By Bruce Blakeman
We conducted a national survey in May 2022 of 1,002 adult Americans and found that Americans are increasingly more concerned and worried about the state of affairs in the country, while optimism is falling. Our firm, Heart+Mind Strategies, a national survey research firm based in Reston, Virginia, found that 68% of Americans are concerned and 56% describe themselves as worried about current events. Just 16% of Americans say they are optimistic.
Democrats and Independents all agree they are concerned and worried about the country. What is amazing is that more people are concerned and worried today than at any time during the COVID pandemic. This trend does not bode well for President Biden and Democrat candidates coming into the midterm elections. Usually, you will find partisans of the party in power more positive and optimistic about the country. This is not the case today. Equally, 69% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans and 68% of Independents say they are concerned.
In addition, the trend over the past 12 months is that Americans have become increasingly more concerned and worried. Overall, concern has increased from 40% in June 2021 to 68% in May 2022, a 28-point increase and there is corresponding 24-point increase in worry. The increases in both concern and worry have significantly increased across the board in every demographic category including age, race, ideology and partisanship. In addition, over the past 12 months, those who describe themselves as optimistic have dropped 17 points from 36% in June 2021 to just 16% in May 2022.
Key Democrat voting groups are also increasingly more concerned and worried. Suburban women have had a 43% increase in those feeling concerned, from 37% in June 2021 to 70% in May 2022. In addition, white, college educated women have seen a 30- point jump in concern from 46% a year ago to 76% now.
Biden and Trump voters share their concern and worries for the country. Biden voters have increased their feelings of concern to 60% from 35% a year ago. This is similar to Trump voters where 68% say they are concerned now as compared to 47% last June. To top it all off, only 19% of Biden voters are optimistic about the state of affairs in the country.
About the Author
Bruce Blakeman is a communications, public affairs, and brand positioning executive with over 25 years of leadership in both domestic and international markets. He has advanced across positions in communications, politics, government relations, strategic consulting, think tanks and international business management that drive growth, build brands, and meet strategic objectives. Blakeman formerly served in the Bush Administration, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, and is a guest contributor on Bloomberg, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, and other media outlets on political environment, trade, sustainability, economic development, and food security.