For much of the last year, Republicans in the Economist / YouGov poll have largely been more likely to say that the country is headed in the right direction, rather than off on the wrong track.
This was especially true in the month leading up to the presidential election, when a majority of Republicans consistently said they believed the country was headed in the right direction.
This belief was not shared by Democrats – in the month leading up to the election, no more than 7% of Democrats expressed a belief that the country was on the right track. About nine in 10 believed the opposite.
The first Economist / YouGov poll conducted after the election shows a dramatic shift, with the percentage of Republicans who think the country is going in the right direction plummeting from 60% to 25%.
Despite Joe Biden’s triumph at the polls, few Democrats consider the country to be on the right track, at just 22%. This is, nevertheless, up from 4% in the last poll prior to the election, and will likely increase much further once the disputes around the election result abate and the President-Elect is inaugurated.
Among Independents there has also been a decline, though it’s not nearly as pronounced as the change in Republican opinion. In the last poll before the election, 26% of Independents said they believed the country was on the right track heading into the election, while 17% said the same afterward.
Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 registered voters interviewed online between November 8 - November 10, 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 3.2% for the overall sample.