Only one in five likely voters believes our country is “heading in the right direction.” That’s the rock-bottom level of confidence since Barack Obama became President in January 2009.
This downcast view of our future was determined in Rasmussen Reports polls March 16, 18, and 22. Those findings preceded another March 22 survey showing the Obama Administration’s rampant spending is likely largely responsible for voters’ loss of faith in the course the nation is taking. You can add to the uncertainty Obama’s bizarre energy policy to squelch oil production and his puzzling foreign policies.
These opinion data, gathered by what may be the country’s most accurate and respected opinion-polling operation, comes at a time when Congress is engaged in a wrestling match of ideologies as to how and how much to plug the federal spending gusher.
As the new poll analysis stated, “The Obama Administration has acted on the belief that increased government spending is good for the economy, while a solid plurality of voters recognize that this view is not widely shared by the American people.”
The new national survey found that only 29 percent of the voters believe more spending makes good economic sense. That limited slice of the voting population backs government spending as beneficial for the economy. At the same time, 19 percent say that “hardly anyone believes that to be true.” Some 47 percent of likely voters “recognize that it’s mostly liberals” who believe that government spending will help the economy.
While some people pooh-pooh opinion polls as no way to guide national political decision-making, all politicians conduct polling and rely on the results to steer decisions. Rasmussen surveys “likely voters.” Some other polls stack the sample polled to get a sought response. One thing is sure; polling is a relatively clear reflection of public opinions.
Pinpointing specific political party segments, the Rasmussen polling found 59 percent of Republicans, and 53 percent of voters who are not affiliated with either major political party understand that the notion that more federal spending can strengthen the economy is shared mostly by those flying the liberal flag.
Obama, in his State of the Union speech January 25 tried to pull sheep’s clothing over his perpetual calls for more spending by mislabeling federal spending as “investments.” A false-hearted laugh line for responsible viewers. Following his speech, a Rasmussen poll reported only 29 percent of likely voters thought that spending hikes would help the still-struggling economy. Fifty percent said increases in spending would hurt the economy. Half the voters polled also said that cutting government spending, instead, would help the economy.
Back to the finding of the lowest level of confidence since Obama’s inauguration: leading up to Obama’s taking office, the percent of voters who felt that the country was heading in the right direction was about 20 percent. The week of his inauguration, voter confidence climbed up to 27 percent, then steadily increased to 40 percent in early May 2009, Rasmussen said. Confidence then began dropping.
Another sign of shattered hopes of so many citizens is the finding by Rasmussen pollsters that only one in three workers nationwide expects to be earning more money a year from now. That marks the “lowest level” of optimism about earnings in almost two years.
A plurality (46 percent) of black voters say they are confident about the present bearing the nation is on. That viewpoint is shared by only 19 percent of whites questioned and 26 percent of voters of other races.
Obama’s signature plan, the health-care law, jammed through Congress by the Democrats, is so disliked that support for repeal now (March 16 poll) stands at 62 percent. The number of voters who believe the Obamacare law will increase their health bills has tied their highest level since the statute became law last March.
Rasmussen has devised a means of identifying voters apart from any party affiliation, based on ideology. He breaks voting Americans into two broad categories—the “Political Class” and “Mainstream Americans.”
Sixty-one percent of the Political Class voters are of the mind that the nation is headed in the right direction. The March 16 polls showed that 83 percent of Mainstream Americans think the country is headed down the wrong track. Last August, 67 percent of the Political Class felt the United States was heading in the right direction, while 84 percent of Mainstream Americans believed we’d gotten off on the wrong track.
“With a gap that wide, it’s not surprising that 68 percent of voters believe the Political Class doesn’t care what most Americans think. Fifty-nine percent are embarrassed by the behavior of the Political Class.” Only 23 percent think the federal government “has the consent of the governed.”
Mainstream Americans tend to trust the wisdom of the crowd more than their political leaders, and are skeptical of both big government and big business. Only 6 percent support the Political Class—voters who “tend to trust political leaders more than the public at large.”
“The American people don’t want to be governed from the left, the right or the center. The American people want to govern themselves,” according to Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports. The American attachment to self-governance runs deep. It is one of our nation’s core values…”