Americans Believe Best Days are in the Past, CNN Most Trusted News Source for Accurate Reporting

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More than half of Americans believe the country's best days are in the past, 49% want less government regulation of businesses, and nearly 75% have confidence and trust in CNN to report the news accurately - more than any other news organization, according to a public opinion survey released today conducted by R.L. Repass & Partners, Inc., a Cincinnati research firm.

Not since the Carter presidency have Americans been so negative about the country's long-term future.

More than half of Americans believe the country’s best days were in the past, according to the results of the MindField Poll conducted by R.L. Repass & Partners, Inc. Fifty two percent of a national sample of respondents said America’s best days were in the past, while 28% said the country’s best days are in the future.

Repass & Partners conducts the MindField Poll nationally and in select states several times each year to gauge public opinion and consumer attitudes on a variety of issues,” Rex Repass, president of the firm said. “This research is a part of a national omnibus survey we conduct with our MindField partners where client organizations can purchase proprietary questions for their use only, and we add questions of interest for public release.”

“The data reflects a general malaise and pessimism the public has about the state of the country,” according to Repass. “Months of high unemployment, negative news, and the ongoing gridlock in Washington are clearly taking a toll on the usual upbeat nature of Americans.”

Demographically, those more likely to be optimistic about the future are persons age 34 and under, African-Americans, and Hispanics. Pessimism about the country’s future is highest among senior citizens age 65 plus.

A near majority of respondents, 49%, also said the federal government should become less involved in regulating business in America, while 29% said Washington should become more involved. Those most likely to want less government regulation are whites and persons over age 50.

Respondents were also asked about the amount of confidence and trust they have in news organizations. CNN and network news sources are the most trusted followed by The Wall Street Journal and local daily newspapers in the respondent’s community.

A summary of news sources and confidence/trust scores are in the table on the last page of this release.

The MindField Poll is conducted via the MindField Online Poller Bear Omnibus in the U.S. by R.L. Repass & Partners, Inc. Sampling was conducted via a double opt-in method. Invitations to participate in this poll were sent to adult members of the MindField Online Panels in the U.S. Respondents were screened and qualified based on representative demographic profiles and geographic regions of the country. Statistical weighting of data is conducted to further profile the U.S. adult population, where appropriate. A total of 1,500 surveys were completed between Sept. 29 and Oct. 4, 2011.

All sample surveys, whether or not probability sampling procedures are used, are subject to potential sources of error. These sources of error are often not possible to fully estimate, including sampling error, error associated with non-response, error associated with question wording and response categories, and error associated with post survey data weighting. However, statistical tests of significance were conducted to evaluate how different types of people respond to questions.

Repass & Partners is a member of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) and the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and adheres to the codes of conduct of these organizations.

The question wording for the survey data reported here follows:
When you think about the nation in the context of history, are America’s best days in the future or in the past?

[ ] America’s best days are in the future
[ ] America’s best days were in the past
[ ] Not sure

Which of the following do you most agree with?

[ ] The federal government should become more involved with regulating business
[ ] The federal government should become less involved in regulating business
[ ] Or, things about right the way they are
[ ] Not sure

Below is a list of news organizations. For each one, please indicate if you have a lot of confidence and trust in that organization to report the news accurately, some, very little, or no confidence and trust. EACH RANDOMLY ROTATED

ABC News                                            
NBC News                                            
Wall Street Journal                            
CBS News                                            
Daily newspaper in your community    
BBC News                                            
USA Today                                
New York Times                                
Fox News                                            
Washington Post                                

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