Fiscal Confidence Index: October 2018 Results

Topline survey results from the Fiscal Confidence Index for October 2018. The FCI value for October is 62.

The Peter G. Peterson Foundation commissioned this poll by the Global Strategy Group and North Star Opinion Research to survey public opinion on the national debt. The nationwide poll included 1,000 U.S. registered voters, surveyed by telephone between October 23, 2018 and October 26, 2018. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%. The poll examined voters’ opinions on the national debt, political leadership, and America’s fiscal and economic health.

The Fiscal Confidence Index value is derived from six questions in three categories: Concern, Priority, and Expectations. The October 2018 scores are: Concern (64), Priority (32), Expectations (89). For the complete methodology used to determine the Fiscal Confidence Index value, click here. For full results, including demographic information, download the PDF below:


CONCERN (64)

Thinking about our national debt over the last few years, would you say your level of concern has increased or decreased?

  • Is that a lot or just a little?
Increased a lot 37%
Increased a little 24%
Decreased a little 15%
Decreased a lot 9%
(No change) 12%
(Don't Know/Refused) 4%
INCREASED (NET) 61%
DECREASED (NET) 23%

When it comes to addressing our national debt, would you say things in the United States are heading in the right direction or do you think things are off on the wrong track?

  • Do you feel that way strongly or just somewhat?
Right direction - Strongly 20%
Right direction - Somewhat 18%
Wrong track - Somewhat 16%
Wrong track - Strongly 36%
(Neither/Mixed) 3%
(Don't Know/Refused) 6%
RIGHT DIRECTION (NET) 38%
WRONG TRACK (NET) 53%
PRIORITY (32)

Some people say that addressing the national debt should be among the President and Congress' top 3 priorities. Do you agree or disagree?

  • Do you feel that way strongly or just somewhat?
Strongly agree 41%
Somewhat agree 32%
Somewhat disagree 15%
Strongly disagree 8%
(Don't Know/Refused) 4%
AGREE (NET) 73%
DISAGREE (NET) 23%

And when it comes to our national debt, do you think it is an issue that the President and Congress should spend more time addressing or less time addressing?

  • Would you say a lot (more or less) time or just a little?
A lot more time 52%
A little more time 28%
A little less time 7%
A lot less time 4%
(The same amount of time) 3%
(Don't Know/Refused) 6%
MORE TIME (NET) 80%
LESS TIME (NET) 11%
EXPECTATIONS (89)

And thinking about our national debt over the next few years, do you expect the problem to get better or worse?

  • Is that much (better or worse) or just somewhat (better or worse)?
Much better 12%
Somewhat better 20%
Somewhat worse 28%
Much worse 32%
(No change) 3%
(Don't know/Refused) 7%
BETTER (NET) 33%
WORSE (NET) 57%

And when it comes to our national debt, are you optimistic or pessimistic that the United States will be able to make progress on our national debt over the next few years?

  • Would you say you are very (optimistic or pessimistic) or just somewhat?
Very optimistic 20%
Somewhat optimistic 33%
Somewhat pessimistic 18%
Very pessimistic 21%
(Neither/Mixed) 2%
(Don't Know/Refused) 5%
OPTIMISTIC (NET) 54%
PESSIMISTIC (NET) 39%

Why Fiscal Issues Matter in the 2018 Election

This election season is a critical opportunity for candidates to talk to voters about solutions to put us on a better path.

FISCAL ISSUES ILLUSTRATED

This series of infographics helps put some of today's most pressing fiscal debates in context.

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