrong track. In weekly polls conducted over the last month, 66 percent consistently said that the country is off on the wrong track. This week, that number dropped 5 percent to 61 percent who say the country is off on the wrong track. Nearly three in 10 (27%) say it’s generally headed in the right direction.  

Republicans remain optimistic: 58 percent of this group says that things in this country are generally headed in the right direction. About one in five (21%) Independents and one in ten (10%) Democrats agree with this characterization.  

In contrast, most Democrats (80%) and Independents (65%) in this week’s poll believe that the country is off on the wrong track.  

Among Americans who say they would vote from Donald Trump in a trial heat, over half (54%) believe that the country is generally headed in the right direction. Very few (7%) Biden supporters agree.  

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between August 23 - 25, 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 3.6% for the overall sample. 

Image: Getty