How optimistic are we about our country's direction?

posted by Brian Mudd -

Tracking Trump - Direction of the Country for March 2nd          

Bottom Line: For years, despite generally favorable approval ratings for President Obama, we'd collectively been unhappy with the overall direction of our country. In the first year of the Trump Presidency we saw the scenario reversed (with a more optimistic country but lower approval of President Trump).         

Where we stood on Inauguration Day:                      

  • Right Direction: 30%                         

  • Wrong Track: 59%                         

  • Net: -29%                    

Last Week:                    

  • Right Direction: 36%                     

  • Wrong Track: 55%                        

  • Net: -19%               

And Today:           

  • Right Direction: 35%                     

  • Wrong Track: 56%                        

  • Net: -21%                   

Change: +8% under Trump & -2% from last week         

It's safe to say that the Parkland shooting has taken its toll on our collective optimism over the past two weeks. We've experienced a six-point decline right after having attained our third highest optimism level over the previous ten years.   

On another note...For months in the weekly look at President Trump's approval rating I've broken out the difference in Trump's approval based on the level of political engagement. Simply put, the more engaged someone is the higher the President's approval rating. We're also seeing that show up in the direction of the country question. Consider...        

On the question of whether the country is heading in the right direction...       

  • With adult only samples: 31%       

  • With Registered voters: 36%       

  • With Likely voters: 37%       

Just as is the case with Presidential approval... The more engaged and informed one is the higher the overall rating. 

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