Three Out Of Four Americans Say Country Is ‘On The Wrong Track’: Poll
US President Joe Biden speaks about his plan to fight inflation and lower costs for working families, in the South Court Auditorium of the White House in Washington, DC, on May 10, 2022. - Biden on Tuesday acknowledged the pain felt by Americans from the highest inflation in four decades but said it is his "top domestic priority" and being addressed by the Federal Reserve.
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images

Three-fourths of Americans say the country is on the wrong track, according to a new poll.

The NBC News poll of 1,000 U.S. adults, conducted between May 5-7, found that 75% of Americans said the country was “off on the wrong track,” while just 16% said the United States was “headed in the right direction.”

NBC noted that the poll is the fourth consecutive survey where the “wrong track” figure was above 70 percent and only the fifth time in 34 years that the “wrong track” number reached 75%. The last time it was that high was during the Great Recession in 2008, followed by the 2013 government shutdown.

“It is a flashing red light when you see a number like this,” Republican pollster Bill McInturff told NBC News.

McInturff’s firm, Public Opinion Strategies, conducted the poll for NBC News in conjunction with Democratic polling firm Hart Research Associates.

“Americans are telling us this is as bad as 2008,” McInturff added.

President Joe Biden’s job approval rating also hit his lowest-ever mark in NBC News’s polling, falling to just 39%, with 56% disapproval.

Biden’s approval was even lower on individual issues: just 33% of adults approved of Biden’s handling of the economy, while 62% disapproved; on the cost of living, just 23% approved of Biden’s handling of the cost of living, while 71% disapproved; just 34% of Americans approved of Biden on border security, compared to 58% who disapproved; and on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 41% of adults approved, while 48% disapproved.

Outside of Biden’s declining ratings, the Democratic Party as a whole also lagged behind the Republican Party in terms of overall approval. A total of 50% of adults had a negative view of the Democrats, while just 31% had a favorable opinion. Republicans, meanwhile, had lower negatives and higher positives than the Democrats: 46% of adults had a negative view of the Republican party, and 35% had a positive view. But Americans were evenly split, 46%-46%, on which party they wanted to control Congress.

Inflation and the economy still topped the list of Americans’ priorities going into the 2022 midterms by a substantial margin. NBC News asked respondents to list what they thought was the most important and second most important issue facing the country. “The cost of living” was the first choice of 22% of adults followed closely behind by “jobs and the economy,” which was the first choice of 18% of adults. “Voting rights and election integrity” was the top concern of 12% of voters, while 10% answered “Abortion.”

The NBC News poll is the latest showing deep trouble for Biden and the Democrats going into the midterm elections. A nationwide survey conducted by Civiqs found that Biden’s approval rating was underwater in all but four states, while his national approval rating was just 36%. An ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted earlier this month showed that 94% of Americans were concerned about inflation and favored the Republican Party to handle it by a 14-point margin. Even on abortion, recent polls have shown that the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggesting Roe v. Wade would be struck down does not benefit Democrats in the midterms.

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