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Most Americans still think the country is on wrong track: Poll

  • About 63% of people in NewsNation/DD poll say US going in wrong direction
  • Poll also showed inflation is a concern for majority of Americans 
  • Respondents' answers varied somewhat based on party affiliation
FILE - President Joe Biden speaks about his administration's economic agenda during an event at Prince George's Community College in Largo, Md., Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. The most vulnerable House Republicans whose elections in swing districts next year will determine which party gains control of the chamber are overwhelmingly voicing their support for House Speaker Kevin McCarthy's impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden. It's a stance, Democrats say, that could come back to haunt them. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

FILE – President Joe Biden speaks about his administration’s economic agenda during an event at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md., Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

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(NewsNation) — More than 60% of Americans say the country is going in the wrong direction and that inflation is still an issue on the top of their minds, according to an October NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll.

While Republicans, per the poll, were most likely to see the United States as being on the “wrong track,” (85.6%), a fair number of Democrats, 40.9%, and 58.9% of Independents thought the same thing. Overall, 62.77% of people said the country is on the wrong track, with those across age, gender and ethnicity indicating they feel that way.

The NewsNation/DDHQ poll was comparable to another poll from the Associated Press-NORC Research Center found similar results: 78% of people asked in that survey said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

At the direction of NewsNation, Decision Desk HQ News took a national poll of 1,000 registered voters between Oct.23 and Oct. 24 to gauge attitudes about a number of topics, including inflation, what they think of President Joe Biden, and what they see as the biggest issue facing America today.

For many of those polled, inflation continues to be what they see as America’s biggest problem — 54.38% of people who took the NewsNation/Decision Desk survey saw it as such, and around 62.27% of people said they were “very concerned” about it.

While inflation has been easing, the effect hasn’t been seen by the average American consumer. Measures of U.S. inflation, the Associated Press reported earlier this month, barely declined in September, showing that consumer price increases are grinding lower at a gradual pace.

Underlying inflation did decline a bit: “core prices,” which exclude volatile food and energy costs, climbed 4.1% in September from a year earlier, down from a 4.3% pace in August. However, on a month-to-month basis, prices are continuing to rise faster than what is consistent with the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.

Laura Rosner-Warburton, senior economist at MacroPolicy Perspectives, a forecasting firm, called the report a “mixed bag.”

“It still suggests that we have exited the higher inflation regime of the pandemic, but we’re still elevated,” Rosner-Warburton told the Associated Press.

Decision Desk HQ Adviser Scott Tranter said Americans’ focus on inflation doesn’t mean they don’t still get worked up over Ukraine, China or the Israel-Hamas war.

However, “if it’s $25 for something you used to get for 10 bucks, that’s something they think about every day,” Tranter added.

“The economy, inflation — we’re going to be talking about this a year from now,” he said.

However, there are other topics concerning the American public, the poll found — namely, immigration. About 23% of survey-takers said problems surrounding immigration are what they are worried about.

“Immigration is at least holding strong” compared to past surveys, Tranter said, if not gaining traction as a hot-button issue. Recently, cities such as New York and Chicago have seen an influx of migrants arrive to those areas, with officials saying they don’t have the resources to care for all of them.

“All the news stories about New York paying for all this and all the northern cities — I wonder if there’s that’s kind of playing into it,” Tranter said.

Overall, President Joe Biden’s approval ratings for this poll were at 44.22%. Around 55.78% said they somewhat or strongly disapproved of his performance.

Unsurprisingly, Biden fared worse in the poll with Republican voters — with 77.9% strongly disapproving of how he’s doing in office — while 42.1% of Democrats strongly approved of him. However, his approval rating among Democrats has fallen amid the Israel-Hamas war.

Meanwhile, with independents, Biden has an overall approval rating of around 40%, according to the NewsNation/Decision Desk HQ poll.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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