Poll: 80 percent of Americans think the country is out of control

Oma Seddiq

Eight out of 10 voters, an overwhelming majority, say things are out of control in the country, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday.

The poll revealed a partisan divide with 92 percent of Democrats believing the country is out of control compared to 66 percent of Republicans. Only 15 percent of those surveyed between May 28 and June 2 believe things are under control.

The survey was conducted after protests began across the country in response to the killing of George Floyd while under police custody in Minneapolis — and against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, which has cost more than 100,000 Americans their lives and millions their jobs.

More than half of voters, 59 percent, also say they are more concerned about police actions and the death of Floyd, as opposed to 27 percent who are more concerned about protests that have turned destructive. Respondents were split between party lines, with 81 percent of Democratic voters saying they worried more over Floyd’s death in contrast to 29 percent of Republican voters.

Demonstrations have lasted throughout the past week in both big and small cities, with thousands marching in Washington, D.C. on Saturday in the biggest turnout yet.

On coronavirus, 63 percent of voters say they are "very" or "somewhat" worried that they or someone in their immediate family will get Covid-19, a 10-point decline from April's poll. Two-thirds of respondents also said they were still uncomfortable with flying on a plane or attending gatherings in large groups.

In addition, many Americans still remain pessimistic about the economy. Thirty-five percent of voters said it will take until next year for the economy to return to normal with businesses reopen and people back at work, a jump from 26 percent in April. Seventeen percent said they think the economy will take longer than a year to recover, up from 6 percent.

President Donald Trump’s approval rating has largely remained unchanged amid the crises at 45 percent, with 53 percent disapproving.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden maintained a national lead over Trump by seven points, 49 percent versus 42 percent among those surveyed.

A majority of voters — 55 percent — also said they would prefer a candidate who brings consensus and compromise above one who proposes big and bold changes, even if it means more division in the country. In comparison, thirty-five percent said they prefer the latter.

The NBC News/WSJ poll surveyed 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.