People in Lower Alabama have a pretty bleak view of the path our nation is on and political leanings and presidential politics factor heavily into those opinions.
The latest News-5/Strategy Research Poll asked people how the country was doing and gave four options: very good, pretty good, pretty bad, or very bad.
44-percent said “very bad,” 29-percent said “pretty bad,” 21-percent said “pretty good,” and only 6%-percent said “very good.”
Despite everything going on this summer – the Orlando terrorist attack, the questionable police shootings, and the massacre in Dallas, our pollster says opinions on the nation right now are all about one thing.
“This is absolutely driven by presidential politics,” said Jon Gray of Strategy Research. “No matter what we turn on, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, WKRG, everywhere is talking about presidential politics. It’s the driving force right now on how we feel.”
Gray says this plays out in the numbers. More than half the people in Baldwin County, 51-percent, say the nation is in “very bad” shape.
Gray says political viewpoints are at play.
“In Baldwin County you’re going to see one of the most conservative snap shots anywhere in the country,” he said.
When combining the two negative responses “very bad” and “pretty bad” together,
81-percent of Baldwin County feels the nation is on the wrong track.
“Just 19-percent in Baldwin County thinks we are headed in the right direction,” said Gray. “That’s shocking. 19-percent!”
Gray says it all goes back to politics.
“If you’re with a Donald Trump or the Republican vote you think things are way wrong and every time you hear Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton all you want to do is recoil and think about how much worse things are getting.”
People on the west side of the bay have a brighter view. 41-percent of people in the City of Mobile saying things are on the right track. 32-percent of Mobile County shares that outlook.
Gray says this is due to more Democrats and African-Americans living in Mobile County.
He says the 19-percent “right track” response from Baldwin County mirrors the response from whites in Mobile County.
“They are identical with white voters in Mobile County. The numbers are identical.”
But despite a mostly negative view of where things stand now, there remains tremendous optimism for the future. Two thirds, 67-percent, say America’s best days are ahead of us. Just a third thinks the best days have gone by.
Leading the optimistic outlook, people in Baldwin County, where 70-percent say our best days are ahead.
“What they’re saying is we’re going in the long direction but we can get it back on track,” Gray said. “We have to do something about it. I’m not happy about where we are going. They haven’t thrown in the towel. They’re not giving up. 70-percent think our best times are ahead of us. That’s cool.”