January 4, 2005--As the New Year begins,
42% of Americans believe that our nation's best days remain ahead of
us. A Rasmussen Reports survey of 1,000 adults found that 38%
disagree and say that our best days have already come and gone.
Those figures are somewhat more
pessimistic than a year ago. In January 2004, a survey of 1,500
Likely Voters found that 48% said the nation's best days were in the
future. Thirty-five percent (35%) said the past. The surveys are not
precisely comparable because the 2005 survey interviewed all "Adults"
while the earlier survey was based upon "Likely Voters."
Sixty-one percent (61%) of Republicans
believe that the best days are in the future. That's up from 55% a
year ago. Twenty-four percent (24%) of the GOP faithful believe that
the best days have already come and gone.
A year ago, Democrats were evenly
divided with 40% saying the future and 42% the past. Now, however,
Democrats are much more pessimistic--just 29% say the best days for
the USA are in the future. Fifty percent (50%) of John Kerry's party
says those days are behind us.
Investors are more optimistic than
non-Investors--perhaps because 68% of Investors
said that their investments gained
value in 2004. Men are more optimistic than women (and male
Investors more likely to say their investments gained ground).
Those in their 30s and 40s are most
optimistic while Americans under 30 and over 65 are most
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distribution of public opinion polling information.
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generally identifies trends two to six weeks ahead of traditional
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This survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted by Rasmussen
Reports January 2-3, 2005. The margin of sampling error
is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.