Pessimism about the national economy and the direction of the country continues

Americans disapprove of President Biden’s handling of most domestic and foreign issues like the national economy and the U.S. relationship with Russia.

April 22, 2022

Americans continue to feel pessimistic about the direction of the country, the national economy, and the way President Biden has handled the U.S. relationship with Russia amid the war between Ukraine and Russia. Seventy percent say things in the country are going in the wrong direction compared to only 29% who feel things are going in a positive direction.

The dire outlook on the direction of the country is increasing among Democrats.

While Democrats are still more likely to feel optimistic about the direction of the country than Republicans or independents, only 49% of them say the country is heading in the right direction compared to 55% who said the same in last month’s AP-NORC poll.

A large majority of adults– including about half of Democrats – consider the national economy to be in poor condition.

More Americans continue to disapprove than approve of President Biden’s job overall, his handling of the economy, the U.S. relationship with Russia, and foreign policy. Fifty percent approve of the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic compared to 49% who disapprove. Democrats are more likely to have a positive view of the president than Republicans or independents.

As the conflict in Ukraine continues, 54% of adults feel Biden’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has not been tough enough. Only 8% say the president’s response has been too severe and 36% say it has been about right. These numbers are practically unchanged from March 2022.

Democrats are more likely to think Biden’s response is about right while Republicans and independents are more likely to believe it has not been sufficiently tough.

The public continues to prioritize sanctioning Russia effectively instead of limiting the sanctions’ damage to the U.S. economy. Democrats are more likely than Republicans and independents to prioritize sanctioning Russia as effectively as possible, even if it damages the U.S. economy.

The nationwide poll was conducted April 14-18, 2022 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,085 adults. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.9 percentage points.

  • Suggested Citation: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.  (April 2022).“ Americans remain pessimistic about the national economy and the direction of the country.”

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