WASHINGTON — While Americans say they’re feeling slightly better about the current direction of the country than they did last month, their overall outlook for the future remains quite dim, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll released Monday finds that 37 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction. That’s up slightly from the 32 percent who said the same in February.

Still, 62 percent think the country is headed in the wrong direction. And when asked about the year ahead, just 32 percent say they think things will get better — and 45 percent expect things to get worse.

Some other things to know from the new AP-NORC poll:

PARTY MATTERS

While 67 percent of Republicans say the country is headed in the right direction, 87 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents think it’s headed the wrong way. And 63 percent of Republicans expect continued improvement in the next year, while 73 percent of Democrats think things will keep getting worse.

SO DOES THE ECONOMY

Despite their overall lack of optimism about the state of the nation, Americans appear more likely to think the economy will improve in the next year than that it will deteriorate, 37 percent to 32 percent.

And they’re much more likely to think their personal finances will move in the right direction than the wrong one, 39 percent to 18 percent.

Most Republicans think both the national economy and their personal finances will get better in the next year. Most Democrats expect the national economy to get worse, but they largely expect their personal finances to stay about the same.

AMERICA AND THE WORLD

When it comes to how the U.S. is viewed around the world, Americans have largely negative views about the year to come.

More than half — 53 percent — think respect for American will decline overseas, with just 26 percent expecting it to improve. And 48 percent think U.S. influence around the world will decline in the next 12 months, compared with just 27 percent who believe it will get better.

At the same time, Americans have mixed views about the direction of U.S. national security. About a third expects that to improve in the next year, a third expects it to get worse, and a third expect it to stay about the same.


The AP-NORC poll of 1,122 adults was conducted March 14-19 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using address-based sampling methods, and later interviewed online or by phone.


Online:

AP-NORC Center: http://www.apnorc.org/

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EMILY SWANSON
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