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Right Direction/Wrong Track

On the heels of a Joe Biden victory in the 2020 presidential election, slightly fewer voters think the U.S. is heading in the right direction (44%) than voters who think that it's off on the wrong track (46%), while 11% of likely voters were not sure.

Not all regions of the United States thought things were heading in the right direction. A majority of voters in the East (55% right direction/37% wrong track) and a plurality of voters in the West (49% right direction/40% wrong track) think that things were heading in the right direction, while a plurality of voters in the South (39% right direction/49% wrong track) and a majority of voters in the Central/Great Lakes regions (37% right direction/53% wrong track) think that things were off on the wrong track.

Demographics that played a big role in helping to elect Joe Biden, such as, younger voters aged 18-29 (41% right direction/45% wrong track), women (35% right direction/51% wrong track), African Americans (37% right direction/48% wrong track), Hispanics (41% right direction/48% wrong track) and suburban voters (40% right direction/48% wrong track) felt things in the U.S. were off on the wrong track, while voters who were more prone to support President Trump in 2020, such as, voters aged 50-64 (48% right direction/42% wrong track), men (53% right direction/39% wrong track), voters with college degrees (57% right direction/37% wrong track), voters in large cities (58% right direction/33% wrong track), weekly Walmart shoppers (53% right direction/37% wrong track), weekly Amazon shoppers (60% right direction/33% wrong track), and urban men (61% right direction/32% wrong track) felt the country was heading in the right direction.

When it came to political party and the direction of the country, for once Democrats and Republicans agreed! A majority of Democrats (51% right direction/42% wrong track) and a plurality of Republicans (47% right direction/42% wrong track) thought the country was heading in the right direction, while Independents (30% right direction/54% wrong track) were more likely to think things were off on the wrong track.

Generationally, Millennials (47% right direction/40% wrong track) and Generation X voters (52% right direction/41% wrong track) were more likely to think things in the U.S. were heading in the right direction as opposed to Baby Boomers (33% right direction/57% wrong track) and Generation Z (42% right direction/43% wrong track), who thought - albeit at different levels of intensity - that the U.S. was off on the wrong track.

Right Direction/Wrong Track Six Month from Now

A majority (54%) of voters believe six months from now the United States will be heading in the right direction, while more than a quarter (28%) say things will be off on the wrong track, and slightly less than one fifth (18%) are not sure.

Overall, all the regions surveyed were more optimistic about the direction the country was heading six months from now. Voters in the East (63% right direction/23% wrong track), West (58% right direction/24% wrong track) and the South (51% right direction/30% wrong track) were the most optimistic. Voters in the Central/Great Lakes region (46% right direction/34% wrong track) were less enthusiastic. While voters in the Central/Great Lakes region (34% wrong track) were not as optimistic as those in the East, South and West regions, a strong plurality still felt the country would be heading in the right direction in six months.

Men (58% right direction/28% wrong track) and voters with college degrees (68% right direction/20% wrong track) were much more likely to think things in the U.S. would be heading in the right direction, six months from now, than women (50% right direction 29% track) and voters without college degrees (43% right direction/35% wrong track).

As expected, Democrats (75% right direction/13% wrong track) were much more likely to think the U.S. would be heading in the right direction in six months, while Republicans (39% right direction/45% wrong track) were more likely to think things would be off on the wrong track. While Independents felt the U.S. would be heading in the right direction, six months from now, they were also most likely to be not sure (44% right direction/28% wrong track/28% not sure).

There also appeared to be an enthusiasm gap with voters in large cities compared with voters in the suburbs. Among all large city voters, more than two thirds (69% right direction/20% wrong track) thought the country would be heading in the right direction with Biden at the helm in six months, while suburban voters (47% right direction/26% wrong track/26% not sure) were much more sanguine. Suburban voters were also much more likely to be unsure of what direction the country would be heading in six months from now. The shift in positivity between urban and suburban voters was also present when we examined the gender of urban and suburban voters: urban men (64% right direction/25% wrong track) had a brighter outlook on the future compared to suburban women (49% right direction/23% wrong track/28% not sure).

 

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Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Likely Voters
12/8/20 - 12/9/20

Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 892 likely voters in the US.

Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.

Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 37% Democrat, 35% Republican and 28% Independent/unaffiliated.

Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 892 is +/- 3.3 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.

Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.

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About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.

The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.

 

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