Poll: 80 percent of voters say things are out of control in the U.S.


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Poll: 80 percent of voters say things are out of control in the U.S.

WASHINGTON — Eight out of 10 voters believe that things are out of control in the United States, with majorities still concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, pessimistic about the economy returning to normal before next year and down on President Donald Trump’s ability to unite the nation.

Those are the major findings of a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll that was conducted May 28 to June 2, during the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, as the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus surpassed 100,000 and after millions have lost their jobs.

But the survey was conducted before Friday’s surprising jobs report, which found the unemployment rate declining to 13.3 percent and the economy adding 2.5 million jobs in May.

“Out of control — that’s America in 2020,” said Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates, who helped conduct this survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff and his GOP colleagues at Public Opinion Strategies.

“[It’s] one of the few things Americans can agree upon, and the one finding that we can definitively state given the tumult and torment of the past 12 days,” Horwitt added.

Despite the turmoil and instability, the NBC News/WSJ poll also shows that attitudes about Trump and the 2020 election remain locked in place, with the president’s job rating stuck in the mid-40s and with presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden maintaining his national lead over Trump.

McInturff, the GOP pollster, says it’s striking that Trump’s job rating and ballot position haven’t changed given the extraordinary events over the last 90 days.

“Those are remarkable findings that speak to the power of our partisan silos,” he said.

According to the poll, 80 percent of registered voters say they feel that things are generally out of control in the country, versus 15 percent who believe that things are under control.

That includes 92 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of independents and even 66 percent of Republicans who think things are out of control.

In addition, a combined 63 percent of voters say they’re “very” or “somewhat” worried that they or someone in their immediate family might catch the coronavirus, though that’s down 10 points from April’s poll (with much of the decline coming from Republicans).

Nearly half of voters — 46 percent — describe the current state of the economy as being “poor,” which is the highest percentage on this question since September 2012.

By comparison, 31 percent say it’s “only fair,” 17 percent say it’s “good” and just 5 percent say it’s “excellent.”

And a majority — 54 percent — believes it will take a year or longer for the coronavirus to be contained and for the economy to return to normal.

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