The year 2023 opens with slightly better — though not good — assessments of the nation than we saw last year, tempered by pessimism about plenty of issues.
More say things in the country are going well than said so at the start of 2022.
Ratings on today’s economy aren’t good, but they’re higher than before the fall midterm campaign. The job market stands out as a bright spot, even as concerns about inflation continue. Fewer voters think the economy’s direction is getting worse than thought so in October.
Americans feel very positive and optimistic about the fight against COVID — despite concern among some scientists about winter outbreaks — which marks quite a change from the start of 2022.
This year does hold plenty of concern for Americans as they look ahead. They are still largely pessimistic about the direction of prices and the stock market; about peace and stability in the world; and about the climate and prospect of extreme weather events. (And very pessimistic about U.S. politics.)
It all adds up to this: Americans say they’re about as hopeful as they are scared.
The economy was central to the midterms, and its ratings are higher now than before the campaign started in earnest. Among voters in particular, their views of the economy are also up compared to October, during the heat of the campaign.
Things that stand out for optimism: the job market and the fight against COVID.
Compared to last summer, ratings of the economy are up slightly among middle- and working-class Americans earning under $50,000 annually in income, though still negative overall. There’s a political tinge to it, too, as Democrats are giving better ratings of the economy than they did last year.
Today’s low views of the national economy are related to the fact that so many people still say they are worse off today than a year ago, and so few people feel they are better off.
In summary, it’s all about an even mix of emotions — hopeful and scared.
As for President Biden, his overall approval rating is at 44%, around where it’s been for the past year.
This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,144 U.S. adult residents interviewed between January 4-6, 2,023. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±2.9 points.
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