Four-fifths of Americans are dissatisfied with direction of the country, survey finds

AP-NORC poll reveals sharp downturn in Republicans’ view of U.S. direction

Although President Donald Trump’s overall approval remains stable, 80% of Americans say the country is headed in the wrong direction, an all-time high in surveys conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago.

A majority of nearly every demographic and political group—liberals and conservatives, men and women, residents of cities and rural areas, young people and seniors—say the United States is headed in the wrong direction.

Democrats have been dissatisfied with the direction of the country since the beginning of Trump’s presidency. But a majority of Republicans had still responded positively in recent months, including 75% in March. Now, just 31% of Republicans say the country is headed in the right direction.

However, 38% of all respondents approve of Trump’s overall job performance—essentially unchanged from the AP-NORC survey conducted in June. But approval of his handling of the coronavirus outbreak has dipped steadily since March, with 68% of Americans now disapproving. A majority of Americans also have a negative view of how Trump is handling the economy, health care and education.

The nationwide poll was conducted July 16-20, 2020 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,057 adults. The margin of sampling error for all adults is +/- 4.3 percentage points.

—This release was first published by NORC at the University of Chicago.