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Only One In Four Citizens Believes Country Headed In Right Direction
added: 2011-05-02

Only 26% of Americans surveyed believe the country is "headed in the right direction," according to the April 2011 Franklin & Marshall College National Poll, produced at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, PA, in partnership with Hearst Television Inc.

Among the other findings:

- Not surprisingly, 52% of those polled consider the economy and personal finances to be the most important problems facing their families.

- More than one in three (36%) Americans say the current healthcare system meets their needs very well, and another two in five (43%) say it meets their needs pretty well, leaving about one in five (20%) who feel the system is not serving their personal needs. These figures remain largely unchanged since September 2009. Those over 55 years of age and residents of the Northeast are the most likely among the demographic groups to believe the system meets their needs.

- However, the cost of healthcare and availability of health insurance coverage remain significant problems for many adults. Nearly one in four (23%) adults report skipping a recommended test or medical treatment because of the cost, and one in five (20%) did not fill a medical prescription because of the cost. About one in four (26%) respondents say they were without health insurance coverage at some point during the previous 12 months; this represented an increase over the 19% of respondents who indicated they went without health insurance coverage in the February 2010 Franklin & Marshall – Hearst Television poll.

- Nearly nine in 10 respondents (85%) report the health care they receive is about the same as it was before the health care reform law passed. Three in four (74%) say the reform law has had no effect on them personally. More people believe the health care reform law will make the health care system worse (42%) than better (32%), and fewer than one in three (30%) believes the law will bring down the long-term costs of health care. Two in five (44%) believe the health care law should be repealed.

- On economic policy, a majority (55%) of registered voters believes balancing the federal budget should be the top priority of the president and Congress – though only about one in six (16%) has been following the budget debate "very closely."

- More registered voters believe program cuts (30%) rather than tax increases (11%) should be used to balance the budget – but nearly half (46%) believes that both spending cuts and tax increases should be used.

- Registered voters have more confidence in the president's ability to balance the budget (54% express confidence) than in Congress's ability to do so (41% express confidence). Nevertheless, more voters disapprove (50%) than approve (43%) of the president's handling of the economy.

- In international affairs, more voters disapprove (43%) than approve (39%) of the president's handling of the situation in Libya.

The survey findings presented in this release are based on the results of interviews conducted April 5-25, 2011.

Source: PR Newswire

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