Fiscal Confidence Index: September 2020 Results

Topline survey results from the Fiscal Confidence Index for September 2020. The FCI value for September is 53.

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 online poll included 1,007 registered voters nationwide, surveyed between September 21, 2020 and September 24, 2020. 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 September 2020 scores are: Concern (45), Priority (30), Expectations (82). 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 (45)

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 44%
Increased a little 31%
Decreased a little 5%
Decreased a lot 5%
(No change) 11%
(Don't Know/Refused) 4%
INCREASED (NET) 75%
DECREASED (NET) 10%

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 14%
Right direction - Somewhat 20%
Wrong track - Somewhat 27%
Wrong track - Strongly 34%
(Neither/Mixed) 1%
(Don't Know/Refused) 4%
RIGHT DIRECTION (NET) 35%
WRONG TRACK (NET) 61%

Priority (30)

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 43%
Somewhat agree 27%
Somewhat disagree 18%
Strongly disagree 6%
(Don't Know/Refused) 7%
AGREE (NET) 69%
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 44%
A little more time 37%
A little less time 6%
A lot less time 4%
(The same amount of time) 4%
(Don't Know/Refused) 6%
MORE TIME (NET) 81%
LESS TIME (NET) 10%

Expectations (82)

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 13%
Somewhat better 19%
Somewhat worse 31%
Much worse 29%
(No change) 2%
(Don't know/Refused) 6%
BETTER (NET) 32%
WORSE (NET) 60%

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 11%
Somewhat optimistic 37%
Somewhat pessimistic 29%
Very pessimistic 16%
(Neither/Mixed) 2%
(Don't Know/Refused) 5%
OPTIMISTIC (NET) 48%
PESSIMISTIC (NET) 45%

Understanding the Coronavirus Crisis

Key fiscal and economic indicators as the nation responds and recovers.

National Debt Clock

See the latest numbers and learn more about the causes of our high and rising debt.

Peter G. Peterson Foundation
© 2020 Peter G. Peterson Foundation. All rights reserved.