economicindex aug2022


In 2021, 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 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 891 likely voters, conducted between August 4 and August 6 this year, the index currently stands at 85, its lowest point yet and a drop of three points since May and nine points since December 2021. Only 38% of likely voters rated president Biden's performance as 'excellent' or 'good' (a three-point drop) and 27% (a two-point increase) gave the same rating to the Congress. Similar to previous surveys, President's Biden's numbers are the worst among rural voters (61% rate his performance as 'poor'). He also continues to struggle with older voters - his numbers are now the worst in the 50-64 age group (54% rate his performance as 'poor', a five percentage points jump since May), while he improved in the 65+ age group (50%, a 10 percentage points drop). Similar to the results from May, President Biden is still way off his early performance with young voters and Hispanics - 41% of survey respondents in the 18-29 age group and 44% of Hispanics rate his performance as 'excellent' or 'good', compared to 73% and 78%, respectively, in January 2021. Older voters (15% of survey respondents in the 65+ age group rate Congress performance as 'excellent' or 'good') and those living in rural area in rural areas (15%) continue to be most negative towards the Congress, although these numbers are somewhat better than in May.

Two-thirds (65% - a three-point increase since May) of respondents think the country is on the wrong track, while only 27% believe it is heading in the right direction (a four-point drop in confidence since May). However, a strong majority (70% 'very proud' and 'fairly proud' combined - a drop of three points) remains proud of the United States. Voters over 65 (85% are at least fairly proud, 52% in the 18-29 age group) and urban males (81%) are the two groups most proud of the United States.

The perceptions of U.S. foreign policy (30% rate it as 'excellent' or 'good) has dropped two percentage points, while perception of U.S. economic policy (28%) has not changed since May.
The support for foreign policy has dropped noticeably among Democrats - now 49% rate it as 'excellent' or 'good' compared to 58% in May. There are no major demographic groups where support for U.S. foreign policy exceeds 50%. Numbers are similar for the U.S. economic policy where, too, the support among Democrats dropped from 53% in May to 47%.

The numbers of likely voters who see their own personal financial situation as 'excellent' or 'good' and those who feel very or fairly secure in their jobs have both remained steady at 38% and 63%, respectively. However, the number of voters who are fairly or very confident that their children will have a better life than themselves has dropped four percentage points, to 45%. Similar to May results, college educated voters (53%), large city residents (49%) and Democrats (51%) are most likely to rate their personal financial situation as either 'excellent' or 'good' while rural voters (30%) and non-college educated voters (28%) are least likely to rate their own financial situation highly. Voters aged 50-64 (only 29% rate their financial situation as 'excellent' or 'good', a four-point drop since May) feel worst off financially, while those between 18 and 29 have experienced a nine-point jump since May, from 33% to 42%.

Younger voters continue to be more likely than older ones to think that their children will have a better life than themselves. However, the numbers have changed somewhat - 30-49 age group is still the most positive with 54% being at least fairly confident that their children will have a better life than themselves but that is a 11-point drop since May; on the other hand, the same sentiment is shared by 36% of voters in the 50-64 age group, unchanged since May.

The number of Americans who feel fairly or very safe from threats from abroad (62%) has not changed since May. Similar to previous surveys, Democrats (75% feel at least fairly safe from threats from abroad), college educated (70%), males (68%) and large city residents (68%) tend to feel safer than Republicans (53%), non-college educated (57%), female (58%) and rural voters (52%).