72 Percent of Americans Say Country is Heading in Wrong Direction

Americans continue to see the country headed in the wrong direction and Republicans are showing a double-digit advantage on voter enthusiasm just 10 months before the midterm elections, according to the latest NBC News poll.

The party that held the double-digit edge in voter enthusiasm in the past four midterms (2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018) made significant gains in Congress, according to the report.

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“There is nothing but flashing red flights and warning signs for Democrats,” GOP pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies told NBC News.

There are 61% of Republican voters who are very interested in the midterm elections, compared to just 47% of Democrats, according to the poll.

“Downhill, divided, doubting democracy, falling behind, and tuning out — this is how Americans are feeling as they’re heading into 2022,” Democrat pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates told NBC News.

Biden’s approval remains in the low 40s (43%) and 72% of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction. NBC News reports more than 70% saying that in back-to-back polls has happened just six times in the poll’s history, according to the report.

“In the three instances when this sustained dark outlook coincided with an election year, it foreshadowed bad news for the party in power — 1992, 2008, and 2016,” Horwitt told NBC News.

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There is also a large majority of adults (61%) in the poll who say their family’s income is falling behind the rising cost of living, compared to 30% who say they are about even and just 7% who say they are making more than the rising costs.

And, an even larger majority (70%) in the poll agree America has become so polarized politically the government can not longer solve the issues the country faces, compared to 27% who said America can overcome partisan differences to solve the country’s challenges.

Among the two top issues facing the country, according to poll respondents:

  1. Economy 42%.
  2. Coronavirus 29%.
  3. Election reform or integrity 25%.
  4. Cost of living 23%.
  5. Border security and immigration 22%.

Democrats’ top issues were: Coronavirus, voting rights and election integrity, social and racial justice, jobs/economy, and climate change. Republicans’ top issues were: Jobs/economy, border security/immigration, taxes and spending, and the cost of living.

The NBC News poll was conducted among 1,000 adults and 790 registered voters Jan. 14-18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points for adults and plus or minus 3.5 percentage points for registered voters.

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