Two-Thirds of Americans Think the Country Is Heading in the Wrong Direction

Two-thirds of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track, but there is significant support for President Joe Biden's spending agenda, according to a new poll.

The USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll, published on Monday, found that 66 percent of respondents think the U.S. is on the "wrong track," while just 20 percent believe the country is going in the "right direction."

The poll also showed that President Joe Biden's approval rating has fallen to 38 percent, despite voters showing support for both a recently passed bipartisan infrastructure bill and the Build Back Better Act.

Fourteen percent of respondents weren't sure whether the country was on the right track or not, but the percentage of people who think the U.S. is going in the wrong direction has risen.

The new poll was conducted among 1,000 registered voters from November 3 to 5 and has a margin of error of 3.1 percent.

A previous USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll conducted from August 19 to 23 showed 62 percent of respondents believed the country was on the wrong track and 22 percent thought it was going in the right direction.

That number has been largely steady since a poll conducted between January 11 and 15 that showed 65 percent of respondents thought the country was on the wrong track compared to 22 percent who did not. That poll was carried out before Biden came to office.

However, there may some positive news for the Biden administration in the new poll. Respondents approved of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure by a margin of 61 percent to 32 percent.

The fieldwork for the poll was conducted before the House of Representatives voted to approve the bill shortly before midnight on November 5. It had already been approved by the Senate in August.

There is also narrow support for the proposed Build Back Better Act, an infrastructure and social spending bill that is currently priced at $1.75 trillion following wrangling among Democrats over the original $3.5 trillion cost.

The USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll found that 47 percent of respondents supported the bill, while 44 percent did not.

Democrats hope to pass the bill through the budget reconciliation process, which will not require Republican votes, but will necessitate every Democratic senator backing the bill in the evenly divided Senate.

Debate over the Build Back Better Act has exposed divisions among progressive and moderate Democrats about the price tag and the inclusion of measures aimed at tackling climate change.

Though the poll results are mixed for the Biden administration, there may be cause for concern in the 2022 midterm elections. When respondents were asked how they would vote on the generic congressional ballot, 46 percent said they would vote for a Republican in their local district, while 38 percent chose a Democrat.

Joe Biden Speaks at a Press Conference
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks during a press conference in the State Dinning Room at the White House on November 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. A recent poll shows two-thirds of Americans think the country is on the wrong track despite support for Biden's spending agenda. Samuel Corum/Getty Images