The Marist Poll’s America Now: National Outlook Index (NOI) stands at 6.3 out of a maximum top score of 10. The index suggests a general sense of caution about life in the United States. Driving the index in a positive direction for Americans are those things close to home as detailed in the Community Index. The Economic and Health indices have both shown improvement since May, but the Economic Index still lags far behind. The lack of satisfaction measured in the Society and Government Index also has a significant impacton Americans’ overall tepid appraisal of the country’s direction.
The Marist Poll’s America Now: National Outlook Index provides insight into Americans’ experiences and expectations for the future. Attitudes are measured along a scale of 0 to 10 with “0” indicating the lowest negative point of the scale and “10” noting the highest positive point.
Americans’ views of their economic well-being have notched up since May. They are now somewhat more positive about their financial situation and the consumer climate. Americans are most concerned that jobs are not easy to find. It receives the lowest score of the 16 items of the NOI.
Americans have an improved view since May about their health and well-being. This impression is bolstered by greater satisfaction with their lifestyle, health condition, and access to health care. While their opinions lean toward positive territory, Americans still view a potential risk to their health.
Americans are comfortable with life in their local communities and feel safe where they live. Safety receives the highest score of the 16 attributes in the index. They are less inclined to believe they can positively impact their communities or align with its values and beliefs.
Americans’ views on society and government weaken the national outlook. Americans are more positive about the opportunities afforded to them and life for future generations. Most believe leaders are out of touch, and society is not just. A racial divide exists in relation to fairness and opportunity.
Nature of the Sample: Marist Poll of 1,640 National Adults
This survey of 1,640 adults was conducted June 22nd through June 24th, 2020 by The Marist Poll. Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the contiguous United States were contacted on landline or mobile numbers and interviewed by telephone using live interviewers. Survey questions were available in English or Spanish. Mobile telephone numbers were randomly selected based upon a list of telephone exchanges from throughout the nation. The exchanges were selected to ensure that each region was represented in proportion to its population. Mobile phones are treated as individual devices. After validation of age, personal ownership, and non-business-use of the mobile phone, interviews are typically conducted with the person answering the phone. To increase coverage, this mobile sample was supplemented by respondents reached through random dialing of landline phone numbers. Within each landline household, a single respondent is selected through a random selection process to increase the representativeness of traditionally under-covered survey populations. The samples were then combined and balanced to reflect the 2017 American Community Survey 1-year estimates for age, gender, income, race, and region. Results are statistically significant within ±3.3 percentage points. There are 1,515 registered voters. The results for this subset are statistically significant within ±3.5 percentage points. Tables include results for subgroups with a minimum sample size of 100 unweighted completed interviews as to only display crosstabs with an acceptable sampling error. It should be noted that although you may not see results listed for a certain group, it does not mean interviews were not completed with those individuals. It simply means the sample size is too small to report. The error margin was adjusted for sample weights and increases for cross-tabulations.
The Marist Poll America Now: National Outlook Index is reported on a 0 to 10 scale. A mean score for each sub-index statement was calculated. Overall economic, health, community, and society & government indices are derived by calculating an overall mean based on responses to the four sub-index questions in each category. The overall Marist Poll: America Now National Outlook Index is derived by calculating an overall mean based on responses to all sixteen sub-index questions.
Respondents were asked:
Please let me know how much you agree or disagree with each of the following:
- This is a good time financially for your household
- You expect the next few months to be better financially for your household
- Jobs right now are easy to find
- This is a good time to make purchases or investments
- You, yourself, are in excellent health
- You are happy with the life you are living right now
- There is little risk to your health right now
- You are satisfied with your access to health care
- You are satisfied with the area where you live
- You can have an impact in making your community a better place
- You are satisfied with your community’s values and beliefs
- You feel safe where you live
Society & Government:
- Those in leadership positions are working to make life better for people like you
- You feel you have access to the same opportunities as everyone else
- Your children and grandchildren will have a better life than you
- You feel you live in a society that is fair and just