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

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

Photo credit: Tim Mossholder, Unsplash
Photo credit: Tim Mossholder, Unsplash

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.

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