Americans want to see investments in the nation’s future and are optimistic for the potential change the newly elected Trump administration can bring. In the tradition of our country’s storied history as the oldest continuing democracy, President-elect Trump enters office amidst renewed optimism, but at the same time tempered by a watchful eye among many Americans.
The campaign for president is on the forefront of Americans’ minds while their frustration with the lack of action in Washington continues to grow. Americans believe Washington’s broken system is the biggest problem facing our country, even outpacing the threat of terrorism or economic concerns. Americans want change in Washington, yet their general distaste for Congress leaves them looking to other avenues to tackle the country’s biggest problems.
For the 25th edition of the Heartland Monitor, the poll returns to its roots by examining the economic state of the middle class and their drive for achieving the American Dream. This installment rekindles questions asked during the heart of the recession to assess how the recovery is progressing from the viewpoint of everyday Americans.
Americans are enthusiastic tech users and consumers – 69% think it’s necessary to have the latest devices – and most believe their quality of life has improved because of this technology. Most believe that the benefits of these advances have been shared equitably across the country, and Americans think that positive effects have been felt by small businesses and community organizations.
Younger Americans are shifting how they achieve the shared American goals of family, homeownership and career as they face new, evolving challenges. The 23rd Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll explores Americans’ priorities and expectations for their personal finances, education, employment and family life. The poll also takes an in-depth look at Americans’ perceptions about the best “road map” to a successful life and the difference between “younger” Americans who are getting started in life and “older” Americans who have moved past that stage.
Since 2009, the Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll has focused on issues that are most important to Americans, including the national economy, personal finances, volunteerism and civic engagement and innovation at the local level. Polls continue to show significant frustration with national institutions during an uneven economic recovery. However, they also revealed Americans’ steadfast self-reliance and desire to see positive change at a local level that improves quality of life for themselves and their communities.
Americans have realistic and modest expectations for living a good life. Most say they don’t need to be rich, but rather they simply need to be able to provide financial security and spend time with their family. A significant majority also say that part of living a good life is giving back, doing good and helping others to live a good life.
Over the past five years, the Heartland Monitor poll has tracked Americans’ opinions on a host of economic and personal financial topics. It has covered the optimism of a new Obama presidency, the hope for American economic recovery and the anxiety of a Middle Class trying to find their footing in a challenging economic environment.
This nineteenth installment of the Heartland Monitor Poll reveals an American public that is frustrated with the political leadership of the country and uneasy about the health of the economy.