Back to News More Americans Believe the Country Is On the Wrong Track

More Americans Believe the Country Is On the Wrong Track


The percentage of Americans who believe the country is on the wrong track rose 10 percentage points in a month, according to the Fishlinger Optimism Index™, a breakthrough measurement of public opinion centered on Americans’ optimism about the future from the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. The number rose from 57 percent in July to 66 percent in August.

At the same time, satisfaction with President Trump hit its lowest level in the Index’s history, with only 26 percent of Americans “extremely” or “very” satisfied.

Graphic titled: "Country wrong track / presidential satisfaction"

August was an eventful month for the Trump administration. The president received criticism for his response to the tragic events in Charlottesville, Va. and his pardoning of former sheriff Joe Arpaio. Other notable factors contributing to the plummet in satisfaction may be heightened tensions in North Korea and Congressional budget battles, which raise the specter of a potential government shutdown.

Survey Methodology
The Fishlinger Center conducts online national surveys focusing on political issues in the United States. The fieldwork for the polls is conducted using a blended national panel from Survey Sampling Inc. Interviews were conducted August 1- 29, 2017. For a sample of 1,000, the credibility interval is plus or minus four percentage points. The credibility interval is larger for subgroups and for differences between polls.

In addition to credibility interval, the polls are subject to other potential sources of error including, but not limited to coverage and measurement error. Data were rim weighted to match the national population on age, sex, Hispanic origin and race. Question wording and topline results are available at

About the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy
The Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research opened in February 2015 at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. The Center conducts deep and broad studies of public opinion on key public policy concerns through independent and objective research conducted by students, faculty, and other members of the academic community.

By providing a forum for discourse that can stimulate intelligent dialog about issues that deeply affect all Americans, the Center illustrates and enhances the relationship between the work of the College and the common good.

James F. Donius, Ph.D., director of the Fishlinger Center for Public Policy Research at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, is available to speak to members of the press about the survey, the Fishlinger Optimism Index™, and the Center. To arrange an interview, or for more information about the study, please contact Public Relations at

About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational, and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.