Most Americans say country 'out of control' in new survey

Some 46 per cent of voters termed the current state of the economy as "poor". PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Majorities of Americans are still concerned about the spread of the coronavirus, pessimistic about the economy returning to normal this year, and are down on US President Donald Trump's ability to unite the country, a new survey showed.

Eight in 10 US voters said they believe things are out of control, the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll revealed. Just 15 per cent said the US was "under control".

The poll was conducted May 28 to June 2 - during the protests that followed Mr George Floyd's death in Minnesota, but before a monthly jobs report on Friday (June 5) showed the economy may be picking up faster than feared.

The survey was also taken as the Covid-19 death toll in the US passed 100,000 and continued to tick higher. It has now exceeded 110,000.

A combined 63 per cent of voters said they were either very or somewhat worried that they or someone in their family could catch Covid-19. That was down from 73 per cent in April, with much of the decline coming from people who identified as Republicans.

Some 46 per cent of voters termed the current state of the economy as "poor", the highest percentage on that question since September 2012. About a third, 31 per cent, said it was "only fair," while 17 per cent said the economy was good and 5 per cent termed it excellent.


When asked when the coronavirus will be contained in the US, to the point that the economy can return to normal, 35 per cent said in the next year, up from 26 per cent in the April poll, and 22 per cent said in the next few months, down from 45 per cent. The poll found 17 per cent saying the restart will take more than a year, up from 6 per cent two months ago.

Almost two-thirds of respondents, 66 per cent, said they would be uncomfortable flying on an airplane at the moment or attending a large public gathering. Some 54 per cent said they would be uncomfortable eating at a restaurant.

Friday's monthly payrolls report, which showed a record 2.5 million workers were added by employers in May and a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3 per cent, might change that assessment.

Nationally, Mr Joe Biden was ahead of Mr Trump by 7 points in the NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, 49 per cent to 42 per cent. That was unchanged from April.

The survey of 1,000 registered voters had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.1. percent. The margin of error on the "out of control" question was plus or minus 3.6 per cent.

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