OHIO — Following a multi-year pandemic and a dramatic cost-of-living increase, Ohioans have a decidedly pessimistic view of the future of the nation and democracy, and only a slightly better opinion of the direction Ohio is taking, an exclusive Spectrum News/Siena College Poll finds.

By comparison, Ohioans indicate they’re practically chipper regarding the future for themselves and their families.

The poll asked 642 Ohioans who are likely voters to share their views on issues and candidates, and weigh in on everything from abortion and recreational marijuana to gun policies and redistricting.

The poll was conducted Sept. 18-22, and has a 4.4% margin-of-error.

What You Need To Know

  • An exclusive Spectrum News/Siena College Poll asked 642 Ohioans to share their views on myriad topics

  • The majority of those polled are pessimistic about the future of democracy and the country’s direction

  • A slight majority of respondents is optimist about the track Ohio is on

  • The majority of respondents indicated they have a positive outlook about their families’ future

Among the most striking results, a majority 68% of all Ohioans polled said they believe the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction. Only 25% said they see the nation going in the right direction.

According to the poll, Republicans and Independents overwhelmingly led the way in indicating the bleakest outlook for the country’s direction at 93% and 70% respectively.

Democrats revealed a more optimistic outlook, with 47% seeing a bright future, offset by 37% indicating the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction.

The percentage of those optimistic about Ohio’s direction was a slim majority, with 45% of all those polled having a positive outlook about the state’s future versus 35% of respondents who were pessimistic.

Republicans were more inclined to see the state’s direction as positive, with 64% saying Ohio is in on the right track, while only 27% of Democrats agreeing. Independents came in at 43% positive.

Despite that outlook, 67% of Buckeye State residents said they are optimistic about their own and their families’ future.  

Democrats led the way with 80% indicating they are somewhat or very optimistic about the future, with Republicans just behind at 60% optimistic. Independents fell in between at 68% seeing a somewhat or very bright future ahead.

Ohioans also were exceptionally downcast regarding the future in terms of the state of the country’s democracy.

At 56%, the majority of those polled indicated they are somewhat or very pessimistic about the future. of democracy.

Pushing that percentage upward were Republicans at 71% pessimistic and Independents at 60%.

Democrats have a slightly brighter outlook for U.S. democracy with 56% saying they are optimistic versus 40% who are very or somewhat pessimistic.

Overall, only 37% of those polled responded they are somewhat or very optimistic about the state of U.S. democracy today.