January 2, 2013
Americans Unsure if Best Times for U.S. Are Past or to Come
Many predict 2013 will be a year of difficulty
by Frank Newport
PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans are split when asked if the country's best years are ahead of us or behind us, with views on the future quite differentiated across party lines. Republicans are much more pessimistic about the future of the country than are Democrats.
These sentiments, measured in a Dec. 14-17 USA Today/Gallup poll, come at the end of a tumultuous political and economic year -- one which included a contentious presidential election, continuing sparring over the nation's economic policies, and the prospect of dramatic tax increases and government spending cuts as elected leaders argued over avoiding the "fiscal cliff" at year's end. The finding that Democrats are much more positive than Republicans about the future of the U.S. most likely reflects the fact that Democrats control the White House; Democrats are also currently much more positive about the status of the U.S. economy.
The same poll included several questions asking Americans to predict what the year 2013 will bring on economic, governmental, social, and international fronts.
Three of these questions focused on the economy, with results showing mixed predictions about the nation's economic state in 2013. Americans believe by almost a 2-1 margin that 2013 will be a year of economic difficulty rather than a year of prosperity. At the same time, they tilt toward the belief that 2013 will be a year of full or increasing employment rather than a year of rising unemployment. Americans also believe that 2013 will be a year in which prices will rise at a reasonable rate rather than at a high rate.
on Jan. 2, 2013 at 10:07 PM