Eighty-four percent (84%) of voters believe America is the land of opportunity according to a new ScottRasmussen.com national survey. That view is shared by 84% of Millennials and 86% of senior citizens (see question wording and crosstab results).
If a person born into poverty is willing to work hard, 85% believe they have a reasonable chance to earn a middle class living. A somewhat smaller majority–66%–also believe they have a reasonable chance to become rich if they are willing to work hard.
As for those born into the middle class, 80% say they have a reasonable chance to become rich.
These majorities hold steady through virtually every age and racial group, income level, and political affiliation. But Republicans are more likely than Democrats to describe America as the land of opportunity and believe in the chances for upward mobility.
Data released earlier showed that 67% of voters consider income inequality in America at least somewhat of a big problem in the United States. To address it, 73% think the focus should be on increasing the wealth of the poorest Americans. Only 27% say it’s more important to reduce the wealth of the richest Americans.
Consistent with the idea of the U.S. as a land of opportunity, 80% of voters believe income inequality could be reduced by providing more school choice for inner-city students.
The results of this latest survey run counter to a growing number of studies and opinion pieces in the news media that argue that upward economic mobility in America and the ranks of the middle class have been severely curtailed in recent decades.
They also seem to be in contrast to reports that younger voters are more likely to embrace socialism because they don’t believe their chances are good to achieve economic success. However, ScottRasmussen.com research has shown that those who support for socialism in the United States have something in mind that is far different from historical socialism. In fact, among those with a favorable view of Socialism, just 34% believe it will lead to higher taxes and more government control. Another third (33%) think it would reduce taxes and government control.
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The national survey of 1,001 Registered Voters was conducted November 18-19, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and a demographic profile of our sample). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).