Americans Turn More Pessimistic on Economy

The number of Americans expecting the U.S. economy to get worse in the next year is at its highest point since 2013, a national NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows.

A majority of Americans also say President Donald Trump has been untruthful about the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign, and half say the probe has given them doubts about Trump’s presidency.

Overall, 28 percent of Americans said the economy will get better in the next year, while 33 percent predict it will get worse, according to the survey, which was released Sunday. Those numbers were essentially reversed from January, when 35 percent said the economy would get better and 20 percent said it would get worse.

“For the first time in Trump’s presidency, his safety net of a robust economy shows signs of unraveling,” said Fred Yang, a Democratic pollster with Hart Research Associates.

The poll, taken a month after November’s midterm elections, shows more Americans want congressional Democrats to take the lead in setting policy for the U.S.

Only one in 10 said Trump took the message from the midterm elections that voters wanted a change, and that he’s making the necessary adjustments.

Among the other findings:

  • The percentage of respondents who say Trump has been “honest and trustworthy” about the special counsel probe into Russian interference fell to 34 percent from 38 percent in August.
  • 46 percent of respondents say the convictions and guilty pleas of members of Trump’s 2016 campaign team suggest potential wrongdoing by the president. That compares with 23 percent who say the wrongdoing is limited to those individuals.
  • Trump’s job approval rating was 43 percent, down from 46 percent in the same series just before November’s election.
  • A combined 38 percent of registered voters say they’d vote to re-elect Trump in 2020, against 52 percent who say they wouldn’t.

The poll of 900 adults was conducted Dec. 9-12 and had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points. Among 725 registered voters the margin was plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

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