The Zogby Economic index currently stands at 94
The country has become less optimistic over the past year
Over half of respondents think the country is on the wrong track
Last year, with the start of the new administration, we have relaunched our economic index. The Zogby Economic Index combines responses to 10 questions on Americans' views about their leaders (President, Congress), the direction of their country and their personal situations (job security, personal financial situation). Each quarter we survey American voters and calculate the value of the index relative to the January 2021 results which established the benchmark score of 100. Thus, scores above 100 indicate that the country's mood has improved relative to January 2021 while scores below 100 showing its mood getting worse.
Based on our national survey of 1,311 likely voters, conducted between December 21 and 22 last year, the index currently stands at 94, suggesting that the country has become less optimistic over the past year. The loss of optimism is most notable in respect to president Biden: we found 43% of likely voters rating his performance as 'excellent' or 'good' and only 31% giving the same rating to the Congress. These results represent a drop of 13 percentage points for the President and 3 percentage points for Congress over the past year. President Biden's numbers dropped the most in two demographic groups that were his strongholds a year ago - young voters (51% of voters in the18-29 age group rate his performance as 'excellent' or ''good' compared to 73% a year ago) and Hispanics (55% vs. 78%). Overall, negative sentiments toward the President are strongest among voters in the 65+ age group (56% rate it as 'poor') and rural voters (59%). Congress continues to be perceived most negatively by older voters (only 10% of survey respondents in the 65+ age group rate its performance as 'excellent' or 'good') and in the rural areas (16%; only somewhat better in the suburbs at 24% and small cities at 21%).
Over half (55%) of respondents think the country is on the wrong track, while 39% believe it is heading in the right direction. A strong majority (73% 'very proud' and 'fairly proud' combined) remains proud of the United States. African Americans (54%, 15 percentage points higher than a year ago), Hispanics (47%, same as a year ago), those in the 30-49 age group (51%, a nine-point increase from last year), voters living in large cities (65%, a 22 percentage point improvement), and college-educated voters (48%) are most likely to say that the country is moving in the right direction. On the other hand, males (80% are at least fairly proud, including 55% who are very proud), voters aged 65 and above (83%, 57% very proud) and large city residents (78%, 56%) are most proud of the United States.
U.S. foreign (32% 'excellent and 'good' combined) and economic policy (33%) continue to receive similar ratings, but both ratings have dropped five percentage points over the past year. Foreign policy is well received among Democrats (56% rate it as 'excellent' or 'good' compared to only 16% of Republicans and 20% of Independents) and large city residents (54%; 21% among rural voters). These are the two rare demographic groups where positive ratings for U.S. foreign policy exceeds 50%. Numbers are very similar for the U.S. economic policy and there, too, there is not a single age, income or racial group where 'excellent' and 'good' answers combine for 50% or more.
Close to half (47%) of surveyed voters rate their personal financial situation as either 'excellent' or 'good' and a similar number (49%) is fairly or very confident that their children will have a better life than themselves. An even larger number (66%) feels fairly or very secure in their current job. While the number of those who feel secure in their current job has risen over the past year, the number of those who rate their financial situation at least excellent and who feel confident that their kids will have a better life than themselves has dropped slightly. Voters in the West (55%), college educated voters (61%), large city residents (59%) and Democrats (58%) are most likely to rate their personal financial situation as either 'excellent' or 'good'; on the other end, rural voters (32%), those in the 18-29 age group (40%), non-college educated voters (36%), and voters in the Central Great Lakes region (39%) are least likely to rate their own financial situation highly. Younger voters continue to be more likely than older ones to think that their children will have a better life than themselves - 57% of respondents in the 18-29 age group are at least fairly confident of this compared to 38% of respondents in the 65+ age group. Sixty percent of African American voters (an eight-point drop since last year) and 67% of Hispanic voters are at least somewhat confident that their children will have a better life than themselves.
The number of Americans (65%) who feel fairly or very safe from threats from abroad continues to hover around two-thirds. Democrats (78% feel at least fairly safe from threats from abroad), males (71%) and college educated voters (73%) tend to feel safer than Republicans (55%), female voters (58%) and non-college educated voters (58%), respectively.