WPR/St. Norbert Poll: Wisconsinites See Nation Still Heading In ‘Wrong Direction’


Most respondents to a new Wisconsin Public Radio-St. Norbert College Survey think the nation is heading in the wrong direction and that the economy still tops the list of most important issues.

When asked a general question about which direction the nation is headed in, 48 percent of Wisconsinites answered: the wrong direction.

Still, the president’s approval rating is holding steady at 53 percent. Wendy Scattergood is a political scientist and an analyst with the St. Norbert College Survey Center.

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She asked about perceptions of the national economy, and Scattergood says most respondents say it is getting better; however, not everyone feels that way.

“For the national economy, 41 percent think that the economy is better this year than it was a year ago. Twenty-nine percent say it’s the same; 28 percent feel that it’s worse. And when I break that down by partisan divide, it’s a huge partisan divide, actually. Democrats are much more likely to say the national economy is doing better.”

Respondents were asked to volunteer what they think is the most important issue facing the country. Once again the most popular answer, with 38 percent, was the economy.

Only 5 percent mentioned the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This week marks the tenth anniversary of the U.S. War in Iraq.

“This question is, ‘What do you think the biggest issue is facing the country?’ We only give them one thing to say. So I think that’s why we’re still seeing, as recently as we have been seeing, that economy and jobs is the number one. It doesn’t mean foreign policy isn’t important, but people don’t think it’s number one.”

By contrast, more than half the respondents named war as the top issue ten years ago. Out of 400 people reached by phone, Scattergood says not one of them volunteered terrorism as the biggest problem.

See the survey results below: