Americans' Confidence In The Direction Of The Country In Freefall In September

Americans' Confidence In The Direction Of The Country In Freefall In September

Most Americans think the country is heading in the wrong direction.

Raghavan Mayur

The IBD/TIPP Direction of Country Index declined 7.5 points, or 14.5%, from 51.7 in August to 44.2 in September.  It is an unusual occurrence, as the index has dropped by this much only eight times in the last two decades.

The broad-based decline saw 35 of the 36 demographic groups falling in September.

The results are from the latest IBD/TIPP Poll of over 1,300 Americans completed in early September.

TechnoMetrica developed the Direction of Country Index, a barometer of the country's direction based on the question: "In general, how satisfied are you with the direction that the country is going in at this time?"

The chart shows the answers to the question.

TIPP Poll Direction Of Country Results For September 2021 - 54% dissatisfied with direction of country

We converted the raw responses to a compact index to compare demographic segments and track unity over time.  The index ranges from 0 to 100.  An index of 50 or above is positive, below 50 is negative, and 50 is neutral.

By party, independents suffered a big decline of 24%, sliding 8.4 points from 43.1 in August to 34.7 in September. The decline for Democrats was 8% and Republicans 9%.

IBD/TIPP Poll Direction Of Country Results Tracking Chart Along party lines

Moderates took the biggest hit (18%), followed by conservatives (14%) and liberals (12%).

IBD/TIPP Poll Direction Of Country tracking chart along ideological lines

Factors Behind The Decline

Here are a few reasons behind the decline.

  • The disorganized troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, where many Americans are still stuck, lowers national morale.
  • The pandemic's numerous virus variants make its progression unpredictable.
  • Mandatory vaccinations.
  • Inflationary pressures are wreaking havoc on the economy.
  • Americans fear potential tax increases from Washington during a pandemic.

Under The Hood

Twenty-four of the 36 demographic groups we track scored below 50. The biggest drop in the index occurred in the following groups:

  • Northeast (down 16.0 points, -35%)
  • College Degree or more (down 14.3 points, -30%)
  • Age 45-64 (down 11.6 points, -31%)
  • Suburban (down 10.5 points, -28%)
  • Income $30K-$50K (down 10.2 points, -27%)
  • White men (down 10.6 points, -25%)
IBD/TIPP Direction Of Country Results Topline for September 2021

The Nation's Priorities

According to 31% of Americans, the country's most important issue is the pandemic, followed by the economy at 16% and immigration at 16%.

Climate change received 9%, and health care got 7%.  

Six percent mentioned racial justice, and another five percent said crime.

Homelessness got 4%, while home affordability was mentioned by 2%.

IBD/TIPP Poll Direction Of Country (United States) Results, American's top priorities, Coronavirus, Economy, and immigration

Priorities differed according to party and ideological lines.

While coronavirus is the number one issue for Democrats and liberals, Republicans and conservatives consider immigration their top issue.

Independents and moderates consider coronavirus as their top priority.

It is interesting to note that while 34% of Republicans rate immigration and border security as their top-most issue, only 4% of Democrats do so, such a vast gap attributable to media consumption.

IBD/TIPP Direction Of Country (United States) poll results for september 2021, Key priorities along party lines
IBD/TIPP Poll Direction Of Country Results For September 2021, key priorities along ideological lines

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TIPP Takes

China's Ambassador Zheng Zeguang Banned From UK Parliament

U.K. Parliament

The U.K. Parliament tells China's ambassador to the U.K. that he cannot come to Parliament while sanctions remain against several MPs and peers.

Zheng Zeguang was due to attend a Commons reception on Wednesday, hosted by the all-party group on China. But after protests, Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Lord Speaker Lord McFall ruled this out.

In March, China imposed travel bans and asset freezes on five MPs and two peers whom it accused of spreading lies about the country.

One of the sanctioned MP's, Tim Loughton, tweeted: "If the genocidal Chinese regime thinks they can shut down free speech by parliamentarians in a democracy, there are consequences, and in this case, it is that the Chinese regime must not have a platform in the Mother of Parliaments.


Is Russia's Defense Chief Emerging As Putin's Possible Successor?

Sergey Shoigu
Sergey Shoigu

Putin is still pondering the idea of another term, but as he approaches 70, bets are being placed on Sergey Shoigu.

His (Sergey Shoigu's) first name is quintessentially Russian, but he hails from Tuva, an impoverished province of Turkic-speaking Buddhists that borders northwestern China and has some of Russia's highest murder and suicide rates.

Some Tuvan intellectuals even consider him a reincarnation of Subedei, a Mongol general whose army laid waste to what is now Russia and Ukraine eight centuries ago.

Shoigu started his career in the early 1990s as head of the emergencies ministry, making it a highly effective, militarized structure – and topping all political charts years before Putin became president.

The 66-year-old Shoigu is often seen on TV fishing and hunting with Putin – a symbolic anointment that some say makes him the most likely successor.


China Adds Powerful New Ship to Maritime Patrol Fleet

China Adds Powerful New Ship to Maritime Patrol Fleet

The 5,560-ton Hai Xun 03, launched Tuesday, will become the largest ocean patrol ship under the Hainan Maritime Safety Administration, state media say.

Hainan is an island province off the south of the mainland. It includes a municipality in the disputed Paracel Islands from which it administers China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Chinese official documents suggest that China regards Hainan's jurisdiction as covering around two million square kilometers of the maritime area. However, boundaries are not demarcated, and its neighbors do not recognize that jurisdiction.

According to news reports, the Hai Xun 03 will conduct maritime patrol and law enforcement, search-and-rescue, emergency coordination and command, and prevention and control of ship pollution "in the South China Sea and surrounding waters."


Biotech Firm Says It Can Resurrect Extinct Woolly Mammoth

Biotech Firm Says It Can Resurrect Extinct Woolly Mammoth

The Colossal bioscience company claims CRISPR genetic technology can de-extinct the animal, which died out in the Holocene epoch.

Scientists have managed to find mammoth tusks, bones, and other material to sequence the animal's DNA. This DNA would then be inserted into the genome of the Asian elephant to form an "elephant-mammoth hybrid," according to the company.

Advocates of "de-extinction" say the process could help humans gain new knowledge regarding biology, evolution, and technology. Supporters may also believe it is morally just to bring back extinct species due to human activities.

The resurrection of extinct species could also repair damaged ecosystems. In the case of the woolly mammoth, Colossal believes the animal could revitalize the Arctic grasslands, whose properties can mitigate global warming. The company offered no details on how.

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