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Registered Voters Say Life Will Get Better in the Next Five Years

Posted on November 6, 2012.

High Point University National PollHIGH POINT, N.C., Nov. 6, 2012 – Despite strained financial and emotional conditions that Americans have faced during and after the Great Recession, the HPU National Poll finds that a large portion of registered voters believe that their life will be better in five years than it is today.

Registered voters across the country were asked, “Do you think that five years from now your own life will be better, worse, or about the same?” Approximately 48 percent said life would be better, while 24 percent said life would be about the same and 12 percent said life would be worse.

In addition to their own lives, many of those surveyed also believe that “the life for the country as a whole” will be better five years from now than it is today – approximately 44 percent – while 21 percent said they believe it will be worse and 17 percent believe it will be about the same.

An additional sample of North Carolina registered voters was taken regarding the same questions, and they revealed similar results. Fifty-one percent of North Carolinians believe their lives will be better in five years, and 48 percent believe the life for the country as a whole will be better in five years.

The questions were not asked based on outcome of the 2012 Presidential Election being held today, but were asked based on an individual’s general feelings about the future, which show an overall sense of optimism.

“Relative optimism about the economy is closely tied to electoral outcomes,” says Dr. Sadie Leder, associate director of the HPU Poll. “The fact that you have many more people expressing a positive view of the long term prospects of the economy may encourage incumbent politicians, but there are still quite a few people who expect no change.”

Better in Five Years 

“Do you think that five years from now your own life will be better, worse, or about the same?”

In the United States (50 states):

Better – 48 percent

Worse – 12 percent

About the same – 24 percent

Don’t know/refused – 16 percent

 

In the North Carolina oversample:   

Better – 51 percent

Worse – 24 percent

About the same – 13 percent

Don’t know/refused – 15 percent

 

“How about life for the country as a whole five years from now? Will it be better, worse, or about the same?”

In the United States (50 states):

Better – 44 percent

Worse – 21 percent

About the same – 17 percent

Don’t know/refused – 19 percent

 

In the North Carolina oversample:   

Better – 48 percent

Worse – 24 percent

About the same – 13 percent

Don’t know/refused – 15 percent

The survey was fielded by the Telephone Centre, Inc of Greensboro, N.C. from Oct. 22 to Oct. 30, 2012. The responses for the National Sample came from 805 registered voters with landline or cellular telephones. The North Carolina portion of the survey comprises an oversample of 403 registered voters. In total, the Telephone Centre conducted 1,208 interviews. All respondents are contacted through phone numbers attached to state Board of Elections registration data. The Survey Research Center contracted with Survey Sampling International and Aristotle International to acquire these registered voter samples. The national portion of the survey has a margin of sampling error of approximately 3.45 percentage points. The North Carolina portion of the survey has an estimated margin of sampling error of approximately 5 percentage points. The data are weighted when appropriate toward population estimates for age, gender and race. For the national sample, which was weighted toward population estimates for gender, the population estimates came from U.S. Census estimates of the registered voting population of the U.S. For North Carolina, the population estimates for race were taken from North Carolina Board of Elections data from the week of Oct. 27. The population estimates for age and gender were taken from the U.S. Census estimates of registered voters for North Carolina. In addition to sampling error, factors such as question wording and other methodological choices in conducting survey research can introduce additional error into the findings of opinion polls.

Dr. Martin Kifer, assistant professor of political science, serves as the director of the HPU Poll, and Dr. Sadie Leder, assistant professor of psychology, serves as the associate director of the HPU Poll.

Further results and methodological details from the survey and can be found at the Survey Research Center website at http://src.highpoint.edu/

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