Only 38% of surveyed likely voters thought the U.S. was headed in the right direction, while 56% thought the U.S. was off on the wrong track. That was a significant drop compared to May of 2021, when 51% said right direction and only 43% said wrong track.
The only region with a somewhat positive outlook was the East (48% right direction/49% wrong track), but there are more Democrats in the East region, especially when one takes into consideration urban areas. The other regions: South (35% right direction/59% wrong track), Central and Great Lakes (35% right direction/60% wrong track), and the West (37% right direction/55% wrong track) were pretty equal in their assessment of U.S. direction.
Age and generation did impact how likely voters viewed the direction of the country: younger voters under the age of 50, Generation Z, and Millennials were more likely to feel the country was headed in the right direction. Voters aged 18-29 (47% right direction/49% wrong track) and 30-49 (47% right direction/45% wrong track) were much more optimistic than older voters aged 50-64 (31% right direction/65% wrong track) and 65+ (28% right direction/67% wrong track). The same trend was true of Generation Z (47% right direction/50% wrong track) and Millennial (49% right direction/44% wrong track) voters when compared to Gen Xers (39% right direction/56% wrong track) and Baby Boomers (28% right direction/67% wrong track).
Both men (42% right direction/54% wrong track) and women (35% right direction/58% wrong track) did not think the country was headed in the right direction, albeit women were more likely to think things were off on the wrong track.
Only a third of non-college educated (33% right direction/61% wrong track) voters thought things were headed in the right direction, but still half of college educated (45% right direction/50% wrong track) likely voters thought things were off on the wrong track.
Majorities of African Americans (61% right direction/35% wrong track) and Democrats (68% right direction/27% wrong track) thought things were headed in the right direction. Conversely, majorities of Whites (34% right direction/62% wrong track), Republicans (18% right direction/80% wrong track), Hispanics (39% right direction/52% wrong track), and Independents (24% right direction/65% wrong track) thought the U.S. was off on the wrong track.
Voters who lived in large cities (58% right direction/38% wrong track) were optimistic about the direction of the country as more than half thought things were headed in the right direction, while more than a third thought things were off on the wrong track. This has probably more to do with party politics, as most voters in large cities are Democrats, who will support their elected leaders, much like Republican voters and their elected leaders, but nonetheless the high right direction number cannot be because of current living conditions, as they have decreased in many urban centers while violent crime has increased.
Majorities of voters in medium sized (38% right direction/56% wrong track) and small sized cities (31% right direction/65% wrong track), suburbanites (35% right direction/59% wrong track), and rural area voters (23% right direction/70% wrong track) all believed the country was off on the wrong track.
Zogby Analytics Poll Methodology
US Likely Voters
1/21/22 - 1/24/22
Zogby Analytics conducted an online survey of 897 likely voters in the US.
Using internal and trusted interactive partner resources, thousands of adults were randomly invited to participate in this interactive survey. Each invitation is password coded and secure so that one respondent can only access the survey one time.
Using information based on census data, voter registration figures, CIA fact books and exit polls, we use complex weighting techniques to best represent the demographics of the population being surveyed. Weighted variables may include age, race, gender, region, party, education, and religion. The party breakdown for this survey is as follows: 38% Democrat, 38% Republican and 24% Independent/unaffiliated.
Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 897 is +/- 3.3 percentage points. This means that all other things being equal, the identical survey repeated will have results within the margin of error 95 times out of 100.
Subsets of the data have a larger margin of error than the whole data set. As a rule we do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data especially sets smaller than 50-75 respondents. At that subset we can make estimations based on the data, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.
Additional factors can create error, such as question wording and question order.
About Zogby Analytics:
Zogby Analytics is respected nationally and internationally for its opinion research capabilities. Since 1984, Zogby has empowered clients with powerful information and knowledge critical for making informed strategic decisions.
The firm conducts multi-phased opinion research engagements for banking and financial services institutions, insurance companies, hospitals and medical centers, retailers and developers, religious institutions, cultural organizations, colleges and universities, IT companies and Federal agencies. Zogby's dedication and commitment to excellence and accuracy are reflected in its state-of-the-art opinion research capabilities and objective analysis and consultation.