A majority of voters think life for the next generation of Americans will be worse than life today, according to a Fox News poll released Friday.
The poll also finds that three-quarters of voters think the United States is weaker today than it was 10 years ago. Moreover, almost all consider the current economic and unemployment conditions a “crisis.”
The 74 percent that thinks the country is weaker today includes sizable majorities of Democrats (61 percent), Republicans (87 percent) and independents (78 percent). Overall, far fewer voters -- about one in five -- believes America is stronger than a decade ago (19 percent). Democrats (31 percent) are three times more likely than Republicans and independents to feel that way.
Fifty-seven percent of voters think life for the next generation of Americans will be worse than life today. That’s up significantly from 39 percent who thought so in 2002. Thirty-two percent think life will be better, down from 41 percent.
Nearly half of Democrats (48 percent) think life will be better for the country’s youth -- that’s nearly three times the number of Republicans (17 percent) and almost double the number of independents (26 percent) who think so.
About a third of those living in lower income (32 percent) as well as higher income households (35 percent) think life will improve. Back in 2002, there was a wide 17 percentage point difference between those groups, with higher income respondents much more likely to say life would be better for the next generation (55 percent).
What does the next generation think about its future? About a third of those under age 35 think things will be better, while 51 percent say worse. By comparison, 67 percent of those ages 65 and over think things in the country will be worse for the next generation.
The national telephone poll was conducted for Fox News by Opinion Dynamics Corp. among 900 registered voters from April 6 to April 7. For the total sample, the poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Despite the apparent pessimism, the poll also finds that a 59 percent majority believes America is still the “land of opportunity.” Thirty-nine percent disagree.