Surprising New Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll
Thursday, August 7th, 2014 @ 11:32PM
Gary D. Halbert
Between the Lines
In my E-Letter on Tuesday, I cited a recent RealClearPolitics poll average on the question of whether the country is headed in the “right direction” or is on the “wrong track.” That poll average found that only 26.0% of respondents believe the country is headed in the right direction, while 64.3% said the country is on the wrong track.
Well, a new poll released last night from The Wall Street Journal/NBC News says that things are even worse than I reported on Tuesday – and in even more ways than one! I will summarize the poll results below. The poll was conducted July 30-August 3 with 1,000 respondents.
This latest WSJ/NBC poll was brutal for politicians: President Obama’s job approval rating sank to a new low; and approval for the job Congress is doing was only 14%. Details on the latest job approval ratings are near the end of today’s post.
On the question of “right direction/wrong track,” the WSJ/NBC poll found that only 22% of respondents said the country is headed in the ‘right direction,’ while a whopping 71% said it is on the ‘wrong track.’ Only 7% weren’t sure.
On the “state of the US economy,” only 35% said they were ‘very or somewhat satisfied,’ while 64% said they were ‘very or somewhat dissatisfied.’
On the question of the economy still being in a recession, 46% said ‘no,’ while 49% said “yes.”
On the question of “Do you think America is in a state of decline,” some 38% said ‘no,’ while 60% said ‘yes,’ that America is ‘in a state of decline.’
On the question of the immigration crisis on the border and how the government is handling it, only 11% were ‘satisfied,’ while 64% were ‘dissatisfied.’ Of the latter, most felt the government is not involved enough in the crisis.
On the question of “America’s role in the world,” only 35% said they were ‘very or somewhat satisfied,’ while 62% said they were ‘very or somewhat dissatisfied.’
When asked if they believe that “life for our children’s generation” will be better than it has been for us, only 21% believe their children’s lives will be better, while a whopping 76% believe they will be worse. That’s the highest reading ever for this poll!
The poll offered the following two statements and asked respondents to pick one:
Statement A: The United States is a country where anyone, regardless of their background, can work hard, succeed and be comfortable financially.
Statement B: The widening gap between the incomes of the wealthy and everyone else is undermining the idea that every American has the opportunity to move up to a better standard of living.
The results: 44% picked statement A (anyone can succeed), while 54% picked Statement B (widening gap is undermining opportunity). The latter was the highest reading ever for this statement.
The poll offered two more statements on the economy and asked respondents to pick one:
- These are mostly deep and longstanding problems with the economy and it does not really matter what elected officials in Washington do.
- These are mostly problems with the inability of elected officials in Washington to get things done to help improve the economy.
The results: only 23% picked statement A (structural problems politicians can’t fix), while a whopping 71% picked B (inability of politicians to get things done).
And speaking of politicians, the respondents were pretty brutal in rating their performances.
On the question of “The [US] political system” in general, only 19% said they were ‘very or somewhat satisfied,’ while an eye-popping 79% said they were ‘very or somewhat dissatisfied.’
President Obama’s ‘job approval rating’ fell to a NEW LOW for this poll at only 40%, while his ‘disapproval rating’ tied his all-time high at 54%, up from 53% back in June. On his handling of the economy, 42% ‘approve,’ while 53% ‘disapprove.’ On his handling of foreign policy, only 36% ‘approve,’ while 60% ‘disapprove.’
But President Obama got off light as compared to Congress. Only 14% of respondents ‘approve’ of the job Congress is doing, whereas a whopping 79% ‘disapprove.’ Its approval rating was even lower, at 12% this time last year, when its disapproval rating was 83%.
You can see all of the poll results here.