Politics

Optimism About U.S. Direction at Highest Level in Four Years

McLaughlin & Associates found 42 percent of respondents see the country going the right way — the numbers point steadily upward

Image Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images & Shutterstock

America is headed in the right direction in the view of the highest number of likely voters in four years, according to a new poll.

The McLaughlin & Associates survey found that 42 percent of likely voters believe the country is headed in the right direction. The rate hovered around 30 percent and often dipped below that mark during much of former President Barack Obama’s second term in the Oval Office.

The figure for likely voters who think the country is going in the wrong direction was 53 percent, also the lowest figure seen since late 2014.

Trump was elected promising tax cuts, deep cuts in federal regulation, a stronger U.S. military, building a wall on the border with Mexico and ending loopholes in immigration laws, and renegotiating international trade deals that disadvantage American manufacturers and workers.

Related: Yes, Trump Did Wave His Magic Wand — Tax Cuts and Deregulation

Trump has seen his job approval rating fluctuate between the low 30s to just below 50 percent since he took office. It reached 49 percent around June but then started steadily falling to closer to 46 percent and is now at 48 percent.

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The economy has a higher approval rating, but it has been falling as opposed to improving. A majority says the economy is getting better at 52 percent, compared to 36 percent who believe it is getting worse. The month prior saw 57 percent of people thinking the economy was getting better, and generally that has stayed higher than the current rate.

McLaughlin & Associates is a national survey research and strategic services company that specializes in public opinion research, media planning and buying services, and strategic consulting services. The survey included 1,000 likely voters from across the country.

The survey also found that only 41 percent approve of the job the Republican majority is doing in Congress. A 51 percent majority wants Obamacare repealed and government to be smaller.

Related: Dem Credits Obama for Trump Economy While Unveiling Jobs Plan

Trump has seen several positive trends in the economy since he took office. The unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since 2000 at 3.8 percent in May.

There has also been a record high in job openings, with 6.7 million unfilled positions in June.

Unemployment among blacks and Hispanics is now at record lows.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) found that the national GDP increased by 4.2 percent during the second quarter of 2018. The last time the economy grew at a higher rate was 5.2 percent in the third quarter of 2014.

The stock market has seen record gains during Trump’s tenure. Former President Barack Obama and his allies contend he should be credited with the improving economy, since some of the positive trends started toward the end of his presidency.

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