Readers Speak Out: Is America Headed in the Right Direction?

By on August 11, 2010 in Current Events with 0 Comments

2010 is shaping up to be an important year in politics. According to the pundits, Republican voters are more engaged, enthused or madder than Democrats which means more Republicans will vote in November.

We won’t know until November if any of that is true. But, in a survey we took last week on “Is America headed in the right direction,” this political analysis about the level of engagement by more conservative voters certainly holds true.

Overall, our readers give a resounding “no” to the question of “is America headed in the right direction.”

The partisan divide is wide and appears to be growing. While Republicans and Independent voters are reasonably close in their responses, those who identified themselves as Democrats have dramatically different responses.

We filtered the responses by political affiliation as well as calculating the overall totals. 44% of readers identified themselves as independent voters. 32.7% said they were Republicans and 13.9% said they were Democrats. 9.4% classified themselves as “other” or undecided.

Most readers identify the most important issues as the economy and government spending. Democrats were much more concerned about the economy than the rate of government spending.

Here are how all of those who participated in this survey responded:

In your view, is America headed in the right direction? 

Yes: 18.8%

No: 80.4%

Undecided: 3.8%

 In your view, what is the most important issue facing America?

health care 2.9%

government spending 32.6%

national security 4.8%

economy 39.6%

government ethics and corruption 18.4%

taxes 1.7%   

For those who identify themselves as independent voters, here is how they responded:

In your view, is America headed in the right direction?

Yes: 12.8%

No: 83%

Undecided: 4.2% 

In your view, what is the most important issue facing America?

health care 2.3%

government spending 34.7%

national security 5.1%

economy 39%

government ethics and corruption 17.5%

taxes 1.4%

Among Republicans, the responses were decidedly negative. Here are the results among those who identified themselves as Republicans:

In your view, is America headed in the right direction? 

Yes: 2.4%

No: 96.8%

Undecided: 0.8%

 In your view, what is the most important issue facing America?

health care 2.5%

government spending 39.8%

national security 5.2%

economy 30%

government ethics and corruption 21%

taxes 1.6% 

Democrats were much more optimistic on the future of the country and also see government spending as much less of a problem than the other two groups. Here is how they responded:

In your view, is America headed in the right direction? 

Yes: 59.9%

No: 30.6%

Undecided: 9.6%

 In your view, what is the most important issue facing America?

health care 5.9%

government spending 11.2%

national security 2.6%

economy 68.4%

government ethics and corruption 9.2%

taxes 2.6% 

These responses are similar to a recent national poll in which 7% of Republicans believe the country is headed in the right direction while 56% of Democrats agree with the direction of the country.

Here are some of the typical responses from those who identified themselves as independent voters.

  • This country is being run by amateurs who have not idea what they are doing.
  • Congress & the Obama Administration are continuously ignoring what Americans are screaming at them, “We DON’T agree with their Progressive Agenda!” 
  • B.O. is taking us down the wrong road to Socialism that will bankrupt this country.
  • Definitely in a better direction than under the previous administration.
  • America is giving too much for nothing to those who deserve nothing.
  • We are becoming a Socialist nation!
  • We need more fiscal responsibility. I understand the economy needed a little boost, but current spending is unacceptable.
  • America is giving too much for nothing to those who deserve nothing.
  • Our forefathers are probably turning in their graves when they see the politicians of today. Selfishness, greed, arrogance and righteousness predominate over service, sacrifice, and doing what is best for the country as a whole. We need to bring the idea of “service” back into the political arena.
  • Political system is broken. Fortunately we have an adult leading the nation (Obama).
  • Absolutely headed in the WRONG direction
  • How can we be, with so many people out of work?

Here are some of the responses from those who identified themselves as Republicans:

  • The president is unamerican and is trying to ruin America. 
  • We’re headed for Socialism.
  • Every day we go down the road of extreme partisanship. We are too busy with infighting to solve our problems. This is not just a problem with the politicians, although they foster it.
  • It isn’t ALL bad, but I believe more major factors are headed in the wrong direction than are headed in the right direction.
  • America is headed into bankruptcy, and a tax hike that our children, children’s children’s children, etc. will be paying for for years to come if this is allowed to go on any further.
  • The working people are not only supporting the welfare recipients but also the illegal immigrants. When will it stop?
  • The road to self-destruction is not the right direction
  • Becoming way too socialist. Too much envy of what others have. Instead of going out and working harder to make things better for yourself people want to take it from others they think are more fortunate.
  • lie after lie…more taxes for middle income America
  • The current “progressive” (European socialist) oriented administration is not consonant with the idea of America as a center right country.
  • Government is expanding and intruding into our lives with the redistribution of wealth (socialism) and the burgeoning debt.
  • if we cannot secure our borders, choose our own healthcare and know that our constitutional rights are protected,,,the country is going down the tubes.
  • Obama is turning this country into a socialist state.
  • As soon as we get Polesi, Reid, Obahama and the rest of the Democratic nuts out of office, the sooner America can head in the right direction.
  • An economy built on a free market system and a corrupt free and watchful government that allows capitalism to grow is essential for the well being of this country. The growth of government threatens our constitutional rights, our basic values of freedom, individual choice, individual responsibilities, and freedom to achieve our individual dreams.
  • Cut spending, lower taxes, repeal the health care bill.

And, not surprisingly, those who identified themselves as Democrats have a different view. While there were not as many comments from this group, here is a sampling of their responses:

  • I am very worried about the vitrolic tone to everything political. Civilized behavior seems to have become something of the past. As is trust. 
  • It is so odd that as the country is pulling itself out of the worst states since the great depression that we would be wondering if we are headed in the right direction.
  • I look at what we’ve had before (Bush) and look at what we have now (Obama), no contest. I despise the Republicans in office. All the seem to care about is money, money, money, and to hell with the American people and the USA. They do NOTHING to make America a better nation and would love nothing more than a 1950’s type America–all white, old, conservative men!!
  • Healthcare was a change this country needed. For citizens of the richest (and in my opinion, best) country in the world not to be able to get medicine and treatment they need is appalling. I don’t agree with all the details of the law but I support the idea behind it.
  • No, we have become a very negative people – we don’t seem to want to work together to achieve our goals. Our attitude reminds me of the kid to goes home simply because the game was not going his way.
  • This country is too great to remain closed minded and isolated from the rest of the world. I am not so much proud to be an American, I am extremely grateful to be an American.
  • Our country should certainly provide universal health care to all. And we should get the corporations out of controlling our political system.
  • Despite the vocal right wing/conservative tea party reactionary rhetoric, I think that a majority of votors will continue to back the progressive approach that is being taken by the party which currently is the majority force in our national government.
  • We continue to spend money that our government doesn’t have. It is time to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay down our debt!

Our thanks to all readers who took the time to participate in this survey and a special thanks to those who took the time to send in their written comments.

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