President Obama’s approval rating is down to 46 percent from 54 percent just after the election, but the public still trusts his economic solutions over House Republicans’ by a margin of 8 percent, according to the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll.
Only 17 percent of Americans approve of Congress and only 33 percent trust House Republicans to develop solutions to our economic problems.
The survey delves deep into the issues facing the middle class. And the major finding is that most Americans are not happy with the direction of the country and thus feel insecure about the future. A total of 60 percent of those surveyed said the country is on the “wrong track,” the highest percentage since March of last year.
Economic security seems tied to education, with 55 percent of non-college graduates fearing they might drop down the class ladder, compared to 49 percent of graduates. Notably, minorities are more optimistic about their future than white Americans.
If that’s true, the American Dream is slipping from an increasing percentage of the public. Majorities believe that they have less opportunity to get ahead, less security and less financial income than their parents.
These findings match up with recent comments from pollsters and strategists James Carville and Stan Greenberg, who say that a focus on the middle class — which has been in decline since the 70s — is the best strategy for Democrats who are looking to take back the House from the Republican Party.
In his State of the Union address, the president called on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, though it would be $10.50 today if adjusted for inflation. Since 1968, productivity has been rising, yet wages have not kept pace.
A higher middle class is one of the “Top 6 Policies to Help the Middle Class That Won’t Cost Taxpayers a Penny” from the Center for American Progress. Other policies include making it easier to save for retirement, accumulate sick days and form a union.