Most, including Dems, say nation on wrong track: AP-NORC poll

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A new poll shows an overwhelming and growing majority of Americans say the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction, including nearly 8 in 10 Democrats.

The poll, by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, finds that deep pessimism about the economy continues to plague President Joe Biden.

Eighty-five percent of U.S. adults polled say the country is on the wrong track. Seventy-nine percent describe the economy as poor.

The findings suggest Biden faces fundamental challenges as he tries to motivate voters to cast ballots for Democrats in November’s midterm elections.

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Inflation has consistently eclipsed the healthy 3.6% unemployment rate as a focal point for Americans, who are dealing with high gasoline and food prices. Even among Democrats, 67% call economic conditions poor.

“He’s doing the best he can — I can’t say he’s doing a good job,” said Chuck McClain, 74. “But his opposition is so bad. I just don’t feel the Democratic Congress is doing enough.”

The poll shows only 39% of Americans approve of Biden’s leadership overall, while 60% disapprove. His approval rating fell to its lowest point of his presidency last month and remains at that level. The Democratic president gets hit even harder on the economy, with 69% saying they disapprove of him on the issue. Among Democrats, 43% disapprove of Biden’s handling of the economy.

Just 14% say things are going in the right direction, down slightly from 21% in May and 29% in April. Through the first half of 2021, about half of Americans said the country was headed in the right direction, a number that has steadily eroded in the past year.

The poll was conducted from Thursday to Monday, with many interviews conducted after the Supreme Court on Friday struck down Roe v. Wade and allowed states to ban abortion — a decision opposed by a majority of the American people in earlier polls, which could also have contributed to the continued slump in the national mood.

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