Fox News Poll: Record 70% say life will be worse for next generation

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Against the backdrop of mass shootings, foreign policy showdowns, inflation woes and a pandemic, the latest Fox News survey finds a record-high number of registered voters think life for the next generation of Americans will be worse than it is today.

A majority, 70%, says life will be worse for the next generation than it is today — up 29 percentage points from July 2020. The last time voters were close to being this negative about the future was in September 2014, when 61% said it would be worse.

All of this comes as voters continue to offer pessimistic views of both the national economy and their personal finances. Eight in 10 rate national economic conditions as only fair or poor, while about six in 10 rate their personal finances negatively. On top of this, three-quarters are dissatisfied with the direction of the country — the highest negative rating in a decade.

Almost eight in 10 Republicans (76%) and independents (79%) say life will be worse for the next generation, a 40+ point increase from two summers ago. 

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Over half of Democrats are also more likely to think life will be more difficult (57%), up 9 points since 2020.  However, they are one of the only subgroups where the belief that life will get better for younger generations is up (37% vs. 26% in 2020). 

Voters under age 30 (28% better-66% worse) are just as likely as voters ages 65 and over (25-68%) to say life will be worse for the youth of America. 

Overall, a quarter (25%) think life will improve for young Americans. 

With midterm elections three months away, voters are split on their generic ballot preference (the Democratic candidate in their House district vs. the Republican candidate) at 41% apiece. Of the 70% saying the next generation will be worse off, those voters break for the GOP by 14 points. The 25% who say life will be better favor the Democrat by 34.

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Voters say some of the gravest threats to the stability of the U.S. are at home as well as abroad.

Number one? Gun violence.  

Sixty-four percent say it is a “major” threat to the stability of the country. Several high-profile shootings in the last three months could well lead voters to perceive gun violence as a serious concern.

China (60%) and Russia (60%) are also in the top tier of major threats

Back at home, domestic extremist groups (55%), big government (52%) and climate change (52%) round out a second tier of perceived threats, while illegal immigration (47%) and people refusing to accept election results (46%) come in somewhat lower on the scale.  

For Democrats, gun violence is easily seen as the biggest threat to Uncle Sam, with 80% saying it’s a major threat, followed by climate change at 73% and election deniers and domestic extremists at 66%. 

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Republicans’ biggest concern is a tie between China and illegal immigration (71% each). Big government comes in third at 65%.

Just half of Democrats think China is a major threat (49%), while the opposite is true for Republicans on gun violence (51%).

With all their differences, partisans agree that Russia is a major threat (59% for Dems and 58% for Republicans).

Meanwhile, 70% are extremely or very concerned about China’s military power.  That’s unchanged since last year — and since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent trip to Taiwan, a trip Beijing vehemently opposed.

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Conducted Aug. 6-9, 2022, under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,002 registered voters nationwide who were randomly selected from a national voter file and spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones. The total sample has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.