Three-quarters of Americans believe U.S. is on wrong track

Three-quarters of Americans now believe the country is on the wrong track, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday.

The poll, conducted from August 4 through August 8, a period during which the stock market plunged and Standard & Poor’s downgraded the United States’ credit rating, found just 21 percent saying the country is heading in the right direction, and 73 percent concerned that it’s on the wrong track.

That pessimism extends to the economy, of which a slight plurality of respondents — 47 percent — say the worst is yet to come. Of those polled, 43 percent said the economy has stabilized, but not yet improved, and just 6 percent believe it has turned the corner.

President Barack Obama’s approval rating is seeing the impact from this negativity, with more Americans now saying they disapprove of his job performance than approve of it. Some 45 percent now say they approve, while 52 percent disapprove. In July, 49 percent approved of the job the president was doing, while 46 percent disapproved of it.

This is, in part, a product of the left moving politically away from the president. Only 71 percent of Democrats now they say they approve of his job performance, compared with 83 percent last month. Some 27 percent of Democrats now disapprove, as opposed to the 14 percent of Democrats who disapproved of the president in July. Republicans’ opinions about the president are also trending further in the direction of disapproval.

Independents, interestingly, see Obama’s job performance more favorably than they did in July, with his approval in that demographic rising to 47 percent from just 39 percent in July. Now 44 percent of independents say they disapprove of the president, compared with 51 percent last month.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed 1,055 American adults using telephone interviews on cell phones and landlines. The margin of error of the poll is plus or minus three percentage points.