Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters nationwide believe that America’s best days are in the future while 41% believe they have already come and gone. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found this optimism in every measured demographic group.
Sixty percent (60%) of both liberals and conservatives believe the nation’s best days are still to come. So do 57% of political moderates.
Sixty percent (60%) of Republicans believe our nation’s best days are still to come, a view shared by 60% of Democrats and 55% of Independent voters. That optimism is expressed by 60% of Hispanic voters, 58% of white voters, and 53% of black voters (see crosstab results).
Despite all the ups and downs of American politics, the level of optimism about the nation’s future has remained relatively constant. In June, 58% believed the nation’s best days were still to come. Fifty-seven percent (57%) expressed that view in March.
This optimism exists despite the fact that just 35% believe the federal government does a good job living up to the ideal of being a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. Not only that, 71% believe America’s political system is badly broken. Just 16% disagree with that assessment.
For many politically obsessed Americans, these results seem inconsistent. How can we have a bright future with a broken political system? But most Americans believe that positive change in America generally comes from outside of the political system. The culture leads and politicians lag behind. These views are consistent with the primary themes of Scott Rasmussen’s latest book. In The Sun is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not, Rasmussen is extremely pessimistic about American politics but optimistic about the nation.
Among those who believe the political system is badly broken, 81% believe the reason is that our leaders are not following the Constitution. Still, 30% of voters believe the Constitution itself needs a major overhaul. Most (56%) believe that any changes should place additional limits on the federal government. Forty-four percent (44%) would like to make it easier for the federal government to get things done.
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The national survey of 1,002 Registered Voters was conducted September 12-13, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and a Demographic Profile of the sample). Results from the full sample have +/-3.1 Margin of Sampling Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).