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Poll: 66% of voters say U.S. heading in wrong direction

A Rasmussen Reports poll released Wednesday shows that 66 percent of “likely U.S. voters” say the country is heading in the wrong direction; 27 percent are happy with the direction America is headed.

That breaks down a little differently when talking about race and political party affiliation.

About 47 percent of Democrats said America is going the wrong way, compared with 83 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of voters not affiliated with either major political party. Being Republican is claimed by 31.1 percent of Americans, while 34.3 percent consider themselves Democrats.

Among black voters, 63 percent believe the country is moving in the right direction, compared with 71 percent of white voters and 72 percent of all other voters.

Among “mainstream voters,” 80 percent think the country is going the wrong way; while 64 percent of “political class voters” (politicians, policy advisors, and those very aware of politics) believe the U.S. is heading in the right direction.

The poll, conducted by national telephone survey the week ending Feb. 27, demonstrated a 1-point rise in voter confidence compared with the previous week. However, 39 percent of those surveyed said they “strongly disapprove” of the president’s performance, a point higher than the previous month. According to Rasmussen, the president’s disapproval rating has wavered between 37 and 44 percent since July 2009.

What the polls numbers pointed to:

  • Most voters (53 percent) want to see the national health care law repealed and are confident that repeal will happen. However, belief that repeal will be good for the economy has fallen to its lowest level ever, to 38 percent.
  • Most voters (58 percent) prefer a partial federal government shutdown over maintaining current spending levels.
  • Most voters(58 percent) fear political unrest in the Middle East might lead the U.S. into participating in another war.
  • Most voters (58 percent) want to end foreign aid to all Arab nations in the Middle East (Egypt is the second-largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid). A little over 50 percent favor continuing foreign aid to Israel.
  • Most Americans (61 percent) say it is unlikely that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of the year, as planned.
  • About 36 percent of voters rate the president’s handling of national security issues as “poor”; 40 percent give him good marks.

About 42 percent of all likely voters give Congress a poor grade: 37 percent of GOP voters said Congress is doing poorly, which is down from 55 percent a month ago. Only 13 percent of Democrats and 11 percent of independent voters rate Congress as good or excellent.

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