Utahns say America is not on the right track; More optimistic about the state’s direction

Considering that we have a Republican president and a GOP-controlled Congress, Utahns are still not optimistic about the direction the United States is going, a new UtahPolicy.com poll shows.

Dan Jones & Associates finds in a new “flash” poll that 54 percent of Utahns say the country is going in the wrong direction.

A third (33 percent) say it is going in the right direction. And 13 percent don’t know.

And considering that Utah is near the top of the nation in various economic/job categories, it is again a bit odd that more residents don’t think the state is going in the right direction.

Jones finds that 58 percent of Utahns say the state is heading in the right direction, a decent number but not a vast majority with things overall going so well here.

Thirty-two percent say Utah is going in the wrong direction, and 11 percent don’t know.

Clearly, there is some ambivalence in both categories – perhaps a reflection of the generally poor ratings President Donald Trump is getting, and the so-far lackluster responses the governing Republican in Congress are seeing, as well.

On the home front – Utah itself – while the economy is going well and the number of jobs is growing, there is discomfort over the state of public education – with a citizen initiative to raise tax rates going forward, and Republicans in the state house refusing to act on increasing public education dollars.

Still, Utahns are a bit more optimistic about the U.S. than national polls show, which are about 60-30 percent wrong track over the right track.


A majority of Utah Republicans say the nation is on the right track, which figures since their party is in control nationally – 58-27 percent right over wrong track.

But a fourth of Republicans still believe Trump et al. are not taking the country in the right direction.

Democrats and political independents have little faith in the way the nation is headed – 86-9 percent of Democrats say were off track, while 68-17 percent independents say the same thing.

Those numbers change when asked whether Utah itself is going in the right or wrong direction:

— 81-11 percent of Republicans say Utah is heading in the right direction.

— 51-36 percent of independents agree.

— But Utah Democrats see the state is heading in the wrong direction, 64-24 percent.

Trump clearly has had, and continues to have, problems with Mormons. And that is reflected in this poll, as well:

— 43 percent of those who self-identified to Jones that they are “very active” in their LDS faith say the country is going in the wrong direction.

— 41 percent say we are heading in the right direction as a country, while 16 percent of active Mormons don’t know.

Little doubt, however, from active Mormons on how Utah is doing:

— 77 percent say Utah – run by active Mormon Republicans on the state level, but an active LDS Democratic Salt Lake County mayor, Ben McAdams – is going in the right direction.

— Only 14 percent say Utah is headed in the wrong direction, while 9 percent don’t know.

The right/wrong direction question is used locally by Jones and nationally by any number of pollsters to measure the general attitude of citizens, whether they are comfortable with their leaders and whether they are satisfied with their employment and general living conditions.

The nation’s economy is growing, but slowly.

Utah’s economy is booming by comparison.

And Utah’s GOP leaders generally get good job performance ratings.

Trump, however, has created a firestorm in Washington, and his campaign and administration are already being investigated in connection to Russian influence in the 2016 presidential elections.

Jones polled 603 adults from May15-16. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.99 percent.