Sixty-one percent (61%) of voters nationwide believe that new technologies will have a bigger impact on the nation’s future than policies of the federal government. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 39% take the opposite view and believe government policies will have more of an impact (see question wording and toplines).
This belief that technology will drive the future is shared across all demographic categories (see crosstabs).
That’s probably good news since 86% believe the digital revolution has been good for America. In contrast, few Americans trust the federal government to do the right thing most of the time. Data released earlier shows that 83% of voters recognize that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have had a bigger impact on the nation than Presidents of the United States.
The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted August 13-14, 2018 for ScottRasmussen.com by HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and sample Demographics). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
The Sun Is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not makes the case that the culture and technology lead the nation forward while politics and politicians lag behind. That’s a reason for optimism about our nation’s future despite the broken political system.
Still, the vast majority of Americans are not simply dreaming of a tech utopia. There are concerns and a recognition of risk. Just 31% would feel safe riding in a self-driving car today. But they expect things to get better over time through pragmatic experimentation. Fifty-three percent (53%) expect most cars on the road will be driving themselves within a couple of decades. Only 11% think that day will never come.
Another frequently discussed concern about technology is the potential loss of jobs as computers and robots do more of our work. Yet even on this, there is some optimism. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of voters nationwide believe these technologies will create new types of jobs and provide good opportunities for workers. However, a sizable minority (41%) expects automation will lead to mass unemployment.
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Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).