Most Utahns say they’re not confident U.S. is heading in the right direction

Utahns are mostly an optimistic bunch, but not so when asked if the United States is on the right or wrong track.

A new poll finds that 56 percent of Utahns say the country is on the wrong track, with 32 percent saying things are going OK, and 12 percent not having an opinion.

Still, Utahns are more optimistic about where the United States is going than Americans as a whole: In national polling, those who believe we are on the right track varies from just 24 percent to 32 percent.

Those nationally who believe we are on the wrong track varies from 62 percent to 65 percent – almost two thirds.

The new Dan Jones & Associates survey for UtahPolicy also finds that 62 percent believe Utah itself is on the right track, while only 26 percent said we’re going the wrong way as a state.


Many Utah Republicans are not fans of GOP President Donald Trump. And that is reflected in the right/wrong track question concerning the United States.

Back with Democratic President Barack Obama was in the White House, even though the U.S. House was controlled by Republicans most Utahns still had negative feelings about the country.

So one may think that very red Utah would change opinions with Republicans running the federal government.

Not the case.

Only Utah Republicans and those who consider themselves “very conservative” politically give positive opinions on how the country is going:

  • Republicans say the U.S. is on the right track, 50-37 percent.
  • Those who said they are “very conservative” are positive about where the U.S. is going, 56-32 percent.

All others are skeptical, or displeased:

  •  Utah Democrats say we are on the wrong track nationally, 91-6 percent.
  • Political independents agree, 69-16 percent.

Those who said we are on the wrong track – “somewhat conservative,” 43-39 percent; “moderates,” 64-22 percent; “somewhat liberal,” 92-4 percent; “very liberal,” 91-7 percent.

Utah Mormons also are not much for Trump – with their church leaders actually criticizing Trump in several areas.

Those who told Jones they are “active LDS,” 46 percent said the county is on the wrong track, 37 percent of church-going Mormons say America is going in the right direction.

Utah state government is run by Republican Mormons, and so it makes sense that most Utahns (also Republican Mormons) see things going well here.

Asked how Utah itself is going, Jones finds:

  • Republicans, 80-9 percent said right direction; Democrats, 58-31 percent the wrong way; political independents, 52-31 percent right way.
  • Conservatives and moderates say we’re going in the right direction.
  • Even the “somewhat liberals” are split on how Utah is performing, 39 percent say right, 48 percent said wrong.

And “very active” Mormons say we are going the right direction, 78-10 percent.

Jones polled 608 adults from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.97 percent.