Fox News Poll: Voters are nervous about economy, frustrated with government

Many voters are frustrated with how the federal government is working and a growing number are nervous about the economy -- yet ratings of economic conditions remain higher than before President Trump took office, according to the latest Fox News Poll.

Continue Reading Below

While 37 percent feel confident about the economy, 48 percent feel nervous. That’s up from a low of 43 percent who were nervous in March 2019. At the highest point, 70 percent felt nervous in 2010 when the question was first asked, and it was 61 percent as recently as 2016.

The poll, released Thursday, also finds the president’s economic policies receive mixed reviews: 43 percent think Trump’s policies are hurting the economy, while 39 percent say they are helping.

Views are more negative on tariffs, as 45 percent of voters think they hurt, while only 31 percent believe they help.

Despite those concerns, the economy barely makes the top five when voters are asked, without prompting from a list, the most important issue facing the country. Immigration is the most frequently mentioned at 13 percent. No other issue hits double-digits. Next is gun violence (9 percent), health care (8 percent), opposing Trump (8 percent), and the economy (7 percent).

About half (48 percent) think the president has “a lot” of power over the economy, and 47 percent rate the economy as excellent or good. That number has only been higher three times in the past decade and each occurrence was under the Trump administration. Fifty-one percent say the economy is in only fair or poor shape.

That adds up to positive ratings for Trump’s handling of the economy: 50 percent of voters approve vs. 45 percent who disapprove.

His job ratings on every other issue tested are underwater: national security (45 approve-48 disapprove), immigration (42-54), international trade (38-53), foreign policy (36-54), guns (35-56), health care (34-56), and Afghanistan (31-49).

Currently, 45 percent approve of the overall job the president’s doing, while 54 percent disapprove. Last month, it was 43-56 percent.

In addition, 65 percent are dissatisfied (36 percent) or angry (29 percent) with the government. That’s more than twice the 31 percent who feel satisfied (24 percent) or enthusiastic (7 percent).

The 29 percent of respondents who are angry is a new high and the 7 percent who are enthusiastic matches the previous high set a year ago.

About two-thirds (64 percent) think many people -- if not nearly all people -- in government are corrupt, and almost half (46 percent) say the Trump administration is more corrupt than previous ones. Another 25 percent say this White House is less corrupt than others and 24 percent think it’s about the same.

By a 46-25 percent margin, voters say their opinions of Trump have gotten worse rather than better since he took office.

Meanwhile, 37 percent say the Trump administration makes them feel more energized about politics, but for a 52 percent majority, it makes them feel more exhausted.

Views among partisans

Approval of the president’s job performance matches the record high of 89 percent among Republicans, compared with 37 percent among independents and 12 percent among Democrats.

Over half of Republicans (52 percent) say their perception of Trump has gotten better since he took office, 10 percent say worse, and 38 percent unchanged. For Democrats, 5 percent say better, 75 percent worse, and 19 percent unchanged.

Even with their high approval of the president, just 15 percent of Republicans are enthusiastic about how the government is working, with another 41 percent “satisfied.” Most Democrats are dissatisfied (43 percent) or angry (41 percent).

Views on the economy are driven heavily by partisanship:  Republicans (75 percent) are more than twice as likely as Democrats (28 percent) to rate the economy positively. And while 69 percent of Republicans feel confident in the economy, 70 percent of Democrats feel nervous.

The top three issues identified among Democrats are Trump (14 percent), guns (11 percent), and health care (10 percent). For Republicans, it’s immigration (23 percent), the economy (8 percent), and national security (7 percent).

Pollpourri

Voters see several threats to the stability of the United States.

Nearly 6-in-10 see corporate influence over government (59 percent), racism (58 percent), and foreign interference in U.S. elections (56 percent) as major threats to the country.

Half perceive climate change (50 percent) as a major threat, and nearly half say the same about political polarization (48 percent), illegal immigration (47 percent), illegal voting (47 percent), and income inequality (45 percent). Fewer feel that way about socialism (39 percent major threat) and political correctness (36 percent).

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

Socialism has the largest number, 28 percent, saying it is not a threat at all. However, it ranks as the third-biggest threat among Republicans: 74 percent say illegal immigration is a major threat to the stability of the U.S., 65 percent say illegal voting, and 63 percent socialism. The top three major threats among Democrats are racism at 78 percent, foreign interference in elections at 74 percent, and 72 percent climate change.

Conducted September 15-17, 2019 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,008 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.