Americans feel the U.S. is on the “Wrong Track”, but How Much Change do you Want?

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Those public opinion polls which show that the majority of Americans believe the country is on the “wrong track” don’t actually mean what some people would have you believe. First, the question and thereby the poll results are a bit unclear and misleading. Second, these poll results are not predictive of presidential vote tallies. Finally, even if the country is on the “wrong track”, exactly what change will put the country on the “right track?”

I’ll just leave this here, with a bit of a sample.

“The most ubiquitous piece of data to support the “change election” narrative is the very high “right track/wrong track number,” which was cited on the Charlie Rose panel and has become the favorite conservative measure of public opinion since Obama’s approval ratings hit 50 percent. But the right track/wrong track number has no predictive value of election outcomes. In the 1970s, when the public grew disenchanted with public institutions in the wake of Vietnam and Watergate, wrong-track numbers structurally rose and have stayed mostly high with few exceptions. “Wrong track” voters include large numbers of liberal Democrats who support the administration and feel frustrated the Republican Congress has blocked its proposals. As other, closer analysis has found, most Americans think their side is losing the partisan fight, which explains why so many believe the country is on the wrong track, but does not indicate any desire by frustrated liberals to hand the White House to the GOP.”

There’s also this.


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